I have to admit that I, Bao Dai of Hollywood, was looking forward to a
perfectly dull weekend. A near change in the weather has left my left
knee in excruciating pain, my grocery list was extraordinarily short and
MTV is presently running, for allegedly the last time, the first four
seasons of The Real World, which was The Real World when
The Real World really was the The Real World.
George W is dropping like a stone in every poll which counts, Al Gore is
nothing to get excited about and I've started telling people who want me
to sign their positions I'm Canadian. i was even ready by noon to start
the second chapter of my next new book.
The it happened. I got a flat tire. Fortunately I wasn't in an SUV or
the Pope Mobile, as both tend to flip over and burst into flames when a
tire goes bad. Unfortunately I happened to be with a totally deranged old
fool who has tried to get me to put his poetry on this site (I said
"sure"... then he handed me two poems about a transvestite he had
known). He'd what some people would call a colorful character. I
consider him an interesting annoyance.
So right there, not half a block from the place where all the winos catch
lunch and 40 winks, I hear the deadly kerplunkatplunkataplunka.... and
stop the car, hoping I hadn't traded in my car jack to someone who wanted
to use it to bash in some one's head, and forgetting, in the process, that
my trunk is crammed with all sorts of worthless shit.
So as cars whizzed by trying to hit me, I changed to the Mickey Mouse
spare with the big "WARNING: NOT MEANT TO EXCEED 50 MPH" (which would be
fine if all I did was go too and from work on freeways, as they tend to
move at 20 0r below, but I don't. Meanwhile, while I changed the tire,
the old psycho put on an old suit I had in the trunk (to complete his wino
look) and began trying to play with a Hula Hoop¨ which had somehow found
its way, along with a steam iron and much trash and some unlashed checks,
into my trunk.
Oh well, I guess he sort of helped alert traffic to the hazard I had made
of myself. Finally i sent him on what I knew would be a worthless search
for a mechanic which gave me enough time to make the change without his
Mickey Mouse spare courteously of Japan Inc. in place, my woes were not
over, as I knew if I didn't replace the tire immediately I, well,
wouldn't, so I set off in search of one of the 2000 tire places in the
local Yellow Pages.
Idiot that I am, I pulled into the first one I saw -- the local Firestone
-- and within minutes became Bao "I wish the fuck I was across the street
at Pep Boys" Dai. After zigzagging through the parking lot filled with
toppled, smoldering huge SUVs looking like the dinosaurs must have after
the big comet hit, I nabbed the handicap parking spot and was immediately
set upon by 10 Firestone lawyers trying to get an affidavit out of me that
my pronounced limp and expression of agonized confusion were not the
result of Firstone's habit of making defective tires. "I'm
Canadian" didn't work and so after the necessary paperwork i was sent to
the Waiting Room to, well, wait.
I knew i was in trouble when I noted all the couches were filled with
people sleeping in rumpled clothes with many cartons of rotting Chinese
food on the table.
Of course by then they had my keys and my car.
So I waited as people screamed about needing the Jaws of Life stat and
Granny being caught in a roll over. I smoked. I drank from half empty
fast food sodas left by my fellow waiters. It reminded me of the Waiting
Room scene in Beetlejuice.
When my name was finally called I had to wait to get checked out by this
Mongoloid who was waiting on some girl who was being a lot more
discriminating in choosing tires for her car then my ex-wife was about
deciding which anonymous venereal disease ridden alcoholic she would
But by eight, having missed several whole seasons of The Real World
marathon, I pulled in to the spot behind the Pope Mobile in someone's
spanking new Ford Explorer, proving all good things come to he who
... or maybe not. Anyway, I hope those stupid pricks at Firestone have
fun explaining to the irate welfare mother of ten why they have to ride
home in an old Honda with a front end held together with electrical