You Can Set My Truck On Fire And Roll It Down A Hill And That Would Make Me Very Happy
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi! I've missed you Internet! I've been a bad, bad blogger, I know. I'll try to kick it up a notch or two, but I'm not making any promises. All I can say is, don't give up on us, baby. We're still worth one more try. And I'll never leave you. Because you? Complete me. 

Okay then, now that we've gotten the bad lyrics and love declarations out of the way, I have much to tell you. 

Do you realize I haven't finished my Mexican tales yet?

Believe it or not, I have a whole lot left in my bag of crazy Mexican adventures I haven't pulled out yet. 

You would think I'd had enough sizzling times between not realizing my passport was expired until I was trying to board a plane to Mexico; to my attempted abduction at the hands of aggressive Mexican timeshare salesmen; discovering our timeshare was a memorial to 1975 including a lack of air conditioning, phones, TV, Internet and to my utmost horror, no blowdryers; walking the beach at our timeshare hovel where we offered crack, blow weed, something called gong and a vast array of pottery hanging from a walking Mexican salesman; my humiliating defeat onstage in a Mexican dance-off; the subsequent move to a posh resort after I woke up that first morning and knew, as God is my witness, I could not live an entire week without a blow dryer. I was afraid I'd have to dip into the gong, if I had to spend one more night in that hellhole; And of course, my unexpected naked massage on the beach and I do mean NAKED. ON THE BEACH. 

Man, in recounting my adventures, it's like I spent a whole week chewing on that hallucinogenic Tequila worm. Where was Charlie Sheen?

And now, I've gone and ventured to San Francisco, Napa and back and I've got a whole slew of new adventures for you. 

I sure hope you enjoy other people's vacation pictures because we're going to have us some fun, you little Chimichangas. 

But for today, I'm not going to show you any vacation pictures. 

I know. Sad. 

Today, we're going to talk about how I live my life as a complete and utter ass. 

Most of you already know this about me. But I've got two new humiliating stories and since there's no fun in being an ass unless you can share it, here you go. My gift to you. 

Here's the first one.

My husband has a truck. He has a car, too, for his normal life. But he drives his truck when he morphs into Cowboy Dan and goes off to the shooting range. He has to fit in with all the other shooter dudes. Heaven forbid he pulls up in a *gasp* sedan. His expert marksmanship credibility would be shot to hell, (pun intended), if he pulled his gun stroller out of the trunk of his regular car. 
(Yes, all the macho shooter dudes cart their guns around in gun strollers.)

And this truck of his is big. Way too big for my driving tastes. 

I like a smooth riding machine. I like something that glides effortlessly in and out of traffic and is easy to manage when I'm busy glaring at all the moronic drivers around me. I like something that slips seamlessly into a parking space instead of feeling like I'm maneuvering an Airbus into my parking space at Walmart. I like something that doesn't require the skills of a stunt car driver to make my way through the McDonald's drive-thru. 

The big truck fulfills none of these needs and every time I'm in it, I find more reasons to hate that beast. 

I do have my own car, but there's just one thing. We have a 17-year-old daughter who is very BUSY. 

And because we don't give our teenagers a car until they've earned honor roll grades throughout all of their high school years—resulting in a car as a graduation present—and because I'm not comfortable with the teenager trying to drive that big truck—and because there is no WAY, her father is going to let her drive the fancy driving machine, she always ends up with my car. 

Usually I drive the fancy driving machine which is exceptionally awesome for zooming around moronic drivers, but sometimes I get stuck with the truck or as I have renamed it: The Stupid Truck. 

The Stupid Truck and I are not friends and every day I find more reasons to hate its massiveness. 

It is definitely not made for a girl. Everything in it is big. Even the distance between me and the radio is so big, I have to stretch to change the channel. 

And then there's the middle school car line. 

With two narrow car lanes that curve and twist, it challenges my excellent driving skills when I'm in The Stupid Truck. And ever dang morning that I'm in that thing, I run The Stupid Truck up onto the curb as we maneuver around those tortuous corners. As the beast slams back down with a huge thud, my darling middle school carpool kids all yell in unison, out the windows, "CURB!" 

