So I have this car. As of right now it runs, but it needs more love than I am prepared to offer it. Frankly it is the sort of car which, if you borrowed it, totaled it, called me to apologize for destroying it… I would say to you “I don’t care about the car… are YOU okay?” I realize that is the correct thing to say, but in this case I would, you know, MEAN IT. In other words, I want to be rid of the car.
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But I recognize that simply GIVING you a car might create some sort of weirdness, some lingering feeling in your mind that you OWED me a favor. I don’t want you worrying that I am going to call you one day and ask you to help me move, or for you to drive me to the airport or some other clumsy nonsense. I don't want to bump into you on Ludlow and have you all worried that I am going to try to be your friend. I may not be wealthy enough to afford decent transportation, but I am socially sophisticated enough to understand and appreciate the nature of personal boundaries.
Therefore, in order to alleviate any sort of perceived imbalance that could exist between us, I have listed below several items of nominal or sentimental value that I would like from you in exchange for my vehicle. I would very much like any ONE of these:
1) A huge (well, BIG) block of Parmesano-Reggiano cheese. Not that flavorless brand from Kroger, either, I mean the good stuff. The kind of cheese that delicately melts and turns nutty and creamy on your tongue. It should have those dotted marks along the rind indicating authenticity. I am simply addicted to the stuff, but it is usually a bit more than I want to spend.
2) Any one of the five following meals:
· A big-ass plate of Huevos Rancheros, Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips, guacamole, a pitcher of sweet iced tea and a pint of Graeters (chocolate, nach)
· Braised short ribs with roasted red potatoes, steamed veggies, and some homemade cookies (any sort)
· A Cornish Game Hen, butterflied, roasted, and drizzled with truffle oil, served with wild rice and blanched haricots verts. Oh, and tapioca pudding. I could supply the truffle oil.
· Paella. I’m not too picky about what’s in it, as long as it contains meat, is vaguely traditional and it is made with short grain rice, pref. Valencia. I even have a paella pan.
· If the previous four items are difficult (or just seem pretentious), that’s okay too. I will settle for a bucket of KFC and some HoHo’s, along with a 2L of Coke.
Note that you would not be required to eat with me. Just drop the food off and we can talk about the title.
3) A beautiful silk tie. You don’t need to go all out here, just something slightly nicer than the average department store job. I need things to go with blue tones and green tones, and I like softer, earthier colors…and nothing too busy.
4) One of those whimsical Alessi teakettles designed by Michale Graves. Saw one at the CAC gift shop.
5) An MP3 of this Jonathan Richman song. I don’t know the name of the song, or the name of the album, or even how the song goes. All I know is that it starts out “Are we recording?” and launches into this happy, bouncy bit of pure Jonathan Richmanny goodness. If you have ever seen him live, you understand why this would be so valuable. He sings with such passion and quirky vulnerability, listening to him always makes me feel better. You can just put this on a flash drive and let me… uh… “borrow” it.
Please contact me if you are interested. I am open to discussing alternatives.
(the car, by the way, is a 93 Ford Tempo. It has 174K miles on it, may be about to blow a gasket, and could use new breaks. The AC doesn’t work, it has dents in the side, and it has a front seat permanently reclined all the way back. The gas thingie won’t automatically pop, which means you have to pop the trunk and release it manually. It eats gas and tapes. Oh, and it smells funny. Otherwise it’s the perfect car. Like I said, it runs, for now.)