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For $300 I’ll Let You Crash into My Car


I’m sitting on my deck, drinking my fourth cup of coffee and pretending to work. Which feels unnecessary because there’s no one around and I don’t have a job. Yet I’m holding myself accountable, or at least drinking the amount of coffee that should beget progress, when I hear the crunching of metal. Or the crackling of plastic. Either way, what I really hear is, “Hey, where do you think you’re going?!”

But I’m focused on my work. It’s amazing that one’s coffee can get cold when it’s this fucking hot outside, yet mine does. I’m not even wearing a shirt because of the heat and yet my coffee is the same temperature as the water in Morro Bay right now.

“I think that’s my neighbor’s car!” I hear a woman say. See, this is why I can’t get any work done. People are constantly shouting in my neighborhood. Oh great, and now there’s the pounding of footsteps coming up my stairs. Where’s my shirt?


My dog starts to bark at my neighbor, a woman who looks like Parker Posey, if Parker Posey had decided to not pursue acting and become a Silver Lake mom instead. I find my shirt, I put it on. Now that I’m thirty, being fully clothed feels necessary.

She’s pointing to her phone and talking at a manic pace. “I was watching the guys work on my yard and I saw this truck hit your car and the guy tried to drive off so I chased after him and I was going to take a picture—” she points to a man dressed like a park ranger who isn’t a park ranger but more likely a gardener. “That’s him.” Then calling out to the man who isn’t a park ranger, “This is my neighbor!” She tells me again that he was going to drive away but she wouldn’t let him because she’s “kind of psycho” when it comes to these things.

I follow her down the steps and clumsily shake the hand of the guy who hit my car, which confuses everyone. I think I say, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” My neighbor leads me to my car and points at the area that the guy crashed into – it’s my front bumper. It was hit once before by an Asian kid in Santa Monica who reversed into me while he was talking on the phone. His insurance company gave me $800 which I handed over to the Cha Cha Lounge over the course of a few Friday nights. The blemish remained. But this guy had fucked up that same corner a bit more. There was a dent and the headlight was crooked. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed if my neighbor didn’t point it out.

I’m getting ready to begin what I’m sure will be a brief and embarrassing conversation with the guy who hit my car when Parker Posey says, “Great. So do you think you could move your car? Whenever you get a chance, of course. Because I’m getting some work done, so…” She pointed to another massive truck. This one was blocking her driveway.

“No problem.” I’m aware that my car is a major blemish on the street. I’ve often wondered if a few neighbors were going to get together and buy me a new one because I’m undoubtedly bringing down the value of their homes by parking in front of them.

Parker Posey disappears into her mansion and I look long and not very hard at the corner of my car. It’s hot out, which is about the only thing I’m thinking.

The man who is not a park ranger speaks unintelligible English. His teeth have round edges, but his skin has that beautiful deep olive complexion that they only dole out near the equator. He’s maybe sixty years old. I think he’s saying something about a fair price. I ignore this and I ask for his insurance and his license. I plan on taking a picture of each and then just dealing with it later. Such is my policy. Deal with it later.

The important thing now is that I move my car. Parker Posey has reappeared and is smiling intensely, waiting for me to move it. She doesn’t have all day. Her house is worth close to 2 million. Last year, I Kelly Blue Booked my car out of curiosity and it came up as $615. Something tells me that number isn’t going up.

Again, he asks for a fair price. “Um, how about $400?” Cars are expensive to fix. I’ve probably put 10 grand into my $615 car in the last three years. He shakes his head and tells me that’s way too much. I suggest the insurance company again but this dude is strongly opposed and I’m not shocked. This is Los Angeles. I’ve almost exclusively been involved in accidents with guys who didn’t have driver’s licenses. I once got rear-ended by a Mexican guy and his daughter and for some reason I ended up giving them two hundred dollars. I try to not tell that story too often because it confuses everyone. But you had to be there, watching this father-daughter duo chipping away at the American Dream in a Toyota pickup that was definitely nicer than my car. I didn’t want to interfere with their perception that anything is possible. Including the person who is not at fault paying out the guy who just rear-ended him.IMG_1195.JPG

But I’m not quite ready to pay this guy. Really, I just want to go into a cool room and drink coffee that is warmer than the air temperature. “$200,” he says, shrugging, which I assume is a symbol of his generosity. I mean, I’m not a professional negotiator, but we both know where it goes from here. He says $200 a couple more times, I say $400 and eventually, one of us (me), drops down to $300 and we agree that’s fair.

