"Hey Ridwan thanks for helping me pick out my car. But I need you to help me figure out why there is a doof doof sound coming from the back where you ... you know? Can you leave your office and meet me in the parking lot downstairs?"
"Sure thing Y. I'm right down there in a minute. Let me just rub the sleep out of my eyes and I'll check out the clunk coming from your trunk ... I mean boot," I answered with a smile that grew larger as I hung-up and began to think about junk and trunks (hey I'm a man).
A few weeks ago Y. asked me to help her decide between two Audi TTs for her driving pleasure.
The dealer dude drove the first car over to our office building and I walked around the car with all the knowledge of a man who used to live for wheeled jewelry. Not to mention junk and trunks ;0)
"Not this one Y.," I said. "Why not," she replied somewhat dejectedly.
"Ummm ... too many damn miles and it is black. I know it is fashionable to be black but a black car does not age well and it always looks dirty right after you wash it. Plus this one has four different tires and it's a quattro. Who needs all-wheel drive in Pretoria where it never snows even though it is still too white?"
The car dealer dude who was white was definitely not feeling my diss and left looking like he was gonna lynch someone.
I was just getting back to putting more sleep into my eyes when my desk phone rang.
"Hey hey Ridwan check your office email I think you gonna like this one."
"Ummm I'm not wanting to meet anyone because you know I'm still trying to put sh*t together with this virtual ...."
"Snap out of your comedy routine Ridwan and look at this car I found."
So I did and there it was. A blue convertible Audi TT. Clean and almost new.
"Yep that is the one. You need a convertible to get your swagga on and also cause this is South Africa where the sun actually shines though you may want to watch for carjackers and rugby crackaz."
And that was it. She went to her mattress or bank or both and plonked down a deposit worth more than my entire pension fund.
And then just one week after delivery I was standing there and asking Y. what happened to the rearranged left side of the car.
"Don't ask just figure out why there is a doof doof sound coming from the boot."
"You lock some brother up in there .... ?"
"Ridwan stop with the comedy and drive dammit," she sounded off with a smile.
And so I did. Put the top down in the middle of winter, put my Los Lobos shades on, and let the wicked wind whip up memories that had everything to do with this sweet and sexy two door blue convertible Mercedes-Benz SL I bought on an assistant professor's salary in early 2002.
The car was gorgeous and my Victoria Secret girlfriend at the time got into it on the showroom floor and then would not get out so I drove both home to the hills of Sylvan.
I had swagga and game back then. The capitalized playa kind.
I was cool on campus and voted best professor two years in a row for my reputation to fill halls with followers who wanted to hear me ... deconstruct whitey and ... uummmm ... capitalism.
Two months into the new convertible wheels in a town where it rains nine months of the year I was sharing my extreme coolness with a few giggling and enamored female graduate students on the steps of the library when someone called my name minus my title and I turned to look into the eyes of a small squat young woman.
"How does a radical like you drive a convertible Mercedes worth more than the annual salary of three people just working to make a living? That is so fake and whack," she said after the usual pleasantries.
"I ummmm ... well I take public transport too and sometimes even ride my motorcycle to work ... 'cause of environmental concerns but you know it rains a lot ... "
Home gurl was not buying my spiel. The giggling stopped and Professor Cool turned into Professor Fool.
I walked back to my office and called the dealer and sold the car back to him at a huge loss the very next day. He threw in a two-door econo-box car to lessen my pain of losing the convertible Benz and I used that car until I bought a four door family car to fool myself into a settled-man mindset (that sh*t almost worked too but you know ... I liked to party too much back then).
"See Ridwan do you hear the ... what is that?", Y. asked staring at my spaced out noggin.
"Nothing to worry about it is just that all convertibles flex over bad roads. It is part of the price you pay for being cool."
"And that doof doof sound?", she pressed on.
That my dear is my conscience kicking me from inside of my noggin, I thought to myself as I wondered whatever happened to Victoria and her trunk full of secrets. ;0)