When Driving, First Know How to Start Car
Jungle Pants (roommate and bff), and I woke up with a full day planned of apple picking ahead of us – because it’s fall and that’s what muthafuckas do. Yes, it would be a grand day – breathing in the fresh air, bearing witness to the rolling green farm hills, and picking off mother natures food balls one pluck at a time. Per usual, the original sentiment of the day never quite holds true.
Both of us take public transportation or we transport around via our person – so we would need to rent a Zipcar to drive out to northern Maryland.
Obstacle 1: Starting the Car: As a woman now in my 30’s (dammit. it’s real when you read it) – I cease to amaze myself with the amount of things I can fuck up doing.
And I take that back – Obstacle 1 was Finding the Car.
Obstacle 1: Finding the Car: All of the Zipcars close by were booked so we walked 2 miles to next closest one. It was tucked away in a hidden alley behind some randos house covered in ivy and behind the same large boulder that was in Indiana Jones. After an hour and a half of walking through back corridors and crossing through peoples lawns (why do they do this?) we came about the two Zipcar parking spaces. We found the car we reserved that ZipCar named “Carlos”and were ready to hit the road.
Obstacle 2: Starting the Car: I turned the key and the dashboard lights v’roomed on but nothing else did. I turned it again and again – it seemed like it was on but just really quiet.
Me: “Oh I see – it’s probably an electric car.”
Jungle Pants: “Oh yeah, those are really quiet. I got one of those once and they’re impossible to turn on.”
Me: “Okay cool – so we should just go then?”
I reversed out of the spot and the car slowly rolled backwards to block the alley and then stopped. Then when I tried to put it in drive it didn’t move at all. Shit-balls.
Just as we slowly backed our car across the alley in what deemed to be an off or neutral setting another Zipcar patron strolled up to check out her ride for the day – not noticing us and our situation at all. She was an older lady with long straggly grey hair, probably in her late 70’s. Jungle Pants and I both watched her as we sat in the car blocking everything and not moving as she walked confidently towards her car. We ogled at her as she proceeded to take 500 plus photos of the car at every angle, I assume for liability reasons. She even took a few of the the engine and underneath the car – this was a full body inspection and no butt-hole was going un-inspected. I felt weird watching it. We snapped out of our glare and I tried to move the car by stepping on the gas – nothing. The engine was blatantly not on. We found a notice in the glove compartment that stated if the car did not start to call a service number.
Jungle Pants called the number and put it on speaker.
Zipcar: A lady answered, “Hello, Zipcar customer service, how may I help you?”
Jungle Pants: “Hi, yes – our car isn’t starting. We tried turning the engine on and it wont start.”
Zipcar: “OK, are there any engine lights on?”
Me: (I interject and yell into the phone) “YES! THEY ARE ALL ON.”
Zipcar: “All of the dashboard lights are on?”
Us: “Yes, all of them – every single one.”
Zipcar: “But it’s still not starting?”
Me: “Nope, not starting – unless it’s a very quiet start.”
Zipcar: “Sorry, a quiet start?”
Me: “I don’t know – never-mind.”
Zipcar: “That’s odd because I just had that car booked and the driver returned it with no problems – I’ll just do a bit of a re…set..”
Us: Sorry, what?
Car honks loudly out of nowhere
Us: Hello? Who’s there? Where is that? We’re blocking the alley and someone is trying to get through!”
We turn around and no car is behind us…
Zipcar: “Yes, that was me I reset the dash.”
Me: “GEEZUS Christ lady.”
Meanwhile the other lady is still taking pictures of her car so she hasn’t noticed that she wont be able to pull out once she’s done scrap-booking.
Zipcar: “Can you try turning the car on now?”
Me: “Yes, I’m trying still the same thing – I think the battery must be dead or the engine is blown out..” “Yes, the engine is blown out.”(not even a thing)
Zipcar: ” I don’t think the engine is blown out….(???) and as for the battery we just had this car out with someone else so it doesn’t make sense.”
Jungle Pants: ” Well, it doesn’t work ma’m and we’re stuck in the middle of an alley! And we’re GOING TO BE LATE FOR OUR APPOINTMENT!”
(apparently important appointments also count as picking apples in rural Maryland)
Zipcar: Well we can try and book you in another car but the closest is 5.4 miles away.”
Jungle Pants: “Okay but the whole reason we got a Zipcar is not to have to have a Zipcar to get to the Zipcar and we’re already late – very, very late.”