I almost took out the principal one day, when he was standing too close to the curb. I'm betting that probably would have been bad for my daughter's middle school status. 

The other evening, my hubs called to tell me he was still at work and he wouldn't be home for soccer practice, something we usually do together. I didn't even think about it, until we were headed out the door. I walked into the garage and there sat that stupid black beast, mocking me, like, "Really? You're going to attempt to drive me in all of my glorious John Wayne big cowboyness, again? Good luck with that, Little Sister."

It wasn't until we got to the field, did I realize I'd forgotten my chair. And since soccer practice is two hours long, I definitely needed a chair to rest my delicate bones. So, I dropped my girl off and headed over to the local Walmart, just a few streets away. 

I pulled into the parking lot and parked, like I always do when I'm in The Stupid Truck, at the very back of the supersize lot. Since the beast takes up every inch of the parking space, I try to lessen the chances of dings. Also, I seriously do not enjoy the crowds, doubled up in hysteria, watching me try to park that Winnebago. 

So, I parked in the outer stratosphere and pulled out my lip gloss for a quick dotting because this mama does not show her face anywhere, even Walmart, without her lip gloss in place. 

As I leaned forward to bridge the enormous distance between the makeup mirror that doesn't light up, (another fat checkmark on my hate list), my elbow nudged the keys I'd placed on the console. Of course, those keys slipped right down into the space between the console and the seat. 

I could see them there resting neatly, all the way down at the bottom of what looked like a very deep well. A deep Stupid Truck well. 

So . . . I shoved my arm down that well. 

And when my arm got stuck?

That's when I found another reason to hate that black beast. 

I tried wiggling and pulling and moving and grooving. 

Nothing worked. 

My arm was wedged in as tight as all the Real Housewives' faces put together. 

And the more I pulled, the tighter that damn truck's grip got. 

I tried moving the seat back and forth, but that did nothing but give me one righteous Indian burn. 

And say what you want about machines not being real, that beast has a black-hearted soul and I know it gave me that Indian burn on purpose. 

So, there I was, isolated in the back of the Walmart parking lot, with my arm wedged in the only small space in that effin' Stephen King truck, with my purse and phone stored neatly on the passenger floor, a football field's distance away. 

After I kicked that truck a few times and cursed its black soul, I contemplated shouting for help. But the thing is, the outer reaches of our Walmart parking lot are not known for their exemplary citizens. Far from it. And it was nighttime—the better to abduct you, my dear. 

So, I cried. 

And then I checked my lip gloss, again. 

And then I decided it was time for tougher measures. 

I pushed with my one free hand against the console as hard as I could and then I yanked with everything I had. My arm busted out of its prison cell, but not without some major scrapes. Major scrapes that were bleeding. 

Great. Now I needed a chair and some bandaids. Two products that were miles away from each other in Walmart. 

I found a coat hanger in the truck and slid the keys out and then hiked the five miles into Walmart. 

At the register, the cashier noticed my bloody arm and gasped, "What happened?"

I told her, "My arm got stuck in my stupid truck."

And she gasped some more. "Your arm got stuck in the door when you shut it?"

And I was all, "No, my arm got stuck between the console and the seat trying to fish out my keys."

She gave me a blank look. 

I started to trip over my words. I always do that when I feel the need to defend myself. "They fell down the hole. I was putting on my lip gloss. That stupid space is too small for an arm. I believe the truck trapped my arm on purpose. It has a black soul. I hate that stupid truck."

She smiled warily, handed me the chair and the bag of band-aids and said, "Okay. Well, feel better, hon."

As I walked to The Stupid Truck, I found one more reason to hate it. It had robbed me of my dignity. 

At practice, the other soccer parents saw my arm and gasped, "What happened?"

I sighed as I opened up my new chair. "I closed it in the door of my stupid truck."

And speaking of soccer:

My daughter has played for various teams throughout her seven years of playing soccer. Some of them have been great. Some, not so much. She got a new team last year and we LOVE them, in an all caps kind of LOVE. 

