Consider My Enthusiasm Curbed

I’m not a racist, but all BMWs look alike to me

So this is the kind of shit that happens to me because my life is basically a season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

My son, Sam, has a car. Well, I really consider it MY car since I paid for it and pay for everything having to do with it; he just gets to drive it. Nevertheless, he considers it HIS car. Because of this, I expect him to, at the very least, keep it clean, monitor it for service needs and handle simple things like sticking the updated registration decal on the license plate after it arrives in the mail.

I’m stupid, right? Right.

Said updated registration and license plate decal arrived as expected (after I PAID FOR THEM). I placed them on the kitchen counter, pointed them out to Sam and suggested that he place them, respectively, in and on “his” car at his earliest convenience. I probably said something like, “why don’t you go and do it now so you don’t forget,” and he, of course, ignored me.

No less than two weeks later, the registration and decal were still sitting right where I left them on the counter. This was on a Saturday. Sam was already at work, having driven there in “his” car with expired plates and registration (both in MY name).

“God damn it!” I said and decided that if it was going to get done I was going to have to do it myself. So I drove over to his place of employment to find his car in the lot and take care of this bit of business. This was just mistake number one.

It’s amazing how similar BMWs all look.

(I should point out that “Sam’s” car is a 2002 BMW 330i with about 120 thousand miles on it that I got a REALLY good deal on. I don’t want you to think I’m one of THOSE parents)

I drove a couple of laps around the grocery store parking lot, found the car and parked. I walked over, peeled the backing off the new decal and placed it over the old one on the rear license plate. More on why I didn’t scrape the old one off in a minute.

Then, with the new registration in my hand, I walked around to the passenger side of the car and unlocked it with the spare key…I unlocked it with the spare key…I unlocked it with the spare…hey, the key stopped working; it won’t unlock the…

OH FUCK! THIS IS NOT HIS CAR! FUUUUUUCK!

I actually said those words out loud. In all caps. Just like that. People were staring. Not a single, solitary fuck did I give.

I immediately raced back around to the rear of the car and began to try to peel the new decal off. Here’s the thing about that: human nature being what it is and the DMV understanding this have combined to necessitate that the adhesive on those decals, mere seconds after they have been applied, is stronger than the gravitational field of a black hole.

More all caps cursing ensued, all witnessed by the kid assigned the task of wrangling all of the stray shopping carts strewn about the parking lot. In fact, this young man (henceforth, Cartboy) had stopped, with his humongous wagon train of shopping carts, right behind the car and was watching me with “what the fuck?” written all over his face.

I gave up, for the moment, on the decal and got back into my car to, at least, find the right BMW and put the new registration in the glove box. I found Sam’s car on the other side of the parking lot and put the new registration in his glove compartment. No problem. As I closed the door and hit the lock button on the key, I turned around and saw right behind me, yes, you guessed it, Cartboy and his metallic charges watching me once again.

At this point, the logical thing to do would have been to shrug my shoulders and plan on going to the DMV on Monday to get a replacement decal for the price of the $18 fee they would charge me. If you have to ask whether this is what happened next then you obviously don’t know who you are dealing with.

I drove back around the parking lot to the other BMW and, with a small screw driver retrieved from my own glove compartment, attempted again to pry the god damn decal, MY GOD DAMN DECAL, off of the other car.

“Hey, hey, what’re you doing?!”

Yes, folks, no sooner had I positioned myself ready to do some serious damage to whatever fucking force field was holding that decal in place than the owner of the other BMW showed up.

I would recount for you the explanation that I tried to give for why the apparent crime that I was committing was not REALLY what it appeared to be, but I don’t know how to write in stupid. Needless to say, looking and feeling like a complete and perfect idiot, I apologized (apologized!) for NOT trying to steal his brand new registration decal WHICH WAS REALLY MY BRAND FUCKING NEW REGISTRATION DECAL and resigned myself to having to pay the $18 fee to the DMV for a replacement.

But then, as I walked back toward my car, it occurred to me that I had just done this guy a BIG favor. I saved him from having to pay the ridiculous, extortive fee that the state of California would exact from him for the privilege of operating his automobile for another year on its crumbling, decrepit roads and freeways.

So I turned around and, as he loaded his groceries into the trunk of his car, I said, “you could say thank you.”

“Excuse me?” I detected a note of irritation, nee, outrage in his voice. Nevertheless, being a professional prick, I pressed on.

“I said, ‘you could say thank you’”

“How the hell do you figure?”

“You just got a free year of driving that I paid for. All I’m saying is that a little gratitude wouldn’t kill you, friend.”

“Fuck you.”

“Excuse ME?”

“You heard me. Fuck you; you’re lucky I didn’t call the cops.”

“Call the cops?! What the fuck? I…uh…uh…fuck it. Enjoy it, asshole.”

Hey, in the heat of the moment, that was really the best I could come up with. Plus, I didn’t really need to start what might escalate into felony assault over $18. I showed him the hand and got in my car and drove away. As I cleared the end of the row of parked cars there he was, Cartboy, fucking Cartboy, smiling and shaking his head the way that one does when one has witnessed a loser, lose.

Fuck you too, Cartboy.