Monday, January 09, 2006

Goodbye Mulva - UPDATED

I just want to start out by saying that I know full well how fortunate I am.

I know that I have been lucky twenty different ways to Sunday in my life.

But, that being said, folks, I am in the midst of a huge clusterfuck.

The recent conflict with my mother’s side of the family came in the midst of a several-week-long funk brought on by the first anniversary of my Granny’s death. Maybe that’s why I found myself so hurt when I felt like the NE folks not only didn’t understand me, they didn’t particularly like me, either.

So yesterday, Spooney and I ran some household errands. First, we stopped at the automotive supply store. While he perused various fuel additives, I found this really bitching flame decal that would fit perfectly on the back of my car, right above the word “Volvo.”

Sure, I have 1992 Volvo wagon, but it’s a 960, and it HAULS ASS up hills and just has tons of acceleration and a great stereo and leather interior, and a flawless exterior, and well, I just love my car. Her name is Mulva. I bought her about 5 years ago, and when I asked my mechanic recently if it wasn’t time to get rid of her, he said “Why? This is a great car.”

And besides, how funny is that? A 14 year-old Volvo wagon with a flame decal? Come on.

Next, we went to the Empire Center in Burbank to buy a new pepper mill. Now, if you know me, you know that kind of errand gives me an insane amount of pleasure. I may be a political crankster, but I have a mile wide Martha Stewart streak in me as well. And Spooney is such a great guy that he always tags along with me, and frequently he even exhibits signs of enjoying himself.

So I make my purchases, and then in the parking lot of the Great Indoors, I turn my ignition key to start up my car.

Huge bang.

I haven’t heard a sound like that since I blew a hole in the block of my 72 Vega.

Me: Oh, no.

Smoke starts to billow out from under my hood.

Spooney: I think you blew your radiator.

Me: Really?

Spooney: Pop the hood.

I release the hood, but of course you have to still have to stick your hand under the hood to release the manual latch. Spooney gets out and walks to the front of the car.

Me: Wait until it cools down!

The smoke has by now gotten dark grey, and is turning black.

Then someone standing a few yards away points at my car and says “Flames!”

At that point I exit the vehicle as well.

The next twenty minutes are a blur. 911 is called, the car continues to burn. Flames are visible underneath the engine at first, but then they come out from under the hood as well. Spooney and I and several employees of the store stand at a safe distance watching while clueless idiots try to park next to me or drive by slowly, mere feet away from a potential fireball.

Okay, I know, cars only blow up in the movies. But still. Ya never know.

Freakily enough, in the midst of the blaze, Mulva started trying to turn over. I heard the engine, and I'm all "Is that MY car?" And Spooney says yeah, there's exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. I suddenly felt like I was in a Stephen King movie, like Mulva had come alive and was trying to outrun her fate.

Finally the firemen arrive. And one of them revs up a chain saw and proceeds to cut away the hood of my car.

At that point, I dropped my purse and my packages on the ground and started to cry like a little girl.

My car. My beautiful, beloved car. I’ll never ride in her again. I know that now.

Once the fire is out, the chief tells me that he has no idea what started it, and people seldom do figure out the causes of these things. That’s comforting, I think.

Amazingly, the firewall between the engine compartment and the interior has done its job well. There appears to be absolutely no damage to the interior. The CDs in my glove box aren’t even warm.

But the engine is toast. Just one big glob of molten wires, rubber and metal. The front tires are melted, as are my headlight covers. The bulbs are popped.

In short, the shit is BURNED UP.

So, I call my insurance company, and Spooney and I empty all my possessions from the car into the plastic bags that the store employees have brought us. And then they load Mulva onto the bed of the tow truck, and Spooney and I ride back home in a cab.

First of all, I always wondered, when I would drive past cars on fire on the freeway shoulder, how does that happen, exactly? I mean I understand overheating, but ON FIRE?

Now I know.

Secondly, if your car insurance doesn't cover a rental car, as mine doesn't, call them now and get an upgrade. So worth it.

I don't remember turning down that kind of coverage, but perhaps they never offered it.

Later, when Dr. Spooney has fixed me a big cocktail and tucked me into the couch for a movie, the phone rings. I pick it up.

CALLER: Hey there.

ME: Who is this?

CALLER: Wait a sec. My tv is too loud.

ME: Who is this?

CALLER: It’s Robert.

ME: I don’t know who you are.

CALLER: Do you want to lick me?

Great. Fucking great. A pervert. Why do they always call when you are at your most vulnerable?

So, here’s what I want to say right now, to the universe, generally.

I give.

Okay? I give. You win.

Did I piss you off, did I tempt your powers, with the whole flame decal thing?

If so, uncle. Uncle, okay?



Jess said...

If it makes you feel any better, what an exciting way to lose your car! Engulfed in flames 'n shit. Mostly.

Most of us just run ours to the ground and then sell it for way less than it's worth to some creepy guy from east LA.

Spooney said...

I'll miss Mulva. She was a good car and although it was sad to watch, she did go out in a blaze of glory.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Please tell me you were able to salvage the bumper stickers!

david said...

That just ain't right (although I agree with Jess: it is kind of cool). Don't let the NE clan get ahold of this: they'll say it was, I dunno, God, or Pat Robertson, if they can keep the two straight in their minds.

This is the road to bigger, better -- perhaps even newer things.

Hang in, baby.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Well, the flames did at one point take the form of an aborted fetus...

Hill said...

Yep...lit my first baby on fire, as well.

Of course, at the time, I was in high school and was driving away from a party on the beach (cuz you can drive on the beach in St. Augustine, FL) and the kids wanted me to leave it there, kinda like a bonfire. And I did.

Fucking. Stoner. Idiot. Kids.

Oh well. Sorry for your troubles, Vik. And I totally dig the flam decals on a Volvo.


bro said...

Glad your SAFE, that really really is the important thing...