Sweet Sainted Mother of Harold Hecuba! It’s Been Way Too Long

hecubaI’m blaming the schedule

Sorry about the disappearing act, folks. I’m learning a new job, which is semi-stressful. But the main reason I haven’t updated since 2013 or whatever is my schedule.

Last week I worked Monday and Tuesday on day shift, Wednesday and Thursday on my normal night shift, and half a day on Friday. Then… I had to be back there at 4:45 am on Saturday morning, and worked until about 2 in the afternoon.

I hate to sound like Nostrildamus, but that shit kicked my ass. I was nearly incapable of speech at the end of it, and wasn’t able to take a dump for upwards of 72 hours. I’m not kidding. No way could I sit down and write something semi-coherent. Three different shifts in six days is no good. I think my central nervous system was cutting in and out.

But, things should normalize somewhat, starting today. Next week I have to do an overnighter on Wednesday into Thursday, but that shouldn’t be too bad. I can handle late nights much easier than early mornings. On Saturday I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. It was weird. As late as Monday, I was still profoundly exhausted. Apparently I’m an old bastard now, and can’t bounce back? It’s discouraging.

In charge of donuts and coffee

For that outrageously early Saturday project, I was asked to bring two dozen donuts, and a box of coffee. I figured I’d just go through the Krispy Kreme drive-through, and take care o’ business on the way. Right?

Wrong. The woman almost audibly gasped when I asked for the coffee. She told me I needed to call the night before and order such a thing. I said, “It’s coffee.” I was confused. Sure, it’s a large amount, but not so large they’d have to bring in extra staff, or whatever. One of the main things they sell there: coffee.

She told me she could do it, but it could be as long as a half-hour wait. Obviously, she was trying to talk me out of it… I sighed theatrically, and told her to just forget the whole thing.

Then I made yet another tactical error, and told her to give me two dozen assorted. She could pick ’em; she’s the donut expert, after all.

And when I got to work, a couple of people were annoyed that I didn’t have the coffee (one guy brought an assortment of fancy-ass creamers in anticipation). And two people bitched because I didn’t get a dozen regular glazed; they were highly skeptical of the assorted.

So, that was a total bust. I botched that shit six ways to Sunday. Clearly, I need further training in this upper-management thing. Perhaps they can send me to a seminar at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles, or whatever? The Team Building via Snack Mastery Workshop? Sheesh.

But I got Replacements tickets!

The Replacements, one of my favorite bands ever, are doing a proper tour this spring, for the first time in 24 years. Tickets for the Philadelphia show went on sale at noon on Friday, and I was sitting there with my hand on the mouse, and the look of an idiot at a fireworks display on my face.

Chicago and Washington D.C. reportedly sold out in less than 10 minutes, so I felt great pressure not to screw this thing up. I went in beforehand to make sure my credit card info was up to date, and my account was active.

Then I did some stretches, hydrated, and mentally prepared myself for battle.

There was a countdown clock that said Replacements tickets will be available in 3 minutes, 46 seconds, etc. And I watched it countdown to zero, then nothing happened. WTF??

I hit the refresh button, and it seemed to take a full minute to come back. My hand was WHIPPING through my hair. But it was finally there, and I attempted to order three tickets. There was some kind of design swirling round and round on the screen, with the word PROCESSING in the middle of it. Then it errored out!

I shrieked like a woman, and went through the process again. And… got an error message a second time. I was freaking out. It felt like ten minutes had already passed, but that’s probably not true. I was certain it wasn’t going to happen for me.

But, it worked on the third attempt. A page popped up with the words ‘You’re Going To See The Replacements!’ at the top. Whew. It was more stressful than anticipated. Every page had a countdown clock on it… And shit was erroring out, all willy-nilly. What the hell??

In any case, I got tickets for me and the two boys. Steve can’t go, so it’ll just be the three of us. Superchunk is opening, and it’s gonna be great: outside on a pier, jutting into the river. If it doesn’t rain, it’ll be a fantastic night.

The Question of the Day

On the Adam Carolla Show a few days ago, they started talking about the crap people have in their cars. Like coffee mugs rolling around… a full change of clothing on the backseat… That kind of thing.

I don’t have much in mine. I insist on neatness, when it comes to my car. I take two or three CDs with me, and sometimes a travel mug of coffee. But when I return home, I ALWAYS take everything back inside with me. I never leave that stuff in the car overnight. And in my trunk? An ice scraper, nothing else.

Toney’s car, on the other hand, is the vehicle you’d like to have if you broke down in the middle of the mountains, or whatever. There’s all sorts of clothing and blankets, probably a rotisserie chicken… I’m not sure.

But what about you? If someone were to look inside your car right now, what would they find? Please tell us about it, won’t you? Use the comments link.

