So last night I bought my first nice car. Actually, technically, the first car I ever bought. I used a cast-off from my Mom in college, took over payments on a car from my Dad after law school, and drove that car until now. It’s a ‘96 Honda Accord Anniversary edition — “Anniversary Edition” being code for “we’re stripping everything modern or nice off this motherfucker so we can sell it cheap.” In other words, no power windows, doors, or anything, an interior that appeared to be made of courderoy and the sort of plastic they make Pez dispensers out of, etc. But it was a reliable car and held up for 8 good years with nary a complaint.
But we finally decided that I needed a new car. For a long time I looked at the Toyota Avalon — roomy as all hell and comfy. I need lots of room for two car seats in the back. Then Katrina pointed out that the car is basically a Buick with a Toyota logo slapped onto it. It’s astonishingly stodgy for a Toyota. It probably has some sort of attachment that pulls your pants up to your armpits and an auto-Thesarus for assisting you in complaining about kids these days.
So I got my first nice car — a Lexus ES 330 SportDesign edition. It rocks. I’m going to spend a month figuring out all the cool little features. This morning I entertained the grumpy kids on the way to daycare by opening and closing the sunroof for ten minutes. It feels extravagant, but I figure I’ve been a senior associate or special counsel at a big firm for four years now and am entitled. After all, all the little first-year lawyer twerps tool around in their Porsche boxters and Mercedes kiddie-cars. It was a bit embarrassing to be in my battered and scratched 8 year old Honda with two car seats in the back and a year of trash in the passenger footwell. Somehow I feel more adult. I do not yet feel as if my penis is any bigger, but based on the promotional material, I’m sure that will happen at any time.
So where does the titular pwnage come in? Well, last night we get home with the new car, put Katrina’s minivan in the garage, and send the baby sitter home. Then we get down to installing the car seats in the new car. Katrina takes one out of the back of the minivan, leaving the back hatch open. The back hatch, I might add, has a scratch from the time that I closed the garage door with it open — the minivan is so big that when the hatch is open it gets in the way of the garage door.
So we finish with the car seat and decide to program the little button on the console that opens or closes your garage door. Katrina reads the manual and talks me through it. I hold the garage door control next to the button as instructed and press it. There is a loud CRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHSCREEEEECH. We look up and see that we have forgotten that the minivan hatch is open and the minivan and garage door are in a death struggle.
I stop pressing the button.
I go and survey the damage. Let me put it this way: the minivan won. There is a new but modest scratch on the minivan hatch. But the garage door is utterly tweaked. Four of the little posts connecting the door to its tracks have popped out, the cable has twisted around the shaft and tangled, and two panels have buckled.
So I try to fix it. Yes, me. We get the minivan out first and then give it a shot. I try to fit the little posts back into the tracks on which they roll. I am quickly covered by about a quart of grease which lathers all this equipment like a bad porno video. Several of the flanges used to connect the posts to the door are bent. The panels look irreparably bent. The cable is unsalvageable. After a half hour of hammering and cursing, I give up and decide just to close the door and call a repairman.
Here comes the pwnage.
I try to pull the thing down manually. It doesn’t budge, and I get dirtier and cut my thumb. I pull the manual release and try again. Still nothing. Finally, I pull the manual release so hard I hear something snap, grab the door, and pull with all my still-considerable-even-after-South-Beach weight. There is a THUDCRUNCHSKREEEEEE and the damn door comes hurtling at me like a guillotine. So I roll out of the way. Like, in Lethal Weapon II, you remember when Mel Gibson nimbly rolls to the ground and tumbles under a closing garage door? Exactly unlike that. I drop like a sack of potatoes and lurch out of the way, limbs spavined and flailing like a frog corpse electrified in biology class, making a noise intended to be a manly shout of warning but sounding more like somebody’s maiden aunt finding a mouse in her purse. The door doesn’t crush me, but kind of smacks me for my trouble as I fall out of the way. I hit my head on the pavement, rip my pants, and bloody my elbow. I sit up and put my head in my hands, trying to get my bearings, leaving two beautiful full handprints in dark grease on either side of my face. This grease, by the way, refuses to fade completely, no matter how hard and painfully I scrub or how hot the water I use is. It’s still faintly there, in the middle of the ruin of my scalded and over-scrubbed face. I look like a politician who spent a week sleeping on the street in a sandstorm as penance for an ill-advised recent appearance in blackface.
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