Thursday, May 15, 2008

Off the Wagon

Oh how the mighty have fallen. I managed to kick my Taco Bell habit years ago…and now a full relapse.

When I first went vegetarian/vegan back in high school I needed a solid option for food on the go. Burger King didn’t have a veggie burger back then. Subway had introduced the Veggie Max, but that was back before that Jared character told the public the tremendous health benefits of sucking down subs all day. Taco Bell became my opium den of choice for three reasons. 1. They have tasty bean burritos. 2. They have tasty bean burritos at .79 cents. 3. They have tasty bean burritos at .79 cents until 1 a.m., which often leads to some great people watching.

I.O. the Reader: A story about a lady of some foreign country walking up to my car during a mighty drive-thru line and asking us “Would you like to buy me something I like to drink…like chocolate milk.”

I was not alone during these times. There were always a lot of people willing to go to Taco Bell for some cheap food, but it takes a true deviant to be my wingman. I’m sure he will wish to remain anonymous and I will respect that position. I’d never drop the dime on you Matt Dinsmore of Asheville, North Carolina, you’re secret is safe with me. Much like Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro in Fear and Loathing Las Vegas our dependencies on our drug of choice felt more comfortable when you look across the table and see someone in as deep as you. It got to the point we were using bean burritos as currency or payback for favors…that’s right “Burrito Debt” made our modern credit crunch look like an economic sniffle. It got to the point where I was more flour, bean and mild sauce than man. After a fierce bout with a disease doctors dubbed “Burritomaine Poisoning” I was forced to cut back and eventually enter a five-year Taco Bell hiatus.

About a month ago I pulled into the Taco Bell drive-thru, like a recovering addict walking down the same street he used to score his medicine. I had convinced myself that I had broken my old ways and now it was fine if I had one burrito. After all I’m older and more responsible now, and haven’t I proved that I could control the beany beast within me? No. Over the last two weeks I’ve eaten probably 8 burritos, a shell of my former self, but still cause for concern. As I finish writing this blog post, my mind drifts into fantasy. For only 10 minutes away salvation lies…at only $1.09.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Goodnight sweet Princess

1995 Honda Accord.

Imagine if you will a black stallion running through the countryside. Galloping with all his might, legs sturdy and strong and a body smooth and clean. The previous statements accurately describe my car...six years ago.

Now imagine that same black stallion. Except its not really running through a countryside. More like sauntering through the meadows. The legs on this beast are far from sturdy and the body has long lost a great deal of shine. Some one get the Elmer's on the line, I think I have some glue to donate. Such is the current state of my car; a shell of its former self, but could still kick you in the neck if you fail to protect said head/body connector.

I bought my car in 2000 with 93,000 miles on the girl. Today its has just over 285,000 miles. Most of those 192,000 miles went to pizza delivery, though some are due to memorable road trips to Cincinnati, North Carolina, Baltimore and Varina. I vividly remember driving towards Cincinnati with 5 people in my car and pretty much laughing the entire way, even though my legs were numb, my eyes were like hub caps and each mile bringing me closer to the deadly road coma. Good thing other people can drive stick because I can only "rest my eyes' for thirty seconds at a time. My car has brought me more joy than pain, and that includes the time I tried to use hot radiator fluid as an astringent (Don't open your radiator cap...ever....even when it's dead cold outside and your car hasn't moved in months). The abundance of good times I relate to my car is why it's so hard for me to say goodbye to the old girl. I only assume its a female...I never got around to having it checked for sex.

At this point I have 9 toes out the door and one left in Richmond. Therefore I set out to sell my car to get something newer and more reliable. I was surprised to see how many people were interested in a a car with 285k miles, no A/C and the ability to only pick up conservative talk radio stations. I think it has more to do with gas prices than a common affinity for cars past their prime however.

It is my hope that this car reaches 300k and I don't see why it won't. My only regret is that I won't be the owner when she reaches this milestone. My dad is a huge car guy who takes meticulous care of his vehicles. A little bit of that has rubbed off on me. Not the cleaning part, but the part of caring about something in which you have invested so much time and money.

Hopefully within the week I can get her into new hands, but I'm going to enjoy driving her around for these last couple of days. That is unless she breaks down and consequently breaks my heart. Then I believe this is just another case of Love TKO and I will still try to sell her to the unsuspecting public.