And I’ll see you guys next time.

Have a great day!

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  1. My car has way too much crap in it, but there’s nothing particularly useful. It’s mostly yoga mats, reusable grocery bags and CDs I burned so I could listen to songs long enough to learn them. I tend to gather seasonally-appropriate clothing items in my car and leave them until halfway through the opposite season.

  2. jim workman says

    Jeff…I emailed you a classic home video clip of the Kays from 50 years ago. Check it out.

  3. Good to have you back, Jeff. In my truck as of now… Umbrella, snow umbrella (windshield), bag chair, the new Blackberry Smoke CD, a pair of gloves, a toboggan, and assorted debris from various fast food joints. Some napkins in the glove box along with the owner’s manual. And my tape player adapter for my MP3 player.

    • Dude,

      Up in these parts, a toboggan is what you fly down a snow covered hill on. Kinda big to put in a car, so I assume it is what we lovingly refer to as a toque. Some of my Tennessee buds told me that a winter hat is called a toboggan.

    • Hey Eugene how ya’ doin? You gave me a box of Cornflakes for my birthday one year. Now you remember? You knew Reva Shane personally as well.

      I wear a toboggan too.

      • You gotta pronounce it like TOE boggin’ 6sigma when you’re in the south. But yeah, that’s what I’m referring to.

        Well HEY revashane! Where are you these days?

        • Read my post below Johnthebasket and that will get you up to date for the 25 years since I last saw you.

  4. I’ve lived out of my car on a few occasions so it’s always a mess. Always.

  5. Swami Bologna says

    I got my ‘Mats tickets, too! (Also logged in at 11:50 a.m. Friday, watching the countdown.) Whoo-hoo!

  6. A couple hockey sticks, a bag of pucks, and a stack of cds in the between seats compartment. Very tidy overall.

  7. You were headed the right direction in selecting Krispy Kreme because they are AWESOME. Sounds like the wheels fell off when the minimum-wager was pitching a willy about making coffee–at a doughnut shop! A good manager always brings Krispy Kremes!

    My kids refer to me as the “Car NAZI.” No eating in the car and drinks MUST have lids! I don’t have a bunch of junk in them, either. But, the upholstery on my 13 year old cars looks as good as it did the day I drove them home!

  8. Good to have you back posting. I love the nebulous “I’ll see you guys next time.”

    My car is as clean as I can get it with two kids. I got two child seats, a bunch of books, blankets and goddamn mud prints on the back of the chairs.

    Before them, my car was always spotless. clean windows, vacuumed floors, the works.

    Aside from the kids’ bullshit, I have a few maps, maybe a couple of emergency CDs in case I forget my phone for the stereo and some breakdown stuff in the trunk.

    I look at these guys with their lives in their vehicles and I cringe. I would hate going anywhere with all that mess around me. I had a friend who rented a couple of apartments and he always made a point of making an excuse to check out the vehicle prospective renters came in. If was muddy and full of garbage, he wouldn’t rent to them. If they treat their cars like that, that’s how they’d treat the apartment. Pretty smart, I thought.

    • Stephanie C says

      Jason, I have to respectfully disagree with the messy car/messy apartment assessment. My husband’s car is his “space” (like, his man cave room). He has all kinds of stuff in both the car and the room and I absolutely do not touch either one since he knows where everything is.

      Once in a while, (with his go ahead) I will go through the car with shopping bags in tow…one for garbage, one for receipts, one for tools, one for recyclable bottles/cans, etc. I get rid of the recycling and garbage and let him sort through the rest of the bags.

      The living spaces outside of his man cave are organized, neat and clean.

  9. “Ain’t you gotta jack?” – Goober

  10. WV.Hillbilly says

    It amazes me that most women won’t leave the house unless their hair and makeup are perfect, yet the insides of their cars look like a dumpster has exploded.
    I leave nothing in mine when I get out of it.

  11. The only time the inside of my car is neat, is immediately following a good cleaning. After that all bets are off. I have a bad habit of pulling up to the mailbox and depositing the days mail on my front seat and from there it makes it way to all parts of the vehicle. If I just parked my car and walked out to the mailbox my car would be ten times tidier. Well that and eat inside the McDonalds.

  12. Stuart from Oz says

    Good to have you back Jeff, hope you get on top of your shit! Im like you when it comes to my car..neat, neat , neat. The only thing in the boot (trunk) is my hard hat, work boots and hi-vis vest during the week for work site visits. On the week end that shits outa there and there’s nothing.

  13. I have a 6 year old. If I was stranded in the car she rides in I suspect I could survive for days on the raisins/crumbs/popcorn scattered in the back of the car.

  14. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I heard a basketball bouncing around the back of my vehicle on the way to work this morning.

