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Afternoons with Puppy by Dr. Aubrey Fine and Cynthia J. Eisen

HeavyGlow Flash Fiction Anthology Edited by Stacy Taylor

Blue by J.D. Riso. Also available at lulu


Crazy Rudy, "we buy junk cars"

last year, my sis-in-law (c) bought a rodeo izusu from a friend of her ex-boyfriends (we don't think they were very ex tho) it was right before thanksgiving because she was going to come and take me to the store to buy all my food and she was going to get her desert stuff.

so before she gets off of work, she calls, very upset, her rodeo had been "stolen" it wouldn't be for another few weeks that we found out her boyfriend's brother, who hated her, and she hated him, had convinced the guy to come take it back.

so she buys a hoopty from someone she worked with who said he'd won it in a poker game. by this time, more drama had occurred in her life, she loses her room mates and so moves in back with us.

we drive the hoopty for months, and while we had some problems with it (especially up hills---old ladies in walkers were passing us) it got us around to where we needed to go. we drove it with "temporary" tags that one of her friend's mother gave us (her father worked for a car dealership) and as long as c and i were in the car, even when the tag was dirty and peeling, the charlotte cops never even noticed (too busy looking for drug dealers and car jackers)

one day, with the title in her purse, she stops at a quickie, windows down, leaves the purse on the seat and goes inside. when she comes back (surprise surprise) her purse, with the title, was gone. (yeah, she's a smart one, that one)

then c's father co-signed on a new car for her and the hoopty broke down (the car would later be wrecked and then repossessed because of non-payment and we're not talking one month, we're talking six---and the iceback kicked her out). after that, she snuck back to arkansas without even telling us.

there the hoopty sat, for nearly a year and a half. the complex finally called me and ask when i would move it.

and so i thumbed through the phone book, and pick the first one i see..."crazy rudy, we buy junk cars, no title no problem"

i call crazy rudy on sunday, he says no problem, he'll give me $125 for it (c paid $200) sweet! but he says he can't come until monday (even tho his ad says 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

ok, so i call him monday morning. he tells me "when the truck gets out of the shop, i'll come pick it up."

hmmmm, his tow truck is in the shop?

i tell him to call me when he gets close because we've moved to a different place in the complex and the jimmy is in the old location.

ok, no problem. so i sit and wait, and wait, and wait. three hours later, no call. so i call, i need to go to the store (out of cigs and coke, what can i say?) the guys who answers says, "it'll be another 1-1 and a half.

ok, good to know.

however, by two o'clock, still no call. but i continue waiting. at 2:47 i get a call saying "he's in route" i ask, where are you located so i can judge how long it will be..."all i can tell you is he's in route"

ok, whatever. so i walk up towards the old place, stake out a spot where i can see our old apartment, and the entrance gate.

and i wait, and i wait. at 4 o'clock, still not here. so i call back again, and i'm told something about he is on interstate 85 and either had to get, or had to drop off a tire for AAA. "he's by statesville" he tells me, and i'm thinking, statesville is down interstate 77, not 85. but i ask, does he have a cell phone. "no, he used AAA phone to call him there"

ok, that means, even tho i know it will be at least 30 mins, don't want to take a chance, so i sit in the hoopty and wait.

4:47 i get a call..."he's just turned onto harris blvd, so you can judge how long it will be"

well, harris (if indeed he came off of 85) means it will be at least 30 mins with rush hour traffic (one of the worse bottle-neck areas in the city)

at 5:20 they finally show up. surprise, surprise, rudy steps out of the truck talking on a cell phone.

i say that we don't have the keys (we lost them since we never used it) the little goomba with him (think tonally, some where between joey triviani and joe peshi)

"wha? you don't have keys? do you have a title?"


"you don't have a title?"

the goomba says, "we can't take it"

but your ad said, no title, no problem.

rudy tells me that "they" wrote a new law a month ago that said i have to have a title to sell it.

i say, but your ad...???

well, i placed that ad six months ago, they changed the law just last month.

so he tells me that if a business or property owner calls them to come tow an abandoned vehicle, he has to let it sit for 90 days and then if no one comes to claim it, he pays a $60 fee to the state and someone comes and give him a title and then he has permission to sell it.

so i ask, can i do that?

no, you can't.


goomba says, "because you don't have a multi-million dollar business"

and i'm thinking, hmmmmm, if rudy has a multi-million dollar business, why does he only have one tow truck, that was "in the shop?"

but i'm really kind of freakin now (which means i'm not thinking too clearly) because i have to get rid of this monstrosity and wondering how the fuck i'm gonna do that.

so rudy says, "i tell you what. i'll get rid of it for you, and because you waited all day, i'll give you $20...but i need a bill of sale from you and your driver's license number"

i don't know if i looked so desperate, or gullible. maybe both.

so i say, i don't have any paper but let me run to my house just over there and i'll get some. i hand him my driver's license, he looks at it and says, "that's you? what happened to all your hair?" i laughed, yeah, i cut it. it was actually shorter in the license picture, but was all poofed up on the top.

so i run home, get paper, and run back. but he's already writing on a piece of paper (which i forgot was in the glove box of the hoopty)

the goomba says, "i found a title"

i look confused, "you did?"

"yeah, it has michelle (can't remember)on it."

i don't know any michelle.

i tell them the story of how c ended up with the vehicle and the stolen title.

goomba says, "we're gonna trust you that you're telling the truth"

i swear to god i am

"it's not god we're worried about"

so i sign the paper while the goomba looks at my license. he says, "this is you?"


"well, you're much prettier now...much prettier"

awwww, well aren't you sweet (a little tendril of sarcasm drips out) i wearing make-up in the license photo, but here, i'm in all my natural, age-spotted glory...i say, well, you know, dmv photos are always the worst.

goomba says, "we gotta hang onto your license for 90 days, and if everything checks out, nothing goes wrong, we'll mail it back to you"

again, freaking...i'll be gone in less than a month, i'm thinking...i ask, are you serious?

"yeah, he says"

i look at rudy and he's smiling, one of those big shit eatin grins

i say, he's bullshitting me right?

rudy says, "yeah, he is."

they both have a big laugh...i say thanks and run back to my house, glad to be done with the ordeal but feeling like i was ripped off.

on the other hand, i really had no choice. and that's what makes it suck the most.

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