* This is probably where, looking back, my writing started to get better. If it's still not David Sedaris it's at least getting nearer to Dave Berry. In fact I had been studying the Dave Berry structure of articles, and this was the first time I really felt I managed to nail it. By this time the year had changed to 1999 or maybe even 2000. Also I realize now that during my day to day life I don't make enough Isle of Man jokes. Also if you want to play spot the major, guess why I was making so many history jokes.
I do not know anything about cars. I put gas in mine. It's white. That's my general philosophy towards cars right there, they're different colours and you put gas in them. The other day I went to Mr. Lube to get my oil changed. After I pulled in Mr. Lube Man (if that's his official title) began asking me questions that I had way too much trouble answering.
"What year is your car?" he asked.
"White." I answered.
"No what year is it?"
I guessed, "Umm '87?"
"It's not an '87." he informed me.
"Oh, I guess not. Wait it's new so it's a '98."
He punched that into his computer and then tested me further, "How many miles do you have?"
That was easy since it was on a gauge right in front of me, "Seventeen thousand."
He looked at me for a minute and seeing that I was done my sentence asked, "Seventeen thousand even?"
"Oh no. Seventeen thousand three hundred and seventy seven."
"Thank you." I began to suspect he thought I was either a jerk or stupid. "Can you pop the hood?"
"The which?" "The hood." "Oh, right." Anyway it goes on. (For a complete transcript check the latest issue of the YM.)
I have a friend who knows a lot about cars. He's constantly saying things to me like, "I'm so excited because yesterday I dropped the whozzitz from the snarfgus and re-hurbled the snussypuss." He doesn't actually say words like 'snarfgus' but for all that I understand of the conversation he might as well. So after the long explanation of what he did to his car we then engage in the same conversation again and again.
"What is that going to do?" I will ask.
"Well it's going to make the car louder and faster." he explains as though I haven't been paying attention.
"Doesn't it already go faster than the speed limit?"
"So what is going faster than that going to do? I mean you can only speed so much, it's not like you're ever going to get that much faster. And why do you need louder? I mean a stereo I could understand but I don't like hearing my engine. Why would you care what it sounds like, unless it's sounding like it's going to die."
"It's the sound of power. It's thrilling." he replies. I suspect that he has a small penis.
The basic fact is that I don't care about cars. My car is white, it takes gas to run and it gets me from point A to point B. In addition while in my car I can listen to U2 or the Matthew Good Band as loud as I want. I can also sing along and nobody cares. That's really all I care about in the arena of the automobile. So if I can't change my oil myself I don't see that as a major loss. Women however are different. I don't know any more about women than I do cars. I also know very little about the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man however generally isn't a pressing topic in my life. I have never gotten an erection thinking about the Isle of Man (okay I did once but I don't want to talk about that).
Women however are one of the most interesting subjects to me. Yes I would be very happy indeed if all I had to do in life was spend time with my girlfriend (which I don't have) and kill video game Nazis on my computer. Really I think I could make a life out of that. I suppose my perfect life would be wake up in the morning and then shower. After that I'd make love to my beautiful girlfriend. Following that while she was smoking or running for political office or overhauling the hurble nertz in her car, I would happily commanding the British Army against hordes of computer Nazis. Sometimes for a change I'd play as Americans. But only sometimes. I don't have a girlfriend however, so my days generally go more along the lines of the following. I get up, worry about studying for my next history exam. After worrying about my slipping GPA for awhile, I'll masturbate.
Now I'm not knocking masturbation; as Woody Allen said it's sex with someone I love. However after awhile I do get despondent. Feeling all alone sometimes I find myself drinking vodka out of a soup can and trying to reenact Kurt Vonnegut novels with my socks while listening to the Greatest Speeches of Neville Chamberlain on my stereo, to ease the pain. I have over the years been able to acquire a small bit of knowledge about women however. First off unlike cars you don't have to put gas in them. I mean that statement in the literal sense; I'm sure you could probably find some clever metaphor, but you really don't have to wheel them up to a pump and put in refined oil. This knowledge has saved me from countless embarrassing situations.
Okay enough being silly.
On to the practical advice I should like to share with you all. Most of this I came across after working for four years in a mainly female environment (not the Phoenix but my other job). Sure the management hasn't given me a raise in four years but all the useful knowledge of women I've picked up working there more than makes up for it (this is a load of crap it doesn't). For example I learned that women like tall men. I found this out while listening to my co-workers talk about their boyfriends. "Oh yeah, that's the last time I date someone whose not at least three inches taller than me." one of them said. The other three agreed. I was upset because all of them were at least as tall as me. After that I resolved to grow a foot taller. I'm still five foot nine. I also still earn minimum wage. I'm looking for a job with shorter women. At least my car runs fine. It's white.
Jeffery Simpson is a third year student. He has no major. Except for Major Major Major Major but if you haven't read Catch - 22 you're not laughing right now. Speaking of laughing if you enjoyed this article and the Soapbox you should e-mail Jeffery at firstname.lastname@example.org that way he will know you like it. Maybe your praise will convince him to stop playing Buster Keaton albums to try to make himself hip.