Dear Honda-driving “Landmower Man” and Date,
This is the first time I write to you. Perhaps you think this is a little forward, as we’ve never formally met, but I feel as though I know you well. Sometimes I dream of a white Honda running me over in dreams. At other times, I can hear you in all your mufflered glory dropping off your date, winding your way leisurely around the neighborhood, driving toward the on-ramp and getting on the highway.
Although this lovely bonding ritual usually happens in my dead-of-sleep hour –between 1 and 2 am– I had never thought of addressing you before. So you can say I’m a first-time writer, but looooong time listener.
Why do I feel compelled to write to you, oh Lord of the Muffler?
Why do I regale you with my innermost thought, Baron of the Noisy Dragster?
Because it’s the only thing keeping me sane at 1:48 am. And specifically, it’s the only thing keeping me from riffling through my husband’s tools and hurling a wrench or something equally hefty directly at you (or at your date, quaking in her tiny shorts and top) right about now.
I don’t really resent your car, mind you. I’ve learned to accept that some men and especially those of Asian heritage (although not exclusively) enjoy souping up their cars in such a way that an ordinary Japanese car is, seemingly overnight, converted into a flashing candy-colored and pinstriped torpedolike tribute to bondo and human will with a lawnmower soundtrack to herald its arrival. I do not resent the fact that, having what I’m told is a highly efficient and powerful four cylinder engine, you choose to amplify its sound to make it more robust, without necessarily increasing its horsepower.
I don’t resent your car, at any rate. And while it’s not my taste, your version of the Great Dragster is quite understated.
And while your desired hour of courtship –usually between 1 and 3 am, most weekdays– would not be my preferred time to be wooed by a gentleman caller, I have also accepted that as your own dragster quirk. The lady seems not to mind, and neither does her family. Granted, on an occasion or two I have perhaps wished that she lived somewhere else –say, on Kauai– but I’ve never felt compelled to write to you.
None of your adorable quirks –like the time you decided to pick a fight with your ladyfriend at 2 am last winter, or your dashing engine rev-up whenever you pull away from her house– has truly motivated me to hold you in my thoughts long enough to hold anything close to a grudge.
Mind you, I understand cars break down.
I also understand that cars break down with more frequency in Hawaii. It’s just the way things happen around here. Cars break down in the fast lane at 7 am. Cars break down in the middle of the on-ramp at noon. It’s part of the Hawaiian Zeitgeist if you will.
And what’s more, I must commend you on being able to fix your own car. Some guys brag about being able to tool around and fix things, only to come up looking like idiots when things truly break down. So kudos to you for using your mechanical brain efficiently, swiftly, and relatively quietly while your date held the flashlight at a wobbly little angle. You might want to ask her what’s with the shaking, however: it’s 78 degrees outside, so it cannot be on account of the cold.
But I must come to the point that has driven me to write, and nearly drove me to claw your eyes out:
YOU NEED TO STOP TRYING TO TIPTOE AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD WEARING FLIP-FLOPS, ASSHOLE!!!!!!!
Back and forth and back and forth, that slapping sound making a crunching echo against any and ALL hard surfaces is enough to send even the most balanced of individuals into a downward spiral heading straight for the heart of darkness.
And I’m completely serious.
It wasn’t the tinkering.
It wasn’t the engine. Or the muffler.
It wasn’t the breakdown. Lord knows I was actually ASLEEP at that point in time. Which is something I dearly enjoy these days (and all days, really) and wish I could do more without being interrupted by the sound of flimsy, plastic footwear slapping “stealthily” around less than ten yards away from my window.
And yes, it’s my open window. Because this is Hawaii and windows are open unless it’s too hot and the a/c needs to be on. Don’t you play innocent with me.
Here is hoping you graduate to real footwear, and someone gives you a Checker gift certificate for your birthday.
The poor woman your inconsiderate footwear woke up just now.