  15. Hurray for the update! Glad you’re back, JK. Was checking in religiously, sometimes several times a day.

    Funny subject on contents of cars. Being in the car business , I have some real horror stories on what people keep (or forgot they had) in their vehicles. BUT, I have to wait, because my phone is ringing in the office.
    I’ll be back…

  16. Welcome back, Jeff! I hope things start to stabilize for you.

    I have some papers and folders and a binder on the back seat. I have good intentions of removing it. When I get home I grab my purse off the front seat, the laptop bag, my lunch box and the bag with my work shoes out of the back. That’s about all I can manage. It’s too friggin’ cold to start sorting through all the other shit. Not to mention I have to contort myself around a glacier that’s taken over the driveway. And deal nightly with the eeny, meeny, miney, moe of black ice patches and which one will make my foot shoot out straight in front of me.

    And holy hopping hell, I loved this line: I was sitting there with my hand on the mouse, and the look of an idiot at a fireworks display on my face.

  17. I keep my car tidy, but many of my fellow engineers have horrifying interiors, due to the lack of social ability. I see dirty dishes (yes, the china ceramic kind), window-high stacks of recycleables, laundry, newspapers, and sometimes several child booster seats amongst it all. One coworker was too busy to remove the canoe from his roof, or any of his camping stuff (barbecue grills etc) for more than a month after his adventure was over. A very preoccupied class of people we are.

  18. Fuck the coffee &77 donut work idiots. I hate that shit. You want something specific, you better go get it yourself.
    As for the coffee, you should have asked the coffee witch for 20 large cups of coffee–black. Just empty the damn pots into a box, those brewers ain’t so slow that they won’t be able to serve someone waiting in a reasonable time.

    Whats in my car right now: Since I just got it nothing but the ice scraper & spare tire. Why you ask since those of you around a long time know I preach driving the wheels off it… Some asswipe BACKED into me while waiting at a red light. Yeah. The stuff of youtube videos and newscasts. And if you ever entertained the thought of buying a dashcam but keep putting off, just buy it! I wish I had. It would have made the insurance battle that much shorter. Fortunately though in the sea of witnesses one guy did stick around. If he had not I’d be up shit creek when it comes to insurance rates. I was finally deemed not at fault when they actually bothered to call my witness. (Do your own follow up if your in a questionable situation like that, I called my witness to find out if he’d been contacted yet, he hadn’t, so I kept asking about it in emails. Of course, the bastards decided to total my car… Grumble… I’m still pissed about that.
    So, all the stuff out of my old car is sitting in the gargae but its too cold to move things back into it, which consists of two rubber maid totes.One for keeping the randomn haulings in check, the other with jumper cables, tools, gloves, rags, tywraps, roll of wire, electrical tape and other miscellaneous get me out of a jam. Theres also a shovel and portable floor jack.

    My truck right now has ice scraper, a touque, extra jacket, breaker bar w/socket to fit the wheel nuts, a bunch of tywraps, tape, box of kleenex, and a small box to hold my coffee because cupholders where not on the table in 1981. Since the fall, I have had a fully dressed 350cid engine in the back, a driveshaft, stainless steel dual exhaust pipes, a shovel, rope, ratchet straps, a couple blocks of wood, and a small step stool. I’m ready for anything. =-)

  19. I drove a 2000 Honda Accord for the better part of 12 years and I loved that car. But after raising two kids in it I ceased to care about the interior despite the fact that I was always a Jeff Kay-type neatnik when it came to cars. But after awhile I was just like fuckit, I’m driving this car into the grave so who cares, right? Life is too short to vacuum your car out annually.

    I remember when my then 3 year-old son tipped a full open bottle of water over in the back seat. The thing got lodged between the seem where the seat meets the back and by the time we pulled it out it was empty. Thing was…nothing was wet. No trace of an entire water bottle anywhere. To this day I have no idea where it all drained out, how long it stayed in the car and what kind of spores it must have spawned in the swampy crud of goldfish crackers and M&Ms that was under there as well. Just disappeared. After that I only shrugged every time something got dropped or spilled and only cleaned out the crud when it was really bad.

    Now the kids are older and the Honda finally met its maker and I was forced to make a quick car purchase. A friend got me a steal on a 2005 BMW 325i with low miles and near perfect interior. I had to get it even though it was the last car I would think of driving. Now I’m back to clean-as-whistle interiors and monthly polishes and vacuums. So…10 CDs stuck neatly in a case (not the shitty visor kind either, but an honest to god case), a frisbee and my NIEHS Contractor badge.