This team had been playing together for a long time and the majority of them are good friends, vacationing together, dining together, tailgating together. They welcomed us with open arms into their soccer family and we've shared some good times with these folks. 

The coach has the same first name as my hubs. He's a great guy who manages a team of teenage girls quite admirably. 

Keep that info in your craw for a moment, while I switch gears. 

When we vacation, I do all the planning, including booking our hotels. I always forward the information to my hubs via email so he has a copy of all the confirmations. 

This past summer, we decided upon Nashville. 

I found us a splendid hotel that was having a great summer special. I booked it and forwarded the reservation, which was under my name, to my husband with the message: What do you say? Let's have ourselves a good time. 

Later that night, I asked my hubs what he thought of the hotel. 

He was all, "What hotel?"

I told him the hotel in the confirmation I'd sent to him. 

And he was like, "What confirmation?"

I immediately marched over to my computer to show him the email he had clearly overlooked. I checked my Sent file to prove to him, once again, that I am always right. 

And that's when I saw I'd sent that email to my daughter's soccer coach, the one with the first name as my hubs. 

The email asking him if he wanted to have a good time. With me. In Nashville. In a hotel. 

And to make matters worse? We were off season, so I wouldn't be seeing him anytime soon. 

The silence in my inbox was deafening. 

I was mortified. Too mortified to send him an email clearing things up. I tend to hide my head under the covers at times like these. And there are a lot of times like these. 

Soccer season has just started up again and at the end of the first practice, I waited until the coach was alone to approach him. 

I smiled sheepishly and told him I had to apologize for the email I'd sent him. 

And like my hubs he said, "What email?"

So, yes. I had to explain to the soccer coach that I really didn't mean that offer of a tryst with me in a hotel in Nashville. 

Because, obviously, I just don't ever get enough of embarrassing myself. 

The coach laughed. Hard. And when he was done, he said, "I didn't see it, but you can tell that husband of yours I would have for SURE taken you up on the offer."

At least he wasn't horrified at the thought. That made it a tiny bit better. 

And for any of you clucking and shaking your head, he really didn't mean it. Just like I didn't mean to offer myself up to him. In a hotel room. In Nashville. 

Okay, now that I've put you to sleep with my War and Peace posts again, are we better now?

Check in later this week because I'm honored to be posting at a very special blog for a very special reason, a few days from now. 

I'll see you then, Chimichangas. 

Today's Definite Download: "Stay" by the fabulous, underrated BoDeans. I was originally posting this song because I love this band and I wanted you to hear them because for whatever reason, most of the world doesn't know about The BoDeans. And also because I wanted to beg you to stay around. 

But in my search for a video to share this song with you, I found an interview where the lead singer said he was inspired to write "Stay" after playing with his two and four-year old daughters one afternoon. 

And that just about killed me. 

You see, this weekend was my 17 year old daughter's homecoming and we had the party here at our house. 

And I swear to you, it was just yesterday, she and all her sisters were little girls constantly twirling about in their bubble gum pink tutus, filling my life with their little girl loveliness. I used to beg them to stay little and they would always giggle and say, "Mommy, I can't do that!"

 I have permanent scars on my heart because it all went too fast. 

Those little girls were right. 

They couldn't stay. 

Why must you say goodbye
Why don't you stay awhile
All of the time will fly
You only make me smile
Come on now, stay awhile
Please don't you go away
Too far
You make me smile
Give me just one more day
Baby stay 

For Olivia, Tori and Julia: Fly high and strong, but stay just for a little longer, for my heart's sake. 


Sandy said...

Ummmm...I own multiple weapons and most all my friends own weapons. But I must say that none of us own a gun stroller (WTF?)nor do we wear shoes like that when hunting. That picture totally cracked me up!

Joann Mannix said...


I know. It's ridiculous. He and all his cronies push these strollers around the shooting ranges.

And those are his old, really smelly work boots that he tromps around the ranges in.

