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It’s genetic

While at dinner with my parents this weekend, my mother talked about a story involving my dad that made me realize I was clearly not born in a test tube. All that random shit that always happens to me? Turns out it happens and happened to my dad, too.

Here is an excellent example:

When I was a year old, my parents lived in Braintree, Massachusetts, renting one half of a duplex that my grandparents owned. My dad worked nights in Boston and made the 30-minute drive every night.

One night, driving his old, beat-up Volkswagen Beetle, probably listening to an eight-track, he zipped along speedily. Since he was an aggressive driver and was passing everyone, he failed to noticed the horrified looks and just shrugged off the horns as coming from people who didn’t know how to drive.

Coming around a bend, he saw that traffic was backing up, so he slowed down. This allowed the car next to him to get close enough to start honking furiously. My dad looks over and sees the driver, an old Polish man, waving his arms and yelling through the closed window.

Even though it was the middle of winter, snowing, and freezing, my dad rolled his window down.

“Yr cah isk on —-!” the guy shouted.

“What?” My dad slowed down a bit more so that he could hear over the wind.

“Yr cah iskonfayah!” the guy tried again, but my dad still couldn’t hear him. So he slowed down even more.


“YOUR CAR IS ON FIRE! (actually, with the accent, probably sounded like “Urr cah isk ong fiyah!”)” The guy gesticulated in the general direction of the rear of the car.

“Shit!” My dad started to stop and pull over. As soon as he slowed down more, though, the oxygen-starved flames leaped forward, scorching the backseat and singeing the back of his head.

“Shit shit!” So, he did the only thing he knew to do. He accelerated. And, sure enough, the fire receded to just the back. Now that he was aware of it, he angled the mirrors so he could watch it.

As you probably know, old Beetles had the engine in the rear of the car, so my dad knew that it was likely his oil pan or radiator, not his gas tank. But if he slowed down too much, it might actually reach the gas tank.

He started to approach stopped and slow-moving traffic but he was afraid to slow down, so he just sped up more and continued through traffic like a madman. Behind him, since his window was still open, he heard honks and shouts.

“Yeah, I fucking know!” He waved back as he maneuvered through the traffic like a stunt driver.

Being relatively practical, my dad knew that he couldn’t do this forever. He started to grab his weather gear and put it on. First the mittens, then the scarf and hat. He zipped up his jacket as he zipped around slow-moving cars and trucks. The snow started to fall even thicker.

Finally, he reached a stretch where he could be in the far right lane. He slowed as much as he dared, grabbed his briefcase, and dove out of the car.

By the time he stopped rolling and gathered his bearings, the car had drifted to a stop about 30 yards away. It was completely consumed by flames, and it wasn’t long until he heard a “WHOOOMP” sound and the Beetle exploded.

Couldn’t you see that same exact thing happening to me? I know I could.

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43 Replies to “It’s genetic”

  1. Bec

    Thank you Avitable. Thank you for making this day of hell at work shine.

    There just isn’t any way that this isn’t goign to happen to you at some poitn. Start wearing a flame retardent hat when you drive.

  2. The Absurdist

    Yes, but I think you wouldn’t have dove out of the car.

    I think you would have wanted a grand display….. Like finding an oil truck, slowing down enough to “kinda” jump out of the car, and letting the car explode into the trucker.

    Of course, you would have let the trucker know via your CB radio first what was going on so he could jump too.

  3. Amy

    I don’t know… I just don’t see the resemblance. I mean, a) your dad wasn’t nude, b) there were no underage hookers cuffed in the backseat (well, I suppose that we know of, since the car exploded) and, C) he didn’t take a cheeseburger with him out of the car he took a freaking brief case.

    No… I think you are just hoping you aren’t adopted, my friend. :lmao:

  4. DutchBitch

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa Thanks for the laugh… I needed that today…

    And I just came from Amy’s (yes, I work thru my feed reader alphabetically) and just wanted to say… Mah birthday? Feb 27… Just sayin’ :boobs4:

  5. Sarah is Ok

    That’s hilarious! He sounds crazy fun. I like the James Bond comment. That’s so not what I was imagining as I read it, but I’ll go with James Bond. And yes, btw, I do like being flashed. That’s why I truly appreciated your own hairy blog flashing the other day.

  6. Avitable

    Britt, that’s probably for the best, because I don’t want the resulting itchy crotch.

    Amanda, you’re funny!

    Jay, I think it was the Germans.

    Amanda, only if it was in slow motion and Waylon Jennings was talking in the background. And you need to get a Gravatar at

    Dave, she does have heat vision capabilities.

    DaDuck, that bastard Dave.

    Mr. Fabulous, yeah, I know.

    Lisa, it’s something I do all the time.

    Trish, well, of course.

    NYCWD, I wouldn’t drive either.

    CMG, I eat a lot of Polish sausages, and that was Polish/Boston.

    AnnieB, I cry like a grown up girl, thankyouverymuch.

    Bec, good thinking!

    Metalmom, they’re some funny fuckers.

    Grant, no, he’s a bit more discreet than I am.

    J, scary then. Now it’s just amusing.

    TMP, someday.

    Absurdist, I wouldn’t let the trucker know!

    Poppy, does your mom have a big moustache and is she an Italian guy named Jimmy?

    BPR, yeah, he was fine. No, I don’t drive small cars. I drive a school bus.

    Sarcastica, he was pretty crazy in his day.

    Amy, there might have been a cheeseburger in the briefcase, though.

    CP, I’m not always about the boobs!

    Hello, with that chest, you need it to get well soon!

    DB, so you’re saying that you have a birthday???

    Sarah is OK, it’s more like Mr. Bean than Mr. Bond.

  7. Y2K Survivor

    Careful there Miss Britt or you will be looking at the most feared words in the Human language: “PROVE IT!”

    Oh and I agree with Sarcastica…Your Dad sounds way too cool. Or… does he often travel around clueless of the fact he is on fire? I think he should have a blog so we can folow his adventures!

  8. Crema

    :lmao: I was driving home from work one day with a buddy and our car caught on fire we drove about 4 blocks with people honking and yelling and chasing us , with us honking and yelling an cursing back…good times , good post

  9. Avitable

    Britt, but what about a whore?

    Sybil, I could have just peed on the fire and put it out.

    Shelli, yup – same with the one my parents drove.

    Lynda, maybe there was a cheeseburger IN the briefcase?

    Poppy, yes, thankfully!

    Amy, yes, because coming up with a witty reply to you is what I spend all day doing! 😀

    Beth, oh, I’m sure that’s not true.

    Y2K, I wouldn’t make her prove it – I really don’t want the burning and itching!

    Crema, but did it explode?

    Karen, why, yes it is!

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