(note: there is no being late to apple picking…)
Jungle Pants steps outside of the car.
Jungle Pants: “FINE – We’re going to have to push.”
Me: “Ok, I’ll step on the gas.”
Jungle Pants starts pushing on the trunk – and it’s barely even rocking let alone moving anywhere.
Zipcar lady is still on the phone on speaker listening to our struggles.
I call out to the older woman: “Excuse me miss! I’m sorry we’re blocking you in and we need to get this car moved – I think the engine blew out….could you help push?”
The woman gives us a weird look and then joins Jungle Pants at the trunk to help.
I hit the gas. Nothing.
Why I think a 70 year old woman would help us achieve anything let alone this particular task – I have no idea.
Zipcar lady still one the phone: “Uh, hello?”
Jungle Pants yelling to the roof of the car where her phone is laying.
Jungle Pants: “Yes, hello! We’re pushing it ’cause it’s blocking everyone in. We have to push. Don’t you have a manual for this? There should be a manual…”
Zipcar: “A manual to start the car?”
Jungle Pants yelling: “I don’t know just like a generic car manual…” “YOU HAVE TO SEND HELP!” We’re stuck.”
I’m still in the driver seat occasionally stepping on the gas. Nothing. Jungle Pants and the old lady give it a rest since they basically just gently rocked me to sleep rather than actually moving the car. Jungle Pants hops back in the car with her phone.
Jungle Pants: “You’ll have to send help – we cant move.”
Zipcar: “You have your foot on the brake right?”
I look down at my legs and then look up at Jungle and do a slight “Nah” shake of my head. FUCK.
All the dashboard lights turn on I put my foot on the brake and the engine roars. The Zipcar lady hears everything.
Me: “Oh…that worked.”
Zipcar: “Ok, are we okay now – is there anything else I can help with?”
Jungle Pants: “Nope. That’s good – thank you.”
Me: “Well, I blew that. I think I just wasn’t pressing down hard enough or something and I thought it was an electric car and you know how quiet those are…….” <insert lists of things you say to cover your own ass…..>
We reversed out of our diagonal alley barricade position and waived to the old lady.
As we pulled away I yelled out the window, “Hey Lady!” “Thanks! It was the brake..hahaha…you know… the brake!”
She smiled and nodded but she knew we were just idiots. And I did too.
Douche Bag McCloud is a Person.
There’s a man among us. A man who’s name is Douchebag McCloud. He reeks an ungodly douche scent – a pungent waft of preppy-annoying. He will be sure to trip you when you’re down, pee on you when you’re sleeping, and mock you when you’re poor… and he works in my building.
I can only suspect such douchebaggery works on the second floor – by far the douchiest floor. Second floorers insist on taking the elevator regardless of them being located just one floor up. Almost as bad as the Bloomberg employees from the top floor penthouse, who in the elevator will talk of their free lunches, causal dress code, and peanut butter making machine. Fook you and your indulgent workplace – nobody wants to make their own peanut butter.
I despise the second floor douches slightly more than the Bloomberg boobs. Mainly because these lazy wombats force me to spend 7% of my life riding the elevator. And between floors 1 & 2. Stopping on 2, stopping on 1, up & down, up & down.
Anyways, our douchebag extraordinaire is a second-floorer who you can spot with half-an-eye. He’s always wearing polished penny loafers, pennies included, paired with some obnoxiously pastel outfit and a Louis Vuitton briefcase dangling over his right shoulder while speaking insanely loud in our already echoing lobby. A few of my favs went like this:
(chatting with the bro-group) “And then I was like….what budget?” “Am I right?” Ahahhahahaha
(on the phone) “I took care of it Mr. LeaMond, I told him he was fired. F-I-R-E-D. Fired.”
“No pain in that gain – am I right fellas??” (deals out some high-fivers.)
“Wife made me lunch again today – guess where that’s going? T-R-A-S-H. Trash. Zing!”
“Hold up bros – I should probably grab my Burberry mittens – it looks chili con carne out there.”
“Eww guys…homeless people are so stinky.”
Walks by your elevator and wide steps his legs while putting both hands in gun shape and positions them towards you while the doors close, shoots them and then blows them out… “Now that is one good looking elevator…Keep up the good work ladies.”
The ‘guns up, good looking elevator’ scenario happens like once a week. I’m not sure what the motivation is – but I can only blame it on him being douchebag which makes him feel like this is something he needs to do repeatedly. We’ve already seen this – it was kind of funny in a harrassy way the first time – now, that’s enough.
