Much of the time when I ought to be sewing, I can instead be found scrolling through the photo galleries on Craigslist, inventing reasons why I need yet another tufted velvet sofa, or convincing myself that that free hot tub probably isn’t THAT gross. In fact, just this morning I am asking myself if there is indeed any good reason NOT to buy this antique stove:
Yesterday I came across a grammatically challenged listing with unhelpful photographs. Two words jumped out at me: Church Doors. I enlarged the photograph and squinted a bit, and low and behold, they seemed kind of beautiful.
Obviously I need Church doors. I mean, if our ultimate objective is to form some sort of cult, then we really ought to prioritize our church-y image, right? Besides they were really cheap. According to my trusty sweater math, 4 big church doors were selling for 9 pairs of Arm Warmers. That sounds like a bargain!
Our friend Clay was out back building a woodshed for us. He has a big truck and is easily distracted, which very conveniently enables my Craigslist habit. Soon we were on our way to New Jersey to check out these mysterious church doors.
Here I must just stop for a moment and comment on something that charms the crap out of me every time I drive through Jersey – the names of the towns. Oh my god. Ho-Ho-Kus? Piscataway? Parsippany? Weehawken? Mahwah? Or the best one of all – possibly the best-named town in the entire nation – Cheesequake! It’s like an earthquake of Velveeta! For a long time I charitably assumed it was pronounces Chess-a-kwa–kee or something faux-Algonquin like that. Then I met a dead-behind-the-eyes native who informed me without the least bit of amusement that it is indeed Cheese-Quake. Damn, Jersey. I don’t care how bad you smell, I really like you.
Eventually we arrived at a tangled industrial warehouse in Passaic where we were greeted by a friendly and extraordinary looking woman. When you imagine weirdos on the other side of Craigslist Ads, your brain would never conjure up a more perfect example than her. She took us on a detour to a mattress warehouse where she offered me a great deal on a sketchy California king with stains on it. But all I wanted was the Church Doors.
When I saw the four doors my heart fell to my stomach and then exploded through the top of my head. They were awesome. They were not doors, they were frikkin WALLS. They were intensely carved and massive and seething with 19th century churchiness. Holy crap! I couldn’t believe these were in my grasp. Quickly I handed the woman my tight roll of 20 dollar bills so that the transaction could be done before she added another completely justifiable zero to the end of the price. I was getting the deal of the century, and wanted to drive away with the doors before she realized it.
The only thing preventing our swift getaway was the oversized walls themselves. It took ages to painfully maneuver them onto the truck, which groaned under their weight. When we finally got home it took seven of us close to two hours to lift, slide, pivot, cajole, huff, puff and beg them into Mason’s library. The poor floor will probably collapse under their weight. Or the walls may very well tip over and crush an unsuspecting friend. But who cares, we can build new floors and make new friends… These doors are worth it. High Five Craisglist!
When lined up in order, the ornate carving across the top of the doors reads, “Jesus said I am the Way the Truth and the Light” The lack of proper punctuation grates on me. And actually, the word “Light” is missing. So it is more like, “Jesus said I am the Way the Truth the….?” It is an invitation for Biblical MadLibs!
Oh my god. Dios Mio! I just stumbled upon the most convenient segue ever! In Spanish Jesus (Hey Zues!) would say “Yo Soy El Camino….”
And Guess what else I just got on Craigslist? Ahem…..A fucking 19fucking72 fucking El fucking Camino!!! Sorry for the cursing, but it’s a 1972 El Camino! Dude, I know. It’s a lot to handle.
Mason and I have been sharing a beater station wagon for 7 years, and it was time for another vehicle. I needed something practical. And what could be more practical than the business-in-front/party-in-the-back wondrous car mullet? It suits all my needs! Actually, I am pretty much a hermit who never drives herself anywhere, so frankly a rotted out Model T with no tires would probably serve almost all my car needs too. But it wouldn’t be as awesome!
The El Camino I chose to buy seems infinitely more practical than the one I almost bought. This one is still available folks. It was a little over my budget, but worth every penny. One of you should get it!!!! We can have an El Camino club!! Please?
