All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Friday, April 8, 2016

My Enigmatic Bond With The Pep Boys --Touchez Moi!

Happily, it doesn't happen very often, but when it does there's only one thing for it. This past Saturday, the 90 mile drive from the coast consumed 3 hours. Here is the math: 90miles divided by 3 hours equals an average of 30 miles per hour --on Interstate 80. It is a freeway. Unimpeded velocity is usually 70 mph.  On that day, tens of thousands of cars were slowing up behind the inevitable driver who, while slipping in and out of consciousness, decides brake suddenly and perhaps change lanes, text, or simply run a pop quiz on the skill of other motorists --and afterward, accelerate mischievously back to rational speed. Car behind also brakes and accelerates, but requires a fraction of a second longer to do so, so does the car behind that and so on. If you are lucky enough to be 1000 cars behind them, the short lag, of perhaps 1/5 second, multiplies 1000 times to a full minute or more of standing still, giving you opportunities to photograph the greening Coastal Range. Rather fine, isn't it?
Then, 5 minutes later (or before, I've forgotten by now) it happens again and we watch spring vegetation reclaiming the wetlands:
Five or ten minutes of patient idling is rewarded once again with freeway speeds, wheeee!
Then, of course, it happens again and again. Neither mathematics nor any coping mechanisms Californians devise can help abusing one's body as a spring-steel stop and go --oh no, screech--stop and go hyperalert linkage between butt and brake in this sort of motoring --especially among senior citizens on fixed incomes like the test subject in this scholarly essay. Many hours later, our abused remains return rattled home.

Sunday morning comes and our subject is wakened by his skeleton  crawling out and offering to haul him around in the pillow case. Let us draw a curtain over that mis-start. Everyone knows the day after Saturday was Monday this week. At 8 a.m., our subject visits his doctor who runs a sonogram for blood clots a recommends therapeutic hobbling. No one to turn to now except Manny, Moe and Jack.

Since 1921, The Pep Boys have sold great automotive accessories and solved most of the world's problems with products like this:
Who could resist this wondrous nostrum from Ontario, Canada, full of heating elements, cooling gel, memory-foam and  an invitation where a bit sticks out inviting, "Touch Me!", in French?! Nobody, that's who. These people understand old guys who have no more natural padding back there --dudes who worked their asses off years and years ago. I plunked down a couple 20's and installed it in the parking lot. Circulation returned. My pain is gone! Someday soon I will even read  the directions! But that is another essay.



25 comments:

  1. I am so very glad that you found a temporary replacement for your hard-working fundament.
    And loathe and detest freeway driving. Back roads every time when I have a choice. Which I usually don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, I suspect back roads and collateral arteries address the subconscious mind in a way that freeways don't. The executive, conscious mind is not so much overworked after we have moved on them.

      Delete
  2. sometimes I must acknowledge that I am but a novice writer standing in the shadow of giants. It is posts like this that make me lower my head and just dream of the day I'll be able to write like this. Great post my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thos. Jefferson wrote a friend in 1811: "Though I am an old man, I am but a young gardener."

      I think you and I both feel the same way about writing. Good thing too!

      Delete
  3. I have been on that I-80 stretch driving way too fast, but knowing if I didn't maintain speed I'd become a greasy spot in the road. As for Pep Boys, you remind me that I need a set windshield wipers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some untroubled times to make the trip on that stretch but it changes. I call my SF and Marin Kids to get the latest changes --and Heaven help travelers when there's SF events going on.

      Delete
  4. Physicists never read instructions! So much more fun that way. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "physicists" and "men", Tom :)

      Delete
    2. Well, to our credit, we are careful where we store atomic bombs, mainly off driveways. Have you seen what happens when you back your car over one of those?

      Delete
    3. Dreadful. Vaporizing. Fairly instantaneous. And hard to explain to the insurance company.

      And I should have added that my husband never reads instructions and I always do - and he can put things together without them by the time I get through the first half page. The laugh is on me :)

      Delete
    4. Any A-Bombs in the driveway are going to drive the homeowner's policy deductible way up

      Delete
  5. Never has the agony of freeway driving been so eloquently (not to mention scientifically) expressed. And enhanced with lovely photos!

    I can FULLY relate to the agony of trying to crawl out of bed, and finally resorting to having your skeleton drag you around in a pillowcase due to the pain (it happened to me this morning).

    I've never previously thought of the Pep Boys as being saviors, but occasionally they are. I do remember visiting Manny, Moe, and Jack on many occasions with my father when I was a child. That was in the fledgling days of transportation, when Model T's were still a novelty.....and agony was a thing of the future....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Normaphotos are always lovely and I'll pass your compliment to her. Sorry you have pain. I don't like it. Pain hurts. I like Pep Boys but lately I go to Larryz Lot on X ST. to get parts for the VW Bus. It's 45 years old now and they know how to update its innards. Would that my Doctor could do that oftener for me.

      Delete
  6. I'm relieved to hear that you didn't have a blood clot, Geo. This might have been a very different post.

    That doesn't sound like a very fun three-hour trip but you got some beautiful photos out of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. O Jenny, I'm relieved too. But 3 hours with Norma is something I can't complain about --even if my legs start hurting. She told me so herself, so it must be true.

      Delete
  7. A padded cushion to sit on while driving sounds like a good idea. Stop and go traffic is not much of a problem where I live now but when I lived in the city it was terrible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pad really helps with all the stop and go, Emma. I think, someday, cars will be mostly brakes and clutch --needing only enough engine to move a few feet per hour.

      Delete
  8. Geo, you know all about the benefits of asa and things like plavix on a regular basis, so I won't harp. Actually, I find myself reverting back to that role in dreams, when I sleep in the hours allotted. I make sure people take things on time, and in dosage appropriate.
    Anyway, I have an unfortunate memory of Pep Boys, from graduate school, and the one time I've hired a lawyer (other than taxes).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, I should have known you'd mention treatments, but My dr. called and said there's no evidence of clots in the sonogram --so no clopidogrel recommended right now. Asa, however was the 1st name of my childhood G.P., which is how I learned the Hebrew word for "healer". I'm being treated for another thing that might have been involved, but the Canadian ass gasket is what's saving my driving comfort right now. As for Manny, Moe and Jack, their part in this is done. Thanks for caring, Mike. You're a stabilizer, y'know?

      Delete
  9. Norma's opportune photos reminded me of how lovely California is in the spring. And your commentary reminded me of its freeway nightmares that occur daily. So glad that you didn't have a blog clot! I'd gladly give you some of my natural padding if I could. No matter how hard I worked my butt off, it's still following behind me. Here's hoping your super cushion will relieve the stress! Have a good one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Blue! I used to have a good one. Now I have to buy padding from Pep Boys! Ah well, age is supposed to be a privilege, but geriatric sarcopenia is a dubious inclusion.

      Delete
  10. You nailed the "domino effect" of freeway driving.
    Glad Manny, Moe and Jack studied anatomy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The effect is real and amazes me every time it demonstrates itself, Tom. All those tiny reaction intervals add up like a wave built backwards.

      Delete
  11. Long trips made longer by the traffic weighs heavily on one's butt, brain, and heart. If only Manny, Moe and Jack had something for frayed nerves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arleen, your comment got Norma and me discussing the money-making certainty of high-volume tranquilizer and stimulant sales in auto stores, but I suspect it might defeat its purpose. We'd be afraid to drive to the bank.

      Delete

I value your comments. Say hello. Reach out a bit. I do.