Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cleaning Up

We went to a local Volkswagen event today, with Tara taking her newly-running bus and me following in a real car in case anything went amiss; now, I make no excuses and can give no reasons for my sister's inexplicable like (perhaps even love) of the goddamned things. Because for my part, I hate them.

I just have too many memories of my father driving them. He would never let my mother drive if they were together, of course. She could take the car alone, usually, though he did almost always have some excuse why it wasn't a good idea, and it generally took a bit of haranguing to get him to shut up; which was just another manifestation of that OCPD need for control, I think.

He always drove about ten miles an hour under the speed limit; I have vivid memories of the other cars swooshing by us on the highway. Now, granted, an old VW wouldn't go sixty if you dropped it off a cliff, as its terminal velocity is rather lower; but this was in large part him, too. He always took his own sweet time, because that way, he got to have control over the rest of us, and we all got to freak out, nag, and get frustrated. It sounds malicious, and maybe it was in part; but it could have been simple obliviousness, too. I don't know.

I still have dreams in which I am in a very bad way, say, bleeding to death, and absolutely desperately need to get to the ER; well, nightmares, I should say, because the only person who can drive me there in my dream is my father. But of course he takes the scenic route, drives well under the speed limit, and keeps up a constant chatter about the houses, buildings, cars, and the other absolutely desperately unfascinating crap he can see out the window. And no amount of pleading (or bleeding, for fuck's sake) gets him to understand or even see that this just might be a good time to, oh I don't know, shut the fuck up and get to the goddamned hospital! O my God I hate those dreams. They are so spot-on accurate.

Anyhow. This is supposed to be a nice story from today. Because we did pretty well, really.

So I almost thought I could like old Volkswagens today. They are actually proving to be somewhat useful.

Oh not in the way that a normal car is 'useful' because it runs and can get you somewhere; I mean Tara was taking back roads all the way since she didn't feel comfortable pushing the bus past forty-five mph as it was making a bit of a grindy noise in the back bearings. Also, it was a chilly morning when we set out and I for one was damned glad to have heat in the car I was driving.

See, what Tara did was load up the thing (well, okay, not properly a Thing, that's another kind of Volkswagen) with parts. You know, the stuff we've got a garage, shop, cellar, downstairs garage, garage attic, shop attic, shed, shed attic, and yard full of. You know. That stuff.

And then when we arrived at said Volkswagen event, she unloaded it onto the lawn in front of it. And then people, all lovers of old Volkswagens (and so, in my book, flat out of their skulls insane, though maybe perhaps we can all just agree to disagree), swarmed over and started rummaging through tubs and picking up bits of chrome and steering wheels and those VW medallion things that the Beastie Boys made fashionable, all excited; and then, and then, they started throwing $20 bills at her.

For several hours.

Here's a picture of all the crap, er, lovely vintage Volkswagen parts. Original high-quality German parts, some still 'new' in the boxes they came in, &c.:

Tara soon ran out of room in her rather inadequate pockets, and so actually had to start stashing cash in the glove compartment. Holy fuck, check this out:

We got kicked out eventually by a wedding party, who needed the space, though, honestly, who chooses to get married in front of a car museum, then pitches a fit when there is a car event there, especially one that has been an annual event for years and can hardly be a surprise? Groomzilla was especially charming. We were scheduled to be there until 3:30; around 2 he started talking about how he knew it was our event, too, BUT we had to get out NOW because OMG he had to start setting up chairs and holy fuck, dude, if that's how well you can handle stress and compromise and interacting schedules maybe you're better off single, you know? Or at least your bride might be.

Anyway we cleared out of there in plenty of time.

But not before we fished that cash out of the glove compartment and started stacking bills on top of each other. And stacking, and stacking. The twenties I swear just went on forever.

Would you like to guess how much it came to?

Eight-hundred and forty-seven dollars.

So, yeah, not a bad day's work, is it?

I could almost like them.


Chocobi said...

OMG, Thalia! Way to go! I hope you two were handing out contact info left and right. These VW fans could swarm your entire property and make cleanup easier for you and your sister.
And I hope you have a caravan of trucks filled with junk, er, vintage parts ready to go by next year's swap meet!