Anyways, I am pretty excited to be fulfilling my lifetime dream of owning my very own El Camino. It isn’t so much my passion for old Chevys or need for a powerful 350 turbo engine with duel exhaust that fueled my desire for this truck. It’s the Ween song, “El Camino”. I love that song. Do you know it? I love Ween. Do any of you listen to Ween? They got me through college. It’s hard to say exactly why their music resonates so deeply with me, I don’t even huff Scotch Guard. But I cherish that band, and now thanks to my new car from Craigslist, I have had the song “El Camino” running though my head on a loop for three weeks. It has instigated a little Ween Revival in my life.
My new El Camino is gloriously, unapologetically ugly. With its dappled, flat brown primer paint-job, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a giant turd. We were trying to come up with a name for it that touched upon both its hot-rod street cred and its undeniably fecal-ness. Mason suggested “SkidMark”…Oof! That is so bad that it is hard not to call it that. Plus it is short enough to fit on a vanity plate. Take that, MEAT WGN!
Everyone immediately says to me, “I cant wait to see how you paint it.” But the truth is, I am really digging how ugly it is. I already have so much stuff in my life that is intricately decorated and precious. I am loving the fact that my new car is a rusty tank that I can scrape and bash and it only looks better for the wear. If anything, I might go for some tastefully restrained 1970s stripes. I have been really grooving on 70s stripes. My platonic ideal of how a car ought to look is the 1979 pinto cruising wagon. Oh yeah!
It turns out the Skidmark is a total Sausage Magnet. Ladies, take note – if you want men to come out of the woodwork and strike up conversations with you, get yourselves to Craigslist and find a shitty El Camino. Literally every time I park my car, some new guy is there nodding approvingly. Gentlemen, if you would like to attract a similar level of attention from the opposite sex, you would need a brand new Golden Retriever puppy with a ribbon around its neck
Yesterday I was fueling her up for the first time, and some guy walked by and was like, “71? Nice.”
I nodded all nonchalant. “72.” I said, like it was no big deal. And with precise comedic timing I discovered that the fuel pump didn’t automatically shut off when the tank was full, and I sprayed myself fantastically with premium gasoline. I was doused. My cover was blown. Gah! Now I had to go home and change the outfit that I had been planning on wearing straight through til April. Skidmark likes to keep my ego in check. He pumps me up and then sticks a pin in me.
My maiden voyage in Skidmark was to the gym. Yeah baby. Pumping Iron. As I lay on my back bench pressing (I am tempted to say a number roughly double the actual weight, but I will restrain myself) one of the muscle dudes walked in and announced, “Hey, whose El Camino is that?” My weights clanked down and I wiped a drop of sweat from my brow. “That’s mine” I said all casually, dropping my voice two octaves.
Thus ensued an entire conversation about big block engines and cowl induction. I expressed convincing opinions about positraction rear ends, despite the fact that my entire knowledge of the subject came from a single Wikipedia entry that I had skimmed the night before. But whatever, I was doing bicep curls as I spoke, so I am pretty sure that added a patina of gravitas to everything I said. I love being this cool.
After my workout, I strode into the rainy parking lot, being sure to take wide strides as to allow the cool air to properly circulate around my massive testicles. I got into my trusty Skidmark and turned the key, ready to loudly peel out of there like a proper douchebag.
Click. Click. Shit, the car didn’t start. Skidmark, how can you do this to me?
I summoned all of my manly mechanical knowledge to get my car to start (by which I mean, I just turned to key again and whimpered). After flicking the lights on and off and adjusting the volume of the stereo failed to solve the problem, I gave up. Gah. Stupid Skidmark. I was so cool 5 minutes ago, and now I had to walk home. In the rain.
I pulled my hoodie up over my head and hunched against the raindrops as I walked down the highway. As I marched I sang the “El Camino” song loudly to myself. “Ah she’s fast, Never slow!” A tractor trailer cruised by and flung an entire puddle over my head, but I kept singing. Aztec machine speeding to the light!
I decided then and there that my next sweater collection will be named after Ween songs. Due to Ween’s lack of universal appeal, I know that will only excite approximately 4 of you. But to you 4, I am making devil horns and biting my lip at the computer screen, cuz I know how much you will appreciate it.
“CuandoCuandoooo! CuandoCuandooooo! Cuandocuandooo!”
* * *
I love hearing your comments, and I read every single one. Since this blog is overrun with spam kindly share your thoughts on my Facebook page. That guy just called me back about the red stove. Should I get it?