By the way, he's not a hunter. I don't think he could handle shooting a real animal, the closest he's come is clay pigeons. He shoots only as a hobby and enters marksman competitions, which he's actually quite good at. He also has a vault, a huge one, that takes up an entire side of our garage, filled to the brim with his massive collection. And that doesn't even include his workshop where he loads bullets and makes some of his own ammo. He's extreme. Extreme with a gun stroller.

Unknown said...

Once I hit 34 weeks I refused to go into Walmarts anymore. Everything you need is always at least a mile away and I refuse to do that kind of walking.

PS: Does your husband have to back his truck into any parking space he comes across?? I always see men in these big huge trucks doing that, and I don't get it.

Shell said...

Girl-that truck... do you know what it's good for? RUNNING PEOPLE OVER. I want a big truck to do that. For when I have my rages. :)

LMAO @ the email. That is so something I would do.

I have missed you!

sandra said...

Oh Joann, I love you! I understand your busy life and working on you book (that I cannot wait to read!) but please blog more often! It makes me so happy!
Stay away from that truck, it obviously is evil and will eventually trap you for good and then you will be like that one guy that had to cut his own arm off.

ProudSister said...

That man knows his guns obsessively! If I had that many, I'd need a stroller too. He's the best. I don't like it when people make fun of other people, especially someone with such a big heart.

You should come visit here next summer. The BoDeans are one of the most popular shows each year at our outdoor music venue. It's a really fun show. Good job expanding everyone's musical horizons.

I'm currently in daily negotiations with my little girls to stay little. They laugh at me too. It's torture, but a wonderful form of it.

Shelley said...

Ok, I was laughing really hard at your stupid truck with the black soul story. And the secret hookup with the soccer coach. But the lyrics to whatever song that is, I did not need. Gdamn hormones. Gdman kids that grow up. Sigh.

twelvedaysold said...

Oh my gosh, Joann. That email you sent was HILARIOUS! It totally sounds like something that would happen to me. And? I would have been glad that they weren't mortified either by the, um, "offer".

Thanks for sharing!

Oh, also, it's been a beautiful life since I turned on the "undo send" feature in gmail. That feature was made for me and I wish I could tongue kiss the person who made it.

Unknown said...

I have never heard of a gun trolley!

Your daughter is beautiful!

You really have to stop hitting on men! lol

Gigi said...

I TOTALLY get what you mean about cars/trucks having black souls. I think my car has one and is trying to get me killed. Seriously.

And the thing about the kids growing up so fast? Yeah, I get that too. We are currently applying for college. Yes COLLEGE! How can that been since it was only yesterday I was walking him into kindergarten?

Pat said...

I HAVE missed you and your stories! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one these things happen to! As far as a mis-sent email: My niece wanted to send me a pic of her naked breasts after the reduction - she sent the photo to the wrong "Pat" on her phone - somebody from HR at work! Uh-oh! Talk about embarrassment!

Your daughter is beautiful!

Lisa said...

All I have to say is that I am REALLY glad my husband is not a truck guy and that I've missed you!! So glad you're back!

Rebecca Grace said...

Aw, c'mon -- it isn't REALLY called a gun stroller, is it?!!

Sometimes I wonder if you really have all of these hysterically theatrical things happen to you all the time, or if you invent them with your comic genius. Maybe the same kinds of stuff happens to the rest of us, but we see it all as tragedy instead of opportunities for comic brilliance. Either way, I'm enjoying the mental imagery of Madcap Joann driving up over the curb at the middle school while the principal runs for dear life.

Welcome back!

The Zadge said...

The Bodeans!! I saw them in 1988 or maybe it was 1989, I don't know because I was in law school in Boston and drunk the entire time. BUT! I saw them in this really small club and they were just awesome and I think I played their tape (I don't think they had CDs then!) over and over and over again. Thanks for the memory!!!

Ashley said...

I just shed a few tears reading the end of your post tonight. My three little girls are still in pink tutus and twirling around our living room, and thinking about my little girls growing up so quickly right before my eyes is the happiest and saddest thing I have ever seen. Reading your posts and seeing your pictures of your girls has me looking towards my future with both hope and fear. Bittersweet at its very best, I think.

Kimberly said...