Dave said...

Did you sell everything you brought?

and will the VW bus be pressed into scrap duty?

Tara said...

Honestly, it looks like we might have only sold 10-25% of what we brought with us. And lots of it was stuff that sold for $5.. $20 a few things for $50 (a camper icebox), $75 a cool old radio from the 60's that also got shortwave and had a car pull-out mount), and $100 (a bus transmission). But lots of small stuff went.

The bus will be pressed into scrap duty (towing a trailer), if it's not pressed into scrap, that is...

Tara said...

My memories of VW's are fonder, I do admit. And even though I putted along at 45mph (because of the noisy bearing), I did have a little appreciation for not taking the highway, and actually taking time to see the scenery. But something like that should not be your only car. Everyone needs a fast, safe reliable car to rush themselves bleeding to the hospital with...

Thalia said...

Oh yeah, Chocobi, lots of contact info was passed out. Plenty of people were specifically looking for something that we definitely have but Tara hadn't brought.

As far as I could see, we went home with about the same amount of stuff as we brought. But then that's probably because some of the bigger things like seats didn't sell, I think because we didn't find the right person. Some of those things can be pretty specific to the model of car.

Rosa said...

Is there a website for VW parts people? It seems like a site that had a "wanted" or a regional section might bring people out who would haul away the stuff for you.

Perfectly Awful said...

Congrats on "Cleaning Up." Here's to hoping you continue to spin straw into gold, as it were.

OCPD and driving... well. Here's some sympathetic souls, both from the driver's and passenger seats:

My OCPD b-f recently confessed to me he's been stopped more than once by the cops in recent years, for driving suspiciously slow, lol!

Copious_Amounts said...

When my hoarder (and asshole and probably OCPD too, now that I think of it,) father was "teaching," me how to drive, I got pulled over by the cops for going too slow.

My father had been screaming at me and throwing a big fit to slow down. Of course, he ALREADY had me going well under the speed limit. But that wasn't slow enough. My father wouldn't even let me talk to the cop - he just smiled and laughed at the cop and went on about how I was "just a learner."

Oh, and I can't forget the part where my father was screaming at me that "the police officer thinks you're DRUNK!" as I was pulling over. Of course, my first, normal-person-pulling-over, attempt at pulling over wasn't good enough for my father - who screamed at me to pull over more while mocking my pulling over with screaming "how he REALLY thinks you're drunk!"

All the time, of course, I was thinking "it was YOU who was throwing a fit to get me to slow down, you asshole."

SO glad I took driver's ed - I wouldn't have learned to drive properly had I continued to take my father's "driving lessons."

The weird thing was, as soon as I passed my road test, he would let me take [one of] his car[s] out alone without saying a word. Though, kind of like your mother, I had to bug and and bug and bug to get the car. There was always some excuse, even if the car that he would sometimes let me take was sitting there unused while my father had another of his cars in the driveway or was actually using another car.

I always just thought that my father was an asshole, however. I never considered him as having OCPD (which I am certain my mother has,) but, wow, your father's driving behaviour is JUST like how my father was and probably still is.

My hoarder, OCPD mother probably would be like that with driving too, if she drove. (Her lifetime non-driver status is a whole other can of dysfunction.)

Anyway, congrats on the money you guys made. A GIANT HIGH FIVE.

Perfectly Awful said...

Btw, I've posted a link to your blog on my new OCPD website ( Come & visit sometime, feel free to send some feedback. Love your site, your writing - and yes, the pictures too.

Amie said...

It's funny that you say you have those nightmares about your dad, because my mom is a hoarder and I have almost the same dream about her from time to time. Usually something bad is happening like I'm hurt or someone's breaking in and I can't get her to call the police. I wonder if other people with hoarding parents have dreams like that? And if so, why?

Thalia said...

I would imagine anyone with a pathologically self-absorbed parent would have those dreams, like children of narcissists, those of alcoholics, other personality disorders, &c. It's about the parent's inability to actually care for their children in an appropriate manner, and how the parents' needs (even if trivial) always come before the child's.