Car Set-Ups - 4/24/04
Below are two short car-related tidbits that I've been meaning to mention but hadn't found the chance. The reason I mention them now is because tomorrow's post is another Spacemobile story, for which these might provide context, and, if possible, make a Spacemobile story even nuttier than it already is.

When I drove to Arizona a few weeks ago, I was planning on it being the last trip for the Spacemobile for a while. I'd barely been driving it, the insurance was about to run out, and I was very strongly considering just letting it expire and living the dream of seeing how long I could get by in LA without a car. Impossible, you say? Perhaps, but realistically I can bike to all my jobs and can use the bus system to get everywhere else I need, at least for a while. In fact I'd already done it for three weeks when the Mobile was crippled in January, as well as for a few weeks in October and a few more weeks this month, just to see if I could.
Instead, I came back from Arizona with two cars. My grandmother, selling her house and possessions to live nomad-style with relatives through her remaining golden years, had decided to give me her 1985 Buick LaSabre for the purpose of selling it and splitting the money with her. It's an awesome old car, classic in that '70s pimp kind of way, but it does screw up my car plans. Now instead of having no insurance I may have to insure a second car so that people can test-drive it. But at least if I'm hankering to pick up any comely tarts on Hollywood and Vine, I've got the wheels to do it with.


The second story involves the newest problem the Spacemobile has developed. Mercifully, this one doesn't inhibit driving , but it is quite possibly the most annoying quirk any car can have. The van now honks, all the time, for absolutely no reason. Yes, the Spacemobile had developed Car-Tourrette's. You'll be making a turn and HONK! The horn just starts going off like crazy. You'll be coming up behind someone and HONK HOOOONK! The horn just lays into them like they stole something. Not only is it startling to you the driver, but it makes everyone around you extremely agitated. And if there's one thing LA doesn't need it's more agitated drivers. Maybe I should sell the car to someone in New York City, where at least it would fit in. They could sleep in it too, which would definitely beat Manhatten rent.
I've learned you can make it stop by pulling up on the horn, and much of the time it'll stay quiet as long as you keep your hands well away from the steering wheel. But there's always that chance. The best story is from when JD and the guys took the car to Vegas and they pulled up behind a car full of Nazi Skinheads and literally prayed to the God of Volkswagen Tourrette's Syndrome that the horn wouldn't go off on them.
I guess I could get it fixed, but it sounds like one of those electical issues that's really expensive. Maybe I could just snip the horn-wire and knock the horn out entirely. Then when you pressed it would emit this hoarse, exhaling sound like one of those dogs with its larynx removed. Or else I could just get that foghorn I've always wanted installed. That's really the only appropriate horn for the Spacemobile anyway.



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