He opens his wallet revealing about seventy $100 bills and accidentally plucks out five. He puts two back and hands me $300. I shake his hand, then I drive my car twenty-five feet and park. When I get out, the park ranger is walking up to me, “$300. It’s good.” Then I think he tells me that he’s working nearby, or something about the transmission of his truck. Where he crashed into my car actually looks pretty bad in this light.

But hey, a deal’s a deal. And in America, we don’t welsh on our terrible decisions. We double down. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have $300 to burn at the Cha Cha Lounge. Also, I’m looking for a job. Preferably one that doesn’t require a working knowledge of cars or negotiation skills. Thanks in-advance!


Filed under unemployment

Letters To The Neapolitan Mastiff

Dear (The) Neapolitan Mastiff,

Yesterday I went to the salon to get a pedicure. I’m going to Vegas next weekend and I wanted to clean up for the flip-flop scene at the pool. While I was there I observed some females getting their nail done, hair done, every thing done.

I happened to get seated next to a devil in a tight dress and I couldn’t help, but say, ‘Oh you fancy huh,
You you fancy huh.’ She gave me a sort of strange look, but not exactly a discouraging one and then said, ‘huh?’ I thought she was on the same page as me so I naturally I continued with, ‘Well aren’t you a breath of fresh air,
From all these superficial gold digging bitches in here.’ Well, apparently she wasn’t picking up what I was putting down because she spit on the floor and said, ‘What the fuck is your problem?’ I was so taken back, that I didn’t have time to adjust my next thought for her change in mood so I said,  ‘Girl you got it,
Let em know everything big.’

Barefoot, I was escorted out. On my drive home I started to wonder: is there anything to be gained by showering women with compliments instead of champagne and purple Bentleys? What do you give a woman that has everything?

Should I give props to a girl that’s a homeowner when I don’t own home? How do these women that are  spending hours in salons on (their) hairstyles,
in the mall steady racking up the air miles, afford to buy homes, clothes and eat bowls of baked ziti?

Loyal Reader,

Lamar Wilcox

Greetings Lamar,

I’d like to preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with being fancy. The Queen of England is fancy, but that’s because her country affords her the luxury. However, there is a difference between being a Queen  and taking out a new credit card so you can temporarily afford to fill your closet with Alexander McQueen. What Drake et al either don’t realize or don’t care to mention, is they don’t know where Tammy’s purple Bentley came from. They know she’s a homeowner, but not how she paid for it. It’s women like Tammy who caused the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. It’s simple; they bought extravagant homes with adjustable-rate mortgages in places like Fresno, Inland Empire and Phoenix at the height of the market. They overpaid and continued to get their nails done, hair done, everything done because their interest-only for five years mortgage was the same amount as renting a one bedroom apartment with a view of a strip mall.

I hate to place blame, but these women, with the encouragement of men like Drake and T.I., are almost entirely responsible for the boom and burst of the housing market. Now, I like a woman that’s I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, but the question is, does Drake know what that means? Webbie knew. She had her own house and her own car, but she also had two jobs and that’s why she was a bad broad! Drake’s girls are spending their days in front of mirrors with flat irons and nail files as opposed to working.

Tragically, Drake’s anthem led America into the housing crisis that we are currently in. If Webbie were more influential, our country might be in an entirely different place.

-The Neapolitan Mastiff

All advice is given from a place of understanding comparable to “in a perfect world.” Rather than using that exact phrase, which is absolutely hammered, Exchanging Pleasantries works from a different school of thinking brought about by a Southern and avante-garde rapper, Lil Wayne. We posit all advice from the premise, “What if Lil Wayne actually did fuck every girl in the World?”

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