|Ashtrays, how Quaint!
||[Sep. 23rd, 2010|06:14 am]
...I may as well have been shopping for a buggy whip or a coal-scuttle, but I did eventually find something that can be MADE into an ashtray even if it was meant for a spoon-holder...
You would think that Volvo, a company renowned for Safety, would have put the driver's ashtray someplace other than *behind the gearshift*. But wait, there's more- it is also a shallow plastic trough and it's in front of the fusebox, so that one cannot check the fuses without flinging ashes all over the car. This, though silly, does not bother me too much because it's my car and I smoke, and if I really minded having ashes on my clothes and smelling like cigarettes all the time, well duh, I wouldn't smoke.
This is a human factors engineering error, though, so I yanked the thing out. Now it sits next to the emergency brake. I don't like having anything but a door between me and the fusebox, but I can't yank out the gearshift and that's that.
I should not have to look DOWN, taking my eyes away from the road, to put my fucking cigarette out.
The passengers have a lovely ashtray, conveniently located and constructed with actual metal.
Perhaps this is Volvo's way of encouraging carpooling; I could be picking up hitchhikers, and instead of sex or money I could demand that they sit in the back seat and put my cigarettes out for me. You think I'm joking? How long does it take a three-year-old to get behind a vehicle moving backwards? I've seen some in action and that is just the kind of thing they *live* to do.
It's not a big surprise; they are penned up all day as we were not. We were allowed normal educational activities like falling out of trees by mistake and trying again, digging in hundred-year-old dumpsites, catching bees, making bows and arrows and shooting them at each other (pointing anything but our bare hands was FORBIDDEN, but as the eldest I deemed this okay-but-don't-tell, it was only a stick of grass, jeez...; crawling through several dozen yards of storm drains, dropping headfirst (my brother, not me) from the rope swing at the swimming hole in the Musconetcong (or was it the Raritan?) thumbing our collective nose at the POSTED:CONTAMINATED sign...we had practical, wholesome ways to experience risk and would *never* have dashed into the street the way I have seen little kids do here. A car was a big fast machine,a useful tool like the tractor or Daddy's deer rifle, not a game piece or a toy.
This is why *parking lots frighten me* especially around here. Nodding off on 880 at seventy miles an hour, while an undesirable event, is not as scary as going to the grocery store at six o'clock on Saturday in Petaluma. People are friendlier here, but they don't do things the way my mother did.
One grips one's child by its hand when walking in the parking lot. One does not let go, no matter how it screams and struggles; one does not give in to laziness or misplaced guilt feelings, and one lets go only when inside closed doors. These people have taught their children to be more afraid of Guys With Beards than they are of Cars.
Falling asleep while driving on a freeway would (did) make me STUPID, and if I smashed myself against a wall or became involved with the undercarriage of a semi, this would be really bad and my loved ones would cry, but I would retain most of my good name.
If little Diddy Doody or baby Pancrase double-fakes his mother and rushes my car successfully I'll be sorted out as EVIL by fiat, no matter what happens or how slowly I was driving.
~~~ The only way I could redeem myself would be by slitting my own throat on the steps of City Hall(if I actually hurt anyone) or little Smackdab's parents' front lawn (if no one was injured) on Halloween when nobody would believe I was actually doing it until it was too late. I would of course have to have my own sutures on hand and some booze to pour onto it, but I could do that.~~~
In the meantime, Since I am not EVIL, have no plans to become so and little chance of success if I tried, I have purchased a handsome ceramic probably-a-spoon-holder which I intend to velcro onto my dashboard where I can SEE it when I am driving.
It says "forol lord of the forol cock domeotic Bauiyaid forol sooster cock sooster' and features a chicken, a male of course. One can surmise, deduce what the writing on this thing is meant to say, but only 'cock' is legible at first glance. Who could resist such a marvelous piece? I laughed my ass off, and paid two-fifty-plus-tax, a bargain if I ever saw one.
Now I just need the epoxy and the velcro, and then I can thumb my nose at suicidal Toddlers and their neurotic Parents while puffing madly at my American Spirit and leaning on the horn.
America! Ain't it great?