Browse Category: Crash Test Monkey


Originally posted on the website:

“Daddy, I hope that none of our friends come to our new house to visit at night and have an accident on these winding roads.”

“Yes, there have been many accidents on these roads and people have been killed. I myself had two accidents on this particular road when I was in high school.”

“You did?”

“Yeah, the first was in Pop’s car, an old 1967 Volkswagen. I was driving too fast in the rain and tried to go around that curve by the farm at 70 mph.”

“Wow! That’s crazy!”

“Yeah. I spun out and ended up off the road. Luckily, the car wasn’t damaged and I wasn’t hurt. I never told Pop about it until years later!”

“What was the other accident?”

“I was driving my own car. It snowed the night before, just a little. I went around that other bad curve there. I hit some snow on the side of the road and started to slide. Your aunt was with me. I said, ‘Hold on!’ We slid off the road and into the ditch. The force of it made me slide clear across the seat up against your aunt. I calmly said, ‘Hi. How ya doin’?’ She started to cry.”

“Wow. You’re lucky nothing serious happened in those accidents.

Such was our conversation on our way to the new house that my kids and I are moving into. It’s in the “country” near where I grew up. It’s “home.” In fact, when I was ten years old, I played football with other kids in the yard of the home in which we are moving. Funny how life goes around. I have so many memories of days spent in this area as a kid. I have a feeling the move will inspire me to write about many of those memories. We will be living across the road from where a childhood sweetheart of mine lived. Her name was Debbie. I was so in “love” with her when I was ten. I used to daydream about having a super cool, green colored Kawasaki dirt bike that I could come riding down the road on to whisk her away to do ten-year-old romantic things, like maybe hold hands and carve our initials into a tree. Ah… those were the days!

I was nine when my parents divorced. My mom and sister and I rented a small home, more like a tiny cabin, a mile down the road from where I will soon be living. I spent hours riding my sort of cool 10-speed bike around the winding roads there, sometimes nearly wiping out in the loose gravel as I tried to take turns too quickly. But I never crashed.

My son followed me to the new place in his car (my old car) last night. We unloaded several boxes I brought with me. We will be renting the house from one of my friends. He has given us permission to start moving our things in. My current landlords agreed to shorten my lease. So I will be moving by the end of March or sooner if they find a new tenant. The kids and I spent just a short time at the house last night, discussing how we were going to arrange the living room. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet. My daughter remembers that it was 9:16 when we left there. Instead of going back the way we came, I said, “Follow me. We’ll go the other way to the store to get something easy to make for dinner.” My daughter jumped in the car with me.

We were in a happy mood as we started down the road. Regina Spektor was playing on my iPod. The song was called “Flying.” The road was too winding for us to be flying. But our spirits were flying at the thought of living in our new place soon.

Within a few short moments, our light conversations abruptly changed to short statements of concern. As through the trees we saw speeding headlights approaching the turn ahead of us, we both knew that danger was rapidly approaching. It was apparent that the oncoming car was traveling too fast to manage the sharp curve. I said, “Hold on! Hold on!” I slowed down as quickly as I could and headed for the shoulder of the road. Unfortunately, that shoulder was narrow and bordered by a wooded bank. The other car came sliding around the curve sideways in our lane. Everything was happening in slow motion as I attempted to avoid the out of control maniac. But there was nowhere for me to go. “We’re going to hit! We’re going to hit!” At the very last second, when I knew there was nothing else I could do to avoid the accident, I covered my face with my arms and ducked my head.

Slam! Bang! His car smashed into the front of mine. The air bags in my car exploded into our faces. The first thing I saw when we stopped was the passenger air bag deflating before my daughter. The interior of the car was filled with a choking smoke. “Are you okay? Are you okay?” “Daddy, my face! My face hurts! Daddy!” “Something’s on fire! Roll your window down!” I can’t get my door open! The other car is in the way! “Are you okay in there? Are you okay too?” I have to back up. Shit! His car is rolling with mine! I have to back up! Someone’s knocking on the passenger door. I’ll unlock it. “Are you both okay in there?” It’s my son. “Take my phone. Call 911!” My door’s open now. Wait. Make sure it’s in neutral. Let the clutch out. Pull the emergency brake. Put the four way flashers on. Turn off the iPod. No sense letting the battery go dead.

The next thing I remember was running to my son’s car to turn on his flashers. He was tending to his sister. “Tell that other guy to turn his flashers on before another car comes and slams into us!” Some girl with a Russian accent stopped to see if we were okay. “Don’t let her move her neck! Tell her not to move her neck!” Then she got back in her car and left. Thanks. I guess.

