Big giant head

In Other News

My truck isn't terminal, but just barely. The diagnosis is something about the front bearing essentially crumbling into dust.

The mechanic says as long as he's dropping the transmission for that he might as well check the whole thing over. Um, okay, that sounds logical. Who am I to argue? And it's been needing a new clutch so he's going to do that while he's in there. Preliminary damage estimate: $1500. Ouch. I could buy my stupid rental car for that amount. Twice. Maybe three times.

And how is the Puke Green Escort? Quite honestly, it's scaring the hell out of me. I'm used to driving my Cruiser, riding high above the other traffic, safely armored by more than a ton of steel. In the Escort my butt is maybe a foot above the pavement and I'm in a tin can that isn't even tin, but aluminum. This thing will crumble if you even look at it sideways.

My Cruiser holds the road like a tank. I can take my hands off the wheel, turn around and build a birdhouse in the back seat, and I'll still be holding my lane when I turn back around. This Escort bounces around like a BB in a boxcar. It's so damned light that a breeze hit me this afternoon and I found myself on the other side of the freeway, across the retaining wall, driving in the other direction.

And I'm not too happy about those seatbelts. I resisted wearing them when the laws were first passed, but now I feel naked without one. In the Escort, I'm naked even when I'm wearing it. They're supposed to lock when you pull on them, right? Not these things. They just feed out until you hit the end of the belt, which in an actual application would mean my head would be hanging off the front of the hood.

I'm as devil may care, live dangerously as the next guy, but this car seriously scares me. I'm going to be stuck in a rental until the end of next week, so I think I'm going to exchange this for a real car this weekend.

I thought Rent A Wreck meant I'd be renting a car that was a wreck. I didn't know it was a prediction.


Thursday -- July 8, 1999
The Real Deal

When Beth first started her journal I decided it would be hands-off for me, a comment-free zone if you will. Sure, she was clearly copying me, trying to be like me, wanting to be me, riding my coattails with dreams of instant Internet Celebrity, horning in on the <sob!> one pure thing that makes my miserable life worth living... But I decided to leave her be anyway.

Well. Someone is just begging for a comeuppance. Beth wants to slander me in her journal? Okayfine, I'm defending myself. The gloves come off now, Stitches in Time just became a comment-magnet zone. I present to you the Real Deal, the truth behind the fiction of Beth's World, The Way Things Really Are. I'm all about the truth, and you know that, so you know you'll get the real skinny from me.

Let's first address her claim that I think she updates so much just to make me look bad. The fact of the matter is that she does update just to make me look bad. She's devious that way, believe me. I should know, I'm married to her. She doesn't care about you, she's not writing for you, oh no, not at all. I'm the one who cares about you, not her. All Beth cares about is making me look bad. It's a driving force in her life. Really, honest and true. She lies awake at night devising ways to do it. Ask me about the time she drew a line across my forehead just above my eyebrows and wrote "Elevator stops here" in permanent red ink (and misspelled "here," I might add) while I was sleeping. Her journal is just one more avenue to Chuck Oppression, that's all it is.

She suggests I'm resentful of her recent surge in popularity. I'll take credit for that, thankyewverymuch. I urged her to start a journal, I provided the software, I designed her page, I uploaded her entries every freakin' night until I showed her how to do it herself because I got sick of her sly gotcha! smile when she'd ask me, I set her up with a counter so she'd know how popular she was getting, I'm providing the server space (for free!) and, perhaps most importantly, I served as a sterling example of How To Keep An Online Journal after which to model herself. It's all me, folks, not her. And lest you think I'm taking too much credit, allow me to point out that I haven't even mentioned all the ghostwriting I do for her.

And then she goes on to poke mild fun at herself for her obsession with her counter. Excuse me? Now she's stealing my topics! I was going to write about that! Hell, I did write about that, but she didn't like my tone and threatened to withhold sex for a month if I uploaded it, so I didn't. It was a great entry, too, probably my best ever. It was clever and comical, cutting yet kind, sweet without being syrupy, witty yet winsome, and a host of other alliterative descriptions.

Seriously, it was some damned fine writing. It was sure to have been nominated for, and won, the Best Entry Ever In The History And/Or Future Of Online Journaling award from the joint Savoy/DiaristNet/Yahoo Cool Picks/Cool Site of the Day/Guitar Center/Al Gore Commission on Internet Excellence/Snooty Web Designers committee. You all know how coveted that little baby is, right? Well, it could have been mine. Would have been mine. But, nooooo... Beth didn't like my tone and threatened to withhold the goodies. So that's an entry I could have put up but didn't. So if you think I don't update enough (as some people do, harrumph), now you know that it's all Beth's fault. I write 'em and she vetoes 'em.

You've seen me say I never get any respect around here, right? Well, this is simply proof of that. I provided the loving, gentle push that launched Beth into our world of online journaling, and she has thanked me by turning on me. No respect, not one bit. And she's teaching it to Zoe, too, oh yes she is.

Zoe delights in calling me Goofy Daddy now. She puts me on Timeouts all the time. When we play pretend I'm often cast in the role of Sister, sometimes Baby Sister. It's all Beth. She's teaching her this disrespect. When Zoe gets to a writing age, I have every expectation Beth will urge her to write her own journal ridiculing me.

If I seem bitter it's because I am. I'm sorry to be such a downer tonight, but she ... <sniff> ... she really hurt me tonight. You're supposed to be able to trust your spouse, right? Isn't that the way things are supposed to be? They're not supposed to savage you like that in a public forum, are they? I just don't know anymore... I'm so confused... Maybe it's me, maybe I'm a bad person.

I feel so alone right now, so unloved. Hold me?


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins