insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

When I was in high-school, a popular song named “Ode to My Car,” by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn’t. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn’t stop …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
Car radio

Filed Under , , on November 17th, 2012

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

By Seth Kabala

When I was in high-school, a popular song named “Ode to My Car,” by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn’t. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn’t stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song’s plot boiled down to a stoner-sounding young rocker crooning about his rust bucket and pining for a better babe magnet.

That song was interesting, but I was happy to leave it at just that: a song. No desire to bring the metaphor into my life. Such was not to be.

I managed to marry a hot babe–who dislikes porn, but excludes full-color how-to book store sex volumes from this restriction. Yay me!–but my good fortune fell short of the other lamentation proffered in the song.

Now, I will say that my career has blessed us enough financially to afford nice family cars, but the riches stop there, as my work cars have fallen somewhere between good-for-a-back-woods-horror-story-prop and good-for-a-buck-a-swing-anti-drunk-driving-campaign.

Could I have afforded a better car to get me back and forth to the office? Probably. Since I’m now part owner of a tax and business consulting firm, should I be concerned about my image, since I regularly deal with companies putting up eight to nine figures in annual revenues? Probably.

Am I still a cheapskate? Yes.

Perhaps some day my annual income will reach the point where I feel comfortable dropping $40-$50k on a sports car. (Voice of Aragorn) BUT IT IS NOT TODAY!

So I’m making good money and winning the fight against materialism, but just as I’m losing the fight against putting Just for Men on the shopping list with every silver thread that appears in my hair, I’m siding with Cheapskate and losing the battle of cool.

Source: I took Will and Anna to swim practice yesterday in my car, which is currently a 2001 Kia Sportage. The only sporty thing about it is the way it throws you around like you’re on a Baja racing run whenever you have the misfortune to drive over a grain of sand.

The latest problem? Had to buy a new gas tank, because the old one rotted out. Seriously. Rotted. Out. What, are there metal-boring insects in the world now? Has the robot apocalypse finally dawned, the infestation begun, the flashpoint: my gas tank?

My mechanic found a replacement tank, in a junkyard, after a month of searching. But something about (gobbledeegoop car talk I didn’t understand) made it so the seal wouldn‘t seal properly. The result: I can’t fill it up all the way, or it leaks out the top.

I’ve been assured it’s safe to drive (we’ll leave that one alone); I just can’t fill it full.

So, anyway, my car sucks. My five-year-old daughter has noticed this, which brought Sandler back to haunt me from my freshman year of high-school, and not in the cool, stoner way.

Climbing inside, Anna, with Christmas-morning enthusiasm, said, “This looks really old!” I gave my stuffed-shirt, holier-than-thou line about it’s a fiscally-responsible investment and it gets us from point a to point b and how’d you like to walk to swim practice instead of ride? Huh? Huh??

But I kept it light-hearted, letting a strong dose of laughter into my tone. I mean, what are you gonna do? I may have more money than in high-school. I may have the ability to buy a nice car, but as long as Cheapskate (no, the capitalization is not a mistake) roams free in my house, I’m in danger of wearing the Uncool Champion of the Heavyweight World belt. So I might as well embrace it.

I can see the future playing out.

And it involves my kids and belt shopping.

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]

Secondhand word cloud

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #20

Some vehicles bring lackluster competitive spirit to dancing competitions. Despite their nimble construction, most compact models lack the energy to stick it out in the most heated scenarios. Then you've got the ones who were made for dancing. Made for not just cruising down the road, but for...

[ Swap Article ]

Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Speed Plumbing

The pipe masters ascended the stairs and entered the arena. They'd come a long way, building rudimentary structures to escape cribs and punish bullies as children, graduating to more complicated designs as adolescents and adults. Mario had been especially proud of his design that transported him...

[ Swap Article ]

Fortune cookie bad set. death and robber on paper prediction. Vector illustration

Imaginative Cookies

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night's authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, the public, the press--if he could convince them...

[ Swap Article ]

Businessman Drawing on the Whiteboard. Pop Art

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #19

A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Funny broken furnitures trash pile

Backyard of Doom

The kids left detritus lying all over the yard during a recent play session. When I went out later to bring the garbage cans up from the curb, it was like Indiana Jones making his way through the Temple of Doom, stumbling over a rubber rain boot, high stepping over the top of an old bar-stool,...

[ Swap Article ]

!FINAL FINAL Mike Graphic Album Cover v2 Option D copy

Review: The Worst Kind of Thoughtful

"One-hundred percent Italian" stand-up comic Mike Vecchione hails from the Queens borough of New York City. While writing, rehearsing, and recording The Worst Kind of Thoughtful, his 2nd comedy album, we're guessing he never gave a thought to how the awesomeness of his work would necessitate public...

[ Swap Article ]

Running coach - dinosaur

Surplus Children

Crouching under the elevated prison, the man held his hands over his ears, rocking back and forth like a buoy on a turbulent sea. No, no, no, he thought. This could not be happening. He'd done everything by the book. Prepared the beast's meals exactly as prescribed, acquired the best clothing and...

[ Swap Article ]

???????????????????????

Editor’s Note_TFF Issue #18

The entertainer waited patiently at the street corner. Regaled in his Darth Vader mask, he struck a menacing, if not eye-brow raising, figure. A black cape flowed behind him in the soft downtown breeze, also ruffling the hem of his kilt. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Choose Smile Face

The Answer Is Me

Fresh off finishing my Competent Communicator Toastmasters credential, I veered into zany territory for my next speech. I suspect this is where I will live from now on, with perhaps the occasional trip back to Seriousness Land. Why put yourself through the pain of voluntary public speaking if you're...

[ Swap Article ]