A police officer came. An emergency squad member arrived. The ambulance was there. Then fire trucks. Another ambulance. People all over. The road was closed. “Who was driving this black car?” “Oh, that would be me.” “Are you okay sir?” “Yes, I feel fine. My daughter is hurt though.” “We’ll take care of her.” Give my story to the police. Give my story to a squad member. They’re putting there equipment all over my brand new car. “Oh man! I didn’t even have a scratch on it before this! I haven’t even had it for two months! Why the hell are you cutting my battery cables?? Fuck! My car!”

The trip to the hospital in the ambulance with my daughter was a dream. As we were pulling away I saw a car in the road that looked like mine. “Hey, there’s my son! What’s he doing here? Man, I think I’m going to throw up…” I think I was somewhat in shock. I don’t remember most of the ride to the hospital. Then I found myself giving all my information to a grumpy emergency room worker while my daughter was wheeled away for a CT scan. My hand was x-rayed. It was only a bruise. After what seemed like an eternity, we got word that my daughter’s scan was fine. We could go home.

What a thin line separates us from this life and the next! If I was only 50 yards further down the road… If I was distracted and didn’t notice the oncoming car as soon as I did… If the car didn’t have air bags… If I was speeding like I normally do… If… If… If… We may have “gone home” for good. It was that close. The fact that we avoided a head-on collision and all walked away with only minor bruises is something for which to be sincerely thankful. Possibly we were at the right spot at the right time to break the crash of a young, speeding high school boy who before that moment most likely thought that he was indestructible, very much like the high school boy who years before nearly wrecked his father’s Volkswagen on a similar risky curve a few miles back on the same road. All is well that ends well. Cars can be replaced. The same can’t be said for people.

Here are a few photos of both cars.









Originally posted on the website:

What was the most asked question from readers in response to the last entry?

“Who was that white rose from??”


“Did you really waste a whole bottle of Pepsi like that??”


“Hey, what do you mean by saying womankind anyway??”


The most asked question was “What kind of car did you get?”

Well, since you asked, I got a Toyota Yaris.

Which immediately prompts the question…

“Is there really a bar on the corner of your street??”

Well… Yes, there is. And a liquor store directly across from the bar.

But no, that’s not the next question.

The question is “What the hell is a Yaris??”

EXACTLY what I asked the salesman as we approached it in the dealer’s lot. “Man, what the hell is a Yaris? Some kind of big mountain animal? Like a female Yak?”

He said, “Heh. Funny. Comes with a great cd/mp3 player option for just an additional $750.”

“Great. But I don’t need it, yak-man. I got me a fuckin’ 80 gb iPod!”

“Whoa! THAT is hardcore, yo!”

“Damn straight! And I know the difference between laying and lying, and getting laid and being lied to!”

So, I haggled with the sales-yak for close to an hour. Back and forth. Give and take. You scratch mine, I’ll scratch mine. I knew what I wanted and how much I was willing to pay for it when I walked in there. So haggle, faggle, wiggle, waggle, my friend. After several trips to his manager’s office to relay my bargaining positions, the wishy-washy salesman brought out the manager in person. He proceeded to yak at me for a few minutes then produced a number on a paper.

He said, “My friend, this is how much I pay for this car.” $XX,X06. “You aren’t going to let me make any profit off of this sale?”

“Hmm. You pay $XX,X06? Really?”

“Yep. $XX,X06.”

“I’ll give you $XX,X07. You can make a dollar.”

Thrown off balance by the unexpected humor in my haggle, the head-yak could only grin and agree to my offer. We both knew he was still making a profit. But at least I knew I got the price I wanted. I didn’t get the color I wanted. But I got a good deal. It’s paid for. It’s all mine. And it drives better than any mountain animal I’ve ever rode.

Now, back to that name. Yaris. Every time I mention it I get plenty of odd looks and snickers. But someone was kind enough to look for the meaning of the name and found an explanation straight from Toyota:

“The background on the Yaris name is actually really interesting. It stems from a goddess in Greek mythology, named CHARIS, who was a symbol of beauty and elegance. We put that together with the German expression of agreement, YA. We think the name symbolizes the car’s broad appeal in styling and really represents Toyota’s next generation of global cars.”

Talk about Farfegnugen! I’m ridin’ the goddess, baby! Ya! Symbolize that!



Originally posted on the website:

At lunchtime I had to get out of the office. I hopped into my new car and drove off into the sunset. Well… not exactly. But I did hightail it out of there! It’s only Monday and I already felt the need to get away from people at work. Not all of them, of course. There are a few that I’d like to get closer to, but that will only land me in the HR office and the unemployment line.

I ended up going home. There was no particular reason to go there. It just felt safe to do so. I felt like I wasn’t really supposed to be there. But it was alright because it was my home. I may have startled a few elves and gremlins by walking in unexpectedly at midday. But the guinea pigs were happy to see me. I think. I didn’t know what the hell I went there for. So, I had a glass of wine and a handful of those little fish crackers, then headed back to the office.

