The last couple of days, my problems have been car related. That's not entirely true, because they're mostly stupidity related, but my car seems to be taking the brunt of it lately. It all began when I got tired of paying someone 70 bucks to put my snow tires on the rims in the fall, and another 70 to take them off in the spring, so I uttered the immortal words of the dumbass*, and bought an extra set of rims. This worked well for 1.5 seasons, and I was feeling pretty good about it until last week when I tried to take the snows off and somehow managed to break off one of the wheel studs with my Bruce Banner-like strength. So instead of paying someone 70 bucks to change the tires, I paid them $120 to fix a busted stud. On the plus side, I just figured out what the name of my new country band is going to be.
So that sort of sets the stage for this week's car idiocy. Right now, for instance, my car smells like someone boiled hazelnuts and old socks in a vat of sour milk and then dumped the whole mess in my car. Of course, you'd have to replace the word "someone" with the word "I" because I'm the idiot that attempted to balance a twenty-four-ounce cup of hazelnut cream coffee on the armrest of the open driver's-side door while trying to reach across the seat and grab my backpack. The cup fell over, hit my knee, and exploded. The top flew off and extremely hot coffee poured down my leg, into my shoe and basically filled up the driver's side floor pan with the other 20 ounces that hadn't been absorbed by my clothes. So that was the start of my Monday. I uttered a few choice words and cranked the windows part-way down, figuring it would help it to evaporate. In retrospect, I think all I did was help it go bad faster.
Since I get to work so early, it was just me and the security cameras. Because I park right in front of the door, I was able to run inside and get to my desk before anyone had a chance to see me and ask if I had pissed myself. As luck would have it, I was wearing a pair of dark brown khakis instead of the white corduroy bell-bottoms that I usually wear on Mondays, so I didn't have to worry about how it looked when it dried. I smelled like hazelnuts the rest of the day, but I suppose I've smelled like worse things.
After lunch, I decided to go for a walk because it was beautiful outside. As I left the building and the sun hit my face, I remembered what my wife said about always wearing my sunglasses to protect my albino rabbit eyes, so like a good little husband I walked over to my car to get them. Unfortunately, I have a habit of locking the car with the remote after I park, and I had done that as I left the car that morning. Also unfortunately, my keys were sitting on my desk upstairs.
So I did what anyone would do -- I reached into the open window, popped the lock, and opened the door.
So here's something I didn't know about this car that I've owned since 2008. It has some kind of half-assed, piece-of-shit, stops-absolutely-no-one factory alarm system, and if you unlock the car in this way, the fucking horn starts beeping in very loud, very insistent one-second intervals. Since it was high noon at the OK corral, there were about a dozen people either coming or going, and my car was parked literally 25 feet from the front door of the building. Another thing about this car I didn't know until just then? The only way to make this hellish noise stop is to either completely destroy the car with high explosives, or produce the ignition key/remote, which was sitting on my desk two floors and three security checkpoints from where I was currently standing.
I ran upstairs as fast as I possibly could, grabbed my keys from my desk, ran back downstairs to the car and jumped in. I slammed the door, jammed the key into the ignition and...the horn didn't stop.
I took the key out and pushed the panic button repeatedly and still nothing. At this point it had been beeping for five solid minutes, but to me it felt like five hours. I even started the car and that didn't stop it. By this time there was a small crowd forming to watch the show, so I did the only thing I could think of -- I put the car in gear and drove it away, horn blaring.
Why yes, I did steal my own car, thank you for asking.
About a mile up the road I pulled over and sat there with the horn beeping, barely able to form a coherent thought. Yes, I still looked like an idiot, but at least I didn't have people staring at me. (If an idiot sets off his car alarm and there's nobody around to hear it, is he still an idiot?) I finally just mashed all the buttons on the remote like I was playing an X-Box game I didn't understand and it stopped. (After a little analysis and a trip to the owner's manual, it turns out the magic button is the one labeled "unlock" which you have to push and hold in, even if your door is already unlocked. WTF.)
After a few minutes of sitting there enjoying the blessed silence, I drove back to the parking lot. Someone had taken my spot near the door, but that was fine by me. I just drove right past it and parked on the other side of the lot, pretending like nothing had happened. Then I ninja-walked my hazelnut-smelling ass in the side door when nobody was looking and finished out my day. It's a good thing I'm taking tomorrow off.
Wish me luck.
*I can do it myself and save a buttload of money.