I’m at the dealership, picking up the Element after some accessories were put on. The waiting room TV has Maury Povitch on. Maury is 89 years old now, I think.

This is Charee, this is Charee’s mother Renee. Renee wants to find her first love, Jim, desperately. Charee wants to help. But Renee secretly believes that Jim might be Charee’s father. Charee hopes they can “hook up” again. Renee thinks she’s coming to the show for a make-over show.  Charee wants them together before she goes into the Army next week. (Applause from the audience.)

People are looking up at the TV, chins raised, as though observing the sun streaming through a stained glass window.

The vehicle has a sap problem. It was left under some bleeding tree, and its lovely paint has been besmirched small clear globules, as though it came on in a nervous skin condition. The discovery of the Sap has caused the service department people to begin an endless series of apologies and assurances; if this continues I expect the CEO of Honda to come into the waiting room and stab himself with the dirty fork, followed by Mongo, lumbering back from Parts to bury a drill in the table and tell me how worthless I am.

I have never been treated with this much deference and self-abasement in my life. It’s like being king. Almost worth the immediate depreciation. But it’s made me late for the office. Late for everything, as a matter of fact.  THEY DID NOT WASH THE CAR before they handed it over.  When I pointed that out – these wheel wells are filthy – I think I actually saw blood drain entirely  from the upper body of the salesman.

If only they knew I’d already gotten the call from Honda. The call where you’re asked to rate them 1 to 5. If you give anyone less than 5, the dealership’s  entire executive staff is dumped in a grave out back. So I gave them fives.

Oh, such a Four they’d get from me now.


Well, it seems the Filthy Sap is proving hard to remove, so two detailers have been sent to get it off. “On the roof, too?” I asked. The sales manager’s face fell. “It’s on the roof? Well, of course. This is all about meeting your expectations,” he said, as God is my witness he pointed two index fingers at me.

Shame compelled me to admit that this was not the gravest problem faced by humanity in general and me in particular, and  while it ranked low on the scale of historical atrocities, some days I really didn’t have an extra hour to spend watching Maury while some guys removed roof sap. On the other hand, I couldn’t tell hi that the reason I needed to get to the office was to write a Screed about Fark comments re: Zarkawi. Bottom line – a certain percentage of the members were unimpressed, although most of those affected with the fatal case of Ironic Snark avoided tiresome “Mission Accomplished” japes. My favorite post: “Last time I checked, he never killed anyone directly. He's not exactly a murderer, although he's responsible for a boatload of death but not as much as, say, the owner of a tobacco company.” Ignorance, qualified frown, fatuous elevation of an unrelated matter to indicate superior moral sensibilities – that boy hit ‘em all in record time.


Eventually I got the Element back, and sped to the office, where I pitched a few story ideas and headed home.

And then?

Hey, you know how sometimes a friend comes over, and you get to talking, and the cigars come out, and you pour something cool and argue Great Weighty Issues on a summer night, even if it means not writing a long essay and doing a 30 minute podcast? Well, that’s what happened. About an hour into the conversation I stopped worrying about what I had to do, and just enjoyed sitting around and talking – something it seems I never do anymore. Ever. The most protracted conversations I ever have are radio interviews, and that’s just not right. So this is it for today. Just as well; the bandwidth is probably blown anyway, and since I did do 2/3 of the Diner yesterday it’ll mean a nice easy week next time.

Apologies for all things promised and not delivered. But it’s summer.  Some slacking off is required. And frankly, the idea of not dealing with the uploads and the codes and the RSS stuff makes me happy. If my hobbies were a job I would have quit it a long time ago. The hours are killin’ me!

Have a fine weekend! See you Monday.

PS - oh, okay. Based on the events of the day, a dose of ye olde Screedblog about the Achenbach blog entry. If you care.



c. j lileks. email may be sent to first name at last name dot com.