I just want to go straight up to my floor without stopping on two and without a sexualized pantomime gun show. Is that so much to ask?
Now, to the epic douchebag reel –
Whatever, Scott Disick is the man.
Maybe We Should Just Ride the Log One
A few weeks ago my dream came true. And yes, I did go to Kings Dominion. And yes, that was my dream. Throughout my 10 year amusement park hiatus I felt as though I was really missing out. I mean fun, adventure, shitty expensive food, people in wet t-shirts that you don’t want to see in wet t-shirts, giant stuffed things, games, adventure and fun again were all only 2 hours away – why the fuck wasn’t I in it? I now know why – it’s really not that cool.
A few things came up when deciding where to go – actually only two. 1) I wasn’t going to Six Flags even though it was ten times closer because quite frankly, I think it’s a fucking liability, and I definitely don’t like that old dancing man in their ads. 2) I only do luxury boats. Kings Dominion is the luxury boat of amusement parks. (what?)
A few things to keep in mind for anyone planning a visit:
(1) Find the Correct Entrance. I somehow managed to enter the park from the back. This was no easy task because EVERYTHING is clearly marked and directional signage is phenomenal. By doing so, I found the park employee entrance and pulled up to a guy standing in the middle of a random asphalt entrance and whipped out my pre-printed parking pass and ID.
“Hello, here is my parking pass and my ID.” (I have no idea why I showed him my ID – maybe because the cars in front of us were showing their actual employee badges…..I dunno.)
“Hello. Are you a employee here?”
“Well, no but I have this parking pass. See here is the date and the confirmation number.”
I pointed to today’s date and also to the long number at the bottom. The man looked at me like I had nipples for eyes.
“Okay….but this is the employee entrance….how did you even get here?”
I smiled, popped a u-ey and high tailed out of there. I didn’t feel like explaining what an idiot I was and there was really no explanation.
(2) Timing Is important. For us, it was opening weekend and we wanted to get there butt early so we did BUTT it was too early and we arrived even before the parking lot was open. We thought the cashier lady was just taking a really long time to collect money from the cars but we were in a line of people who just parked in front of the park to get the best parking (park, parking, park, park). I had already paid for and printed out my parking ticket so I didn’t even need any of dat shiatt. Being that early is just stupid so we left to get Chik-fil-A. When we got back the parking attendants were letting people in. Yes! this would be the appropriate time to source my parking pass. I handed it to the gentlemen and he said thank you and raised the electronic bar partition.
“Don’t I need a ticket from you or anything to put on my windshield?”
To which he responded, “??????” “No. You just go in now…”
We zoomed up to the front, parked, and then stood in line again by foot because this time the parking lot was open but the actual park wasn’t. 15 minutes later we were granted access and thought to take a photo at the entrance which is seen below. I have no idea who the child is.
(3) Ride choice and Sequence. Upon finally entering, the game plan was to head straight to the back of the park to work in the opposite direction of everyone else (fucking genius). Also, the back of the park is where all the really heady rides are too (heady is my new cool word that I now overuse). In a record 35 minutes, we had gone on the Volcano, the Blast Coaster, Anaconda, Flight of Fear, Scrambler, and the Hurler. The only time we had to wait was on the Volcano when an adult male had puked while on the ride which meant twelve hours of decontamination. He continued puking over the railing when he got off as his suffocating girlfriend rubbed his back. The comments and jabs that came from the other riders was unbelievable to the point where some middle schoolers were yelling, “He hasn’t even gone yet!” “Pussy” “Fucking Light Weight” “Idiot!” I’m not sure why he’s an idiot but you get the point – it was brutal. We jumped on one more so we would beat the lines heading our way and we chose the Intimidator 305. This reckless metal destroyer goes 305 feet and 90 mph making it one of the tallest and fastest coasters in the world. All I know is we blacked out afterwards with severe migraines and complete loss of equilibrium. Feeling extremely ill, we took a nap in a flower bed in Candy Apple Grove which was delightful.
(4) Ride the Water Log. The whole time. I must say the most pleasant experience of the trip was the water log ride. It involves everything that is good.
Your transportation is a hollowed out log.
Yes, fantastic choice. Check.
You get whisked away to an old mining town.
Love a vintage theme. Check.
Water gently splashes when your log turns a corner.
Water spritzes? Refreshing and delightful. Check.