But before going back, I went out the front door to check the mail. I had parked my new car in the back and came in through the kitchen door. I went out the living room door to the mailbox. In front of the house is a low brick wall surrounding what should be the front yard area but is all concrete. (Talk about easy to mow in the summer!) There, lying on the little wall, in the bright sunshine, was a long-stemmed white rose. Yes, just lying there. I have no idea who laid it there. And I just checked to make sure I was using “lay” and “lie” correctly. But what I really intended was to use the word “laid” in this entry. It seems like the appropriate thing to do after the last “hardcore” entry.

All sexual intent aside, why was this rose lying on my wall? Who laid it there? And why did they leave a white one?

Perhaps it wasn’t intended for me. Nobody lays me these days. I mean, nobody leaves roses for me these days. Maybe some love-struck Don Juan had a dozen of them delivered to his girlfriend of less than a month, not sending roses for fear of appearing to come on too strong. And maybe a strong December gust blew this one rose clear of the bunch and landed it in front of my house. Then some casual fellow who was meandering to the bar on the corner picked it up and laid it on the wall, unthinkingly mindful that the delicate flower did not get trampled on the sidewalk.

Or maybe… the guy walking to the bar just presented white roses to his sister down the street who he hadn’t spoken to in years because she hates his guts due to the fact that he’s an alcoholic bum. He was feeling sappy with the holidays upon us, forewent (foregoed? forlaid?) a bottle or two and splurged on the dozen roses. But as he nervously approached his sister’s door he realized that the florist miscounted and gave him thirteen roses instead of twelve. Since thirteen is an unlucky number, and he needed all the luck he could get to patch things up with his sister, he quickly tossed one out. Then another fellow on his way to the bar picked it off the sidewalk and laid it on my wall.

Or maybe… someone DID intend it for me! What then? What is it all about?

Is someone trying to make peace with me? Then why did they leave it on my wall and not right up on my porch? Were they trying to make peace but not a whole lot of it? Just a quasi-peace?

What if it’s something weird and twisted? There have been a few “incidents” around my house. In the summer, someone snapped off one of my sunflowers and left it lying on the wall. Also, someone picked off one of my tomatoes from my bucket garden, took a big juicy bite out of it and left the gasping carcass on the wall. That was creepy almost along the lines of finding a horse head in my bed. So what if this is another weird incident? I believe that ancient Druidic folklore describes the leaving a single white rose as a sign of intent to sacrifice a male virgin on New Year’s Eve. Since it’s been so long since I’ve lain (lien? lion?) with womankind, maybe I’m giving off a virgin vibe! What can I do? Who can I ask for help? Who would ever believe me?

Or maybe… it’s from an alcoholic brother that I didn’t know I had! And maybe his real intent is not to make peace but to symbolize that I am an asshole of a brother for not knowing that he didn’t exist and he really wanted to leave a big black rose but couldn’t find one this time of the year because it’s Christmas and everyone and their brothers are sending big black roses to each other. THAT is probably what this is all about.

So… in honor of my long lost, alcoholic brother to whom I have been an asshole, I emptied a bottle of Pepsi, filled it with some water, shoved the rose in it and set it on my porch where the neighbors can all see it and ask, “What the hell is that white rose doing there?”


I Went Hardcore

Originally posted on the website:

I went hardcore. That’s right. I crossed the line. I went too far this time. There is no going back. I could never be the same now even if I tried to go back. Not now that I’ve gone and done this. I’m still shaking my head at myself. I almost can’t believe that I went and did what I did. I couldn’t resist. When something that sexy is tantalizingly paraded before me, I can’t hold back, especially given my particular propensities. I know I probably shouldn’t have done this. There are certain ramifications and consequences that concern me now. I know I’ll end up paying for this one day. But I just couldn’t help myself! Do you have any idea what it’s been like to live with all of this locked up inside me? I knew I would cross this line sooner or later. I knew I’d reach out and touch the forbidden fruit. I knew I’d shamelessly embrace it one day. It’s as if it were written in the stars. This was my destiny. There is no other way for me to exist, really. I had to do this. I was driven to it by the fire that burns within my genes (jeans?). It couldn’t be prevented. And frankly, I’m happy I did it! I’ll do it again one day if need be.

So, let me confess what I did. I’ll tell all of you right here on this website. I’ll admit it to the whole world right here on the Internet. I have no pride anymore.

And now the confession:


It’s true. That’s how hardcore I am – about my MUSIC mofo! And yes, there are consequences! And I will be paying for this! But I had to do it. My 20GB iPod is full. How could I exist without the ability to carry ALL my music (and movies too now) with me everywhere? Merry (early) Christmas to me!

*This entry is RATED X-mas.

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