  20. Great Googly Moogly says

    I’ve got a couple of fast food sacks on the floor, an empty coke bottle or two rattling around on the floor and some change in the ashtray. Some maps, extra tire valve cores and tool and spare lug nuts in the glove box. Some CDs, an emergency glass breaker/seatbelt cutter and pistol in the center console. In the back an emergency pack with first aid, heat sources, water, food etc. A few spare car parts like headlights, bulbs, fuses, belt, fluids etc. Some basic hand tools, a tow strap, chains, snow brush and ice scraper, spare gloves and coveralls, two blankets, rifle, shovel, small 12 volt air compressor, spare cell phone charger, road flares, flashlight. That’s about it I think.

  21. “and I was sitting there with my hand on the mouse, and the look of an idiot at a fireworks display on my face.” You were greatly missed sir.

  22. Two CDs: zac brown band and willie nelson. I am a snack eater so there is usually a candy bar, lance crackers… in the flip console. Since it is cold I have an ice scraper, hat and gloves and a jacket in the back seat.

  23. johnthebasket says

    I found out about the suspension of KO from a newspaper I had left in my car right next to a glazed doughnut. Just to the left of some cashews and on top of a crescent wrench.

    Penn State has a drinking problem. They also have an untenable moral position on the Sandusky/Paterno mess. Keith Olbermann was suspended by ESPN for four days because he told the truth about these matters. PSU students claim KO opposed their dance-a-thon fundraiser. Horseshit. The only way things get better is for people — even college students — to acknowledge that problems exist. This ain’t gonna happen at PSU, which is too bad for a fine university with a fairly rich history.


  24. “In all the years you have been goofing off with that horse this is the first time the car smells like horse shit”…..husband on long road trip at Christmas. We had to take the mat out.
    I have a teenaged daughter that I take to school so I’m driving 40+ miles a day. The horse is close to the high school so I kill 2 birds. Yeah, my POS Ford Flex is a mess I can’t imagine what is hiding in the back. Its 4 years old and today it gets a new heater core, add that to the list of a dozen things that have gone wrong with it since I bought it new. I gambled and bought an extended warranty and today that gamble will pay off !!!

    • revashane says

      yee haww!! I got my car back on Friday and I have heat!! Started snowing Friday at 3pm and didnt stop for 26 hours. It is so cold the snow was like sand and we got less than 2 inches.

  25. Mike the ripper says

    I am kinda anal about the interior cleanliness of my vehicles. If I take something to the car, it comes out when I get home. The only permanent fixture is a Glock 19 in the glove compartment.

  26. Since I use my Jeep Grand Cherokee to haul stuff from the fleamarket for my shop during the warmer months, it’s a mess. Peeled paint chips is a common find in there. There are bungee’s, tape measure, “sold” tags from when I sell, pens, a journal to keep track of mileage and such and blankets to pack and cover.

    I also have all sorts of Steeler paraphernalia from going to the games and tailgaiting. A steeler blanket, gloves, #43 hat, flask, paper plates and napkins.

    And I still have a box of halloween decorations from my shop because my husband was bitching while remodeling and cleaning the garage that all he does is shuffle crap from one end to the other. When I wanted to put the box in the basement, I thought he was gonna split right down the middle. “Just another box of shit I have to find a home for”. Ok. Fukkit. I’ll just keep it in the back of the jeep for a year and let it slide around when I drive.

  27. I just remembered my trunk! That’s a sad state of affairs. I used to work for an ad agency that split up so everyone took stuff home, I had reams of sketchpads I decided to donate to a school. yep, they’re still in the trunk 7 years later.

  28. Welcome back, Jeff!

    In my trunk: Two bungees, a tire gauge and a hard hat. On the passenger seat: A half-eaten bottle of water and a box of kleenex. In the center console: Phone charger, sunglasses, a film canister full of quarters, and a thumb drive full of mp3s plugged into the armrest USB slot. My agency badges live in my laptop bag, which comes indoors every night.

    And never in a million years would I have guessed that a toboggan was a toque. I always thought a toboggan was a type of snow recreation equipment. Or beverage.

  29. I have a solemn vow to clean my Element once a year, whether it needs it or not!

    And ArmourAll is for poofters!!!

    • johnthebasket says

      I clean my element daily, even though I use it only a small fraction of the time I did when I was younger. ArmourAll seems a little showy.


  30. In my car: one umbrella and one slightly smashed up box of Puffs on the back seat, owner’s manual and insurance card in the glove box, iPhone charger (plugged in, though seldom used) on the center console, 55 cents in a cup holder.

    I live large, I tell ya.

  31. ChuckinBelpre says

    Not much in the car. A few old CD’s, a couple empty Winston packs, a beach chair in a bag and a military-spec ice scraper I have used numerous times to re-enact the parking lot scene from the movie Fargo. Fuck Winter and the Polar Vortex it rode in on. I might spend next Winter in Equatorial Guinea.