There are absolutely zero surprises.
Predictable log. I love you. Check.
After the log ride we thought to head over to the Water Park to continue with our tranquil water state. We walked around a bit and saw some lawn chairs by the side of the Lazy River. There was nothing lazy about that river. It looked hectic as hell. We sat down next to an intercom that was yelling the rules of the Lazy River into our faces every 3 minutes. Regardless, we both passed out. I had dreams of being on the log river and mining gold. Two hours later we awoke from slumber – we decided that we should head home and could probably just sleep there. So basically, we went to Kings Dominion and slept.
And then we joined a Hiking Club. Yes, Hiking Club.
Had I known that we would be welcomed by a forest full of naked butts on our first hiking club adventure maybe I would have thought to invest my time in another club all together.
It all started when my friend Jaclyn and I decided we wanted to go on a longer than average walk, in the woods, wearing special weather proof attire, amongst other people who would be doing the same exact thing except with cooler gear. The solution would be the Washington, D.C. area’s capitol hiking club. For a mere 20 bucks you could catch a bus up to Shenandoah Valley with 40 other people and snacks. Snacks? Now that’s a fucking steal.
Early in the morning we got up to catch our bus at a downtown location for a 8:00 AM departure. It wasn’t difficult to figure out who was in our group – khaki hats, khakis, general hats, poles and giant water bottle backpacks were a plenty (basically, nerds). I looked equally ridiculous wearing an old pair of hiking boots that I found in my parents basement. They were my mom’s from the 80’s, splattered purple and teal high-tops with about 10,000 miles on them. They would later end my hiking career.
As we gathered on the bus everyone seemed pretty zenned out and unsociable. There was one girl around our age who had a hiking skirt on (I didn’t know these existed) who was friendly enough to introduce herself. We had a brief exchange of – Where are you from? What are you doing here? Is this your first hike? etc.. and then the conversation just ended – no fizzle out – just over.
Jaclyn and I preceded to laugh violently at nonsense for the next 30 minutes until our two hike leaders stood up for announcements at the front of the bus. First the male hike leader went to speak into the mic so Jaclyn and I started a slow clap applause as he stood up – naturally, everyone else joined in. He then briefly went over the map of the hike and explained the three hikes (we interjected by starting an applause) and then mentioned the history of the hike (to end with an applause that we initiated) and moved on to further explain the hiking elements (to which his sentenced was greeted by yet a fourth applause).
I love clap.
It was now the woman hike leaders turn to do a little intro. She quickly hopped on the mic to plead, “Hi All, there really isn’t any reason to clap – so, if we can please keep all the clapping until the end – that would be great.” I cannot believe she made an announcement about our over-clapping…..
An hour and forty-five minutes had gone by and we chatted the whole way on a bus of silence. The woman leader got back on the mic to announce that we would be arriving soon. We clapped (this time I think pretty warranted). She sighed in defeat and sat back down. With such announcement came one very natural response – we should go to the bathroom on the bus as there wouldn’t be any other opportunities to do so. Surprisingly, Jaclyn and I were the only ones heading to the rear of the bus post announcement. I also do not want to pee in a smelly blue watered cave of assholes but what other choice do we have? I was confused but also not complaining. Less is less in the world of bus toilets.
We had arrived and immediately were split up into male/female groups. The men would wait at an opening by the bus and the women would carry on down the path. Jaclyn and I were lagging a bit behind from using the facilities on the bus but then caught up to the group to be greeted by a forest of women’s butts – all kinds of butts. Backpacks were scattered in the pathway as what I later learned is a hiking technique to signal people that you were off in the forest – perhaps peeing. What was not understood – was the pack technique really necessary when 25 women were a mere 4-6 ft into the woods? I could literally see everyone in plain view and easily do a headcount if I wasn’t tripping over backpacks. It seemed a bit ridiculous. Why didn’t people just pee on the bus? Why did everyone have to pee at the same time? So many questions to be left unanswered. After the last 76 year woman finished – the hike leader then blew a whistle which notified the males that it was okay to head down.
I get it. I get all of it. But it’s fucking weird.
Finally, after an aggressive pee session in the woods, we could set out on the actual hike. We trailed off down the, well, trail and one man asked me if I had been drinking. I was having trouble controlling my legs whenever going downhill. I chuckled and carried on flailing down the hills like a giant drunk baby. I accidentally kicked a few branches along with four rocks at a few of our fellow hikers but I can only trust that they know how the elements go and controlling my legs was just not something I could do. Not in these ‘effing boots.
