Maintenance Required
Maintenance Required

It’s the dawn of a new era.  We’ve said goodbye to Beauregard, and bought a new car.  Well, new might not be the best word to describe her.  She’s a ’94 – not exactly fresh of the show room floor, but she’s new to us.

We decided to name her Virginia.  Not a real stretch as she had those VA license plates for the past week, but fitting all the same.  After I run over a few curbs and rub most the paint off her bumpers, she’ll just be Ginny from the Block (like J-Lo, but with less mileage).

Today was our first chance to really spend quality alone time together.  I guess we weren’t totally alone.  Webster was with us, but he stayed relatively quiet unless barking out an occasional order to turn or merge or some other GPS details.  Rocco had to work, so Virginia and I headed out to Long Island all by our twosome for a friend’s pool party.

We made it into the Lincoln Tunnel with no drama, and I turned up the radio to enjoy Elton John’s “Tony Danza” song.  It took a few moments of driving to realize that I shouldn’t be able to still hear the song.  I was in the tunnel.  The radio phases out in the tunnel.  Always has, always will.  Weird.  I looked down to make sure it was the radio and not a CD.

And then the aliens took over my car.

Ok, not exactly aliens, but my car was possessed.  The speakers suddenly pulsed with static and a creepy man’s voice filled my car.  It all happened so fast.  I was terrified!  I think he said something like:

“Welcome to the Lincoln Tunnel.  Please maintain a safe following distance and observe our 35 mph speed limit.”

A brief pause, more static, and Elton was counting the head lice on the highway again.

Did that just happen?  If the aliens are going to destroy Earth, why do they care if I maintain a safe following distance?  If only Jeff Goldblum were in the car with me to decipher the hidden code!

Apparently they’ve got recordings in the Holland Tunnel, too.  Talking buses weren’t enough?  Hearing voices sucks.  I won’t fight you on that argument.  I’ll wager though, that if you’re schizophrenic, at least the voices say more interesting things than, “Route 126 – Hoboken Path – welcome aboard New Jersey Transit.”


So other than her tendency to pick up radio frequencies from extra terrestrials, I was fully in love with Virginia on our ride to Long Island.  I was slightly less in love with her on the way home.  I loaded her up with my pool paraphernalia, climbed in, turned her on, and was greeted with something I’d never seen on Beauregard – a bright orange light on the dashboard screaming “Maintenance Required!”

Hmm.  That ain’t no kinda good.

Beauregard didn’t have any of those new fangled light up whatsamagiggles to warn you of engine issues!  What did it mean?  Would the car spontaneously combust if I drove it more than twenty feet?  Should I call AAA?  SonofaBITCH!  Fancy cars are scary!  Throw power locks and cruise control into a car and you’ve got all kinds of things to break!

After several frantic calls to other Accord owners, we determined that the light is simply to tell me I need a normal, run-of-the-mill, inspection.  Funny, I thought that’s what those annoying stickers in the upper left hand of car windows were for.  I was assured by multiple parties that no part of the engine was going to seize and fly through the hood of the car on the LIE.  I was, after all, hoping to keep her Virginia (not yet Ginny) for at least a month or two.

They were right, of course.  The only real drama I faced on the drive home was trying to keep my frickin’ seat belt in place.  I decided to not change out of my swim suit and was still wearing it beneath my dress.  It’s not a fancy swim suit with under wires and a cup for each breast.  Nope, it’s a uni-boober – one nylon-lined support shelf that smooshes your two boobs into one long tube o’ boob.  (I’d also like to point out this same phenomenon occurs with a sports bra.)

Normally a seat belt nestles quite comfortably between your breasts.  All hell breaks loose with the uni-boob.  Every time I’d turn my head to check my blind spot, the seat belt would shoot across the uni-boob and situate itself in my right arm pit, nearly choking me to death.

Where was the light to warn me of that danger?!