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5:22 a.m. - 2003-12-02

THINGS TO DO ON THE SIDE OF THE INTERSTATE

As always, thanks to those of you who attempted to help me with my computer problems yesterday.

I learned two things...

1) Norton products are disease-infested pieces of shit.

2) The next time I go to Walmart by myself and see an anti-virus package for $60, that's not an "impulse buy", that's something I really need to research before buying.

Bottom line, after I posted my award-winning entry yesterday, I found out that I'm not the only poor schlub out there who's experiencing this problem with the product.

In fact, just going to Amazon to read the reviews of Norton SystemWorks 2004 told me everything I needed to know.

In essence, I'm a dumbass.

Norton is aware that they've got a problem with this crap and they're "desperately trying to find a solution".

Yeah.

They've got computer geeks on the problem 24-7.

Yeah.

I just bet they do.

On the flipside, my computer's running better than it has in years due to all of the repairs I've done manually on it.

Go me. And of course, my computer.


Had a pretty shitty lunch yesterday, thanks for asking.

Took my lunch to work. Leftover meat loaf and peas.

Not enough of either one to even whet my appetite.

Anyway, wolfed that down and then me and my main chick at work, Meg, decided to go to Linens & Things to find a vanity stool for Mrs. Bob's Christmas gift.

Meg decides to drive so we're putt-putting down the road when all of a sudden, her car decides to do the electric slide in the middle of the interstate.

It's herking and jerking all over the place.

"Should I keep driving it or pull over?" she asks me.

"Keep driving," I say with authority as visions of vanity stools danced in my head.

Luckily, she's smarter than me and pulled over on the side of the road.

"What should we do?" she asked.

"Hmmm," I said. "We could make out until an escaped masked murderer skewers us on a sword like a bad '80s horror flick."

Unfortunately, it was 1:00 in the afternoon on a sunny day and everyone knows that escaped masked murderers do all their dirty work in the dead of night.

So making out was out of the question.

"Do you know anything about cars?" she asked.

Well.

THIS was sure a fine time for me to have to admit my most un-macho of secrets.

"I know how to put gas in 'em," I offered. "Maybe it's out of gas!"

"Uhhhh no," she said. "It was doing the 2,000 lb. tango back there. I think there's something much more wrong than being out of gas."

"Hmmmm," I hmmmmed. At this point, my knowledge of all things mechanical had been officially spent. I had one more trick up my sleeve.

"Maybe the windshield needs cleaned," I offered. "I can do that if we can muster up enough saliva."

She glared at me.

"We're fucked," I mumbled.

Meg called her husband who was in a meeting and said he'd get to the car as soon as possible.

So we hung out on the side of the interstate for an hour before he got there.

Once he got there, we both found out that he was even less mechanically inclined than I was. At least he tried to look like he knew what he was doing by having Meg pop the hood. He looked under there, not knowing what he was looking for, but putting on a wonderful show for the passerbys whizzing past us at 80 mph.

Meg checked the transmission fluid and there was still some in there.

I think.

I don't really remember if there was or not.

THAT'S how mechanically inclined I am. Trivial shit like that is not retained in my memory for even 18 hours.

So he calls a buddy of his that owns a towing company.

We wait another hour. We're trying to entertain each other, which isn't easy because Meg and her husband are both kinda religious. So my usual "Show me your tits" ice breakers are being put on the back burner in favor of stories of favorite Christmases past.

I tell the story of the last live Christmas tree my family ever bought which unbeknownst to us was home to a rather large spider's nest. The morning after we bought the tree, our entire living room was infested with large hairy spiders crawling all over the walls, furniture and burrowing down into our carpets.

Don't worry, you PETA fuckers.

We didn't kill them.

We scooped each poisonous spider up on a sheet of notebook paper individually and took them outside to be freed into the grass surrounding our home.

Gosh no.

Can't kill spiders.

Don't want to upset the rat-hugging PETA-loving psychos who might stumble across this diary in their effort to police EVERY GODDAMNED THING written on the internet, thus fucking me out of a Diarist Award for Best Comedic Entry by starting petitions to condemn me for running over some baby mice with my lawn mower and giving it to some hack two-bit writer who wrote the same goddamned entry as me but didn't go into great detail about killing the spider on his peter.

Yeah.

THAT'S where I fucked up they said.

Shouldn't have mentioned "crushing their little baby mouse spines with the rotating wheels of my lawn mower".

Yeah.

Leave that line out and I'll have Mr. Pultizer putting me on his speed dial.

Right.

Fuck me.

Anyway ... hmmmmm ... where was I?

Oh ... so we're sitting in the car, talking about random shit, going on our second hour of sitting on the side of the interstate and being pelted by Pabst Blue Ribbon cans thrown by drunken hillbillies cruising by in their hopped-up jalopies when the tow truck guy finally shows up.

The guy doesn't say a word. Not "hello". Not "I'm the tow truck guy". Not "Show me your tits". Nothing.

I nudge Meg and say "This young man has a STELLAR personality!"

She giggled and we scurried into her husband's truck while he dealt with the tow truck guy.

Meg's husband got back in the truck and I said with a straight face "Did you tip him?"

He looked at me and said "Was I SUPPOSED to tip him?"

I faked a look of disgust on my face. "Of course, you buffoon! He works for tips just like everyone else in the service industry! Jeez. I can't believe you didn't tip him!"

"I've only got a $20," he said.

"Well go give it to him before he pulls off!" I said.

Meg's husband, if I'm lying I'm dying, Meg's husband jumps out of the truck, fumbling for his wallet and runs over to the tow truck guy.

He goes to hand the guy the $20 and the guy shakes his head "no" while Meg and I burst into hysterics in the confines of the truck.

The husband walks back to the truck, glaring at me.

"Tow truck drivers don't accept tips," he said.

"I know," I said. "But if it's any consolation, I didn't think you'd actually try to tip the guy."

As he drove us back to the office, I gave him a brief lesson on people you should tip and people who don't require tipping.

If any of you are in the proctology business and get a patient by the name of Bob Crawford coming into your office, be prepared for a small windfall of unsolicited cash from the simpleton.

Oh ... and her transmission went out. She's out $2,000 if she wants to get it fixed.

At least they have 20 extra dollars to put toward a new one.

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