We were nearly done with the short hike and we were planning on continuing on to at least finish the intermediate one. That was until the whole bottom of my 1980’s hiking boot peeled apart from the shoe, crumbled and then disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Geezus. That was dramatic. And also, just great. Because this was a helpful thing to happen on a hiking trip. The only time I’ve ever REALLY needed shoes. I tried to bind my shoe back together by using a number of hair ties. The hair ties kind of worked so we could at least get out to the road. We had to cut the hike short and head back to the bus which was also a mini hike of 2.5 miles away. I walked along the road barefoot until we saw the bus parked in the middle of the road by an open field of dried hay.
When we arrived the bus driver was playing her nieces performance debut DVD on repeat – apparently she sang a Christmas special with Patti LaBelle in 1992.We decided to lay outside the bus in the street just to alert some more danger and attention to ourselves. Some other stragglers came walking up as the short hike was ending. One woman came and insisted on opening up the hummus snack immediately that was to be served to the whole group at the end of the hike. I wasn’t really sure why she was asking me but…das cool. I also gave the green light to open up the cooler of beers.
As we lay sprawled out on the pavement like a couple of sunning farva beans, one woman came marching through and was clearly looking for an interrogation. She sat by where we were laying and started to rattle of 55 questions. Where you two from? You’ve hiked before? (fine questions) Where do you work? (ugh…) Do you think you’ll want to get married and have kids? (none of your beeswax devil woman) What’s your five year plan? (fuck you).
I wanted to do both of two things – 1.) Clothesline her face 2.) Ask – who the hell is you?
I think she was trying to figure out if we were lesbians or not. I mean cant a couple of gals get dressed up in boots and khakis and have a fucking day of adventure without being lesbians? Not that it mattered anyways. After we listened to how successful her kids were and her travels to Guadeloupe – I finally stopped responding. I’m all for being polite but when randoms start asking me about my five year plan I get fucking edgy.
Two and a half hours later the bus departed to pick up the hikers that were on the advanced hike. We pulled up to the parking lot we had started at and everyone looked really accomplished. I made sure to walk around to everyone to explain the shoe situation and that’s why weren’t able to participate. “See, my shoe? I mean it just broke off…” People tried to sympathize but they also didn’t know who I was so I could have just been some crazy from another trail.
Finally, it was snack celebration time. Since the beginner hikers had eaten most of the food already there was slim pickins. There was one guy who was circling the chip bag for two minutes. He would look in the bag fluff it’s outers and then look back in. I thought what the fuck? Jaclyn thought to inquire.
“So, just trying get the best chip there hey? I totally get it…hahaha.”
Guy responded, “No.” “There are germs. Germs everywhere. I’m trying not touch the other chips.”
“Oh. Right. Well, carry on.”
I think we needed to leave. These weren’t our kind. After the celebration was over we were dying to get out of there. We had nothing to celebrate and we had drank most of the beers anyways.
On the ride back the tables had turned. We were defeated and exhausted and were looking to sit in silence sprinkled with naps. The head honcho of the trip (you could see that the other hikers looked up to this woman) had a captive audience so she decided to have a story time about all the hikes she’d ever done.
The best part of her storytelling was how each would start off.
“Ladies…Gentlemen… I want to tell you a little story about a friend of mine…his name was Mt. Kilimanjaro….”
Oooos and aaahhhhsss from the crowd while we were just cracking up.
“Mi amigos. What’s that? Base camp? We’re talking Everest right? Yes, I’ve done it. Lost a baby toe but it’s all in the climb”
I just wanted to be like……
When stories of the Himalayas ended, we reflected on the day. It’s safe to say that I think we will be hiking on our own in the future – communal peeing just ‘aint my jam. But we did catch this fellow hiker passed out in one of our pics. That will last a lifetime.
Everyone Hates You When…..
You wear a backpack on the bus. (everyone hates you…even the driver.)
Your umbrella pokes them in the face and you carry on unknowingly
You use the last of anything (milk, toilet paper, spicy chipotle mayo…etc..)
You sneeze (anytime, ever – death stares.)
You call someone and they call you right back and YOU don’t answer ….
You ask more than one question – ever.
You eat most of the tapas plate that you didn’t even order
You don’t know what you want to order when you get to the front of the line
You stand right at the bottom of an escalator.
You’re in the returns line to return things like paper towels, SwifterJet refills, or gum