And then I checked my lipgloss're killing me.
Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous. I just can't believe how fast they grow.
Ps. I missed your shenanigans

FranceRants said...

Oh total awesomeness...all of it. You slay me!

Your hub looks like a badass in that pic and your daughter...gorgeous!

I have been a bad girl and haven't been writing, I lost my inner voice for a while, I think it was blog is starting to come back though and I am writing again.

xoxo - France

Julie said...

I knock my keys into the pit of despair (between seat and console) on a regular basis.

And I don't even own lip gloss.

(When you checked yours a second time in this post while your arm was still stuck? I died.)

So I'm laughing and nodding and commiserating and blushing...
(Unintentional soccer coach proposition? Pure Gold!)

And then you hit me with Stay.

So now I'm about to go pull my 12-year-old daughter our of her 7th grade PE class to spend the rest of the day with her before she gets too big.

That is, of course, after I get my arm unstuck from the pit of despair.

Stupid trucks.

Nelson's Mama said...

We have the gun safe filled to the brim, all of the reloaders and the frequent delivery of gunpowder and buckshot.

Should I feel left out that my "baby" doesn't have a stroller ;-)

My Inner Chick said...

---I can always click on your site & get a giggle. thank you for being sassy, funny, & dorky! :)) Xx

Suniverse said...

What a gorgeous girl! So beautiful!

I love that you accidentally propositioned your daughter's coach. Excellent.

And that you were almost eaten alive by the Stephen King truck? Even more excellent. I died laughing.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

A gun stroller? I thought I'd seen it all in macho men toys. This one takes the cake.

I have to ask. If the coach didn't see your email does that mean his wife got to it first? Has she been giving you the stink eye lately by chance?

Kids grow up way too fast. My baby will be 18 next week. I'm very sad.

Anonymous said...

I thought for a minute you were going to chew your arm off. Geez. In fact, it is not too late-you could probably still make a snarky youtube video!!! Your baby is beautiful, just like you. And Bill. And Bill. Okay Bill not the hub bill, I was only kidding. I haven't even seen your picture yet, but you do know how to respond to a confession, I'll give you that.

Baby Sister said...

I had NO idea there was such a thing as a gun stroller. Wow.
That truck sounds like pure evil. I'm sorry it tried to dismember you. I would help you teach it a lesson if I could.
How nice of the coach to help keep the situation any more less awkward. :)

Unknown said...

I feel the same way about our minivan as you do about the truck. Actually no, I like to ride in it but not drive it.

Your daughter looks amazing!

Unknown said...

I feel the same way about our minivan as you do about the truck. Actually no, I like to ride in it but not drive it.

Your daughter looks amazing!

karen said...

Your posts are always so much that when I get to the end I can't remember half of what I wanted to comment on. But the Evil Stupid Truck story was a classic. Did you feel like that guy who had to cut his arm off when he was rock climbing? I would've run a bunch of dramatic scenarios in my head like dying of thirst, etc. before yanking my arm out and making it bleed. ANYWAY - I love the Bodeans too. And daughters growing up? Please... don't get me started. I just visited my daughter in Massachusetts this past week. Yes, the week of the huge October storm. No power for 3 days, and then when it went on, her furnace caught fire and threatened them all with a fiery death. Almost. I can laugh about it now that I'm home in CA. But I miss that girl so much it hurts sometimes. I don't think that ever changes. Thanks for the huge belly laugh though. Did you write something about a botched Mexican vacation? GAH - I told you it was too much to remember!

JoAnna said...

I see your stupid truck and raise you 3-6 more inches. Because k-ster couldnt' leave well enough alone and had to LIFT his damned truck. So now, when I drive it, I need a step ladder to get into the damned thing. I literally have to climb up on the running board to even get into it. And then sliiiiiide my way down. He thinks it's really sexy. I don't think anyone else shares that view. Whenever I drive it to school, I feel like such an idiot driving into the parking lot. And dread that any kids will see me. because it also has weird suspension so my head bobs around like a bobblehead. I'm only 5'2" and k-ster is 6'2" so he just doesn't get it. Ass.

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