Gremlins – The Aftermath

Gremlin

A recent post on BrainRants’ site regarding him preferring old Mustangs to the new ones, brought a comment about missing Commenter-Supreme, John Erickson.  Rants’ all-too-true reply was that our lost Illinois-boy would probably expound on the relative merits of AMC Gremlins.  For those who don’t remember, Gremlins were the car that didn’t have quite the sleek styling and performance capabilities of the Ford Pinto.

All of this takes us to Bob, another of my auto plant co-workers.  Bob was a nice young man, but a bit of an odd duck.  (Who am I to point a finger?)  Handsome, mid-20s, single, earning a good wage – and living at home with a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses parents.

Once asked what he was doing/getting for his Mother for Mothers’ Day, he replied, “We honor the Bible, not our Mothers.”  And yet, doesn’t the Bible insist that we all, “Honor thy Father and Mother?”

Not content with the workout he got at work, Bob often frequented a gym.  He had six-pack abs, instead of the keg I lug around.  He met a well-toned female, who he eventually married – a total surprise, because she wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness, and his parents did not approve.

Long before that happened though, Bob bought a Gremlin.  In 1985, he bought a 1979 model, the last year they were produced – from a little old lady – yeah, right??!  He purchased a car that someone else was anxious to get rid of, and paid $2000 for something that should have sold for half that – because he wanted that Gremlin.  That was significant money in 1985.

He told several of us that he was “going to soup it up”??  It’s a Gremlin!  That’s like putting soup in a sieve.  Actually, what he did was ‘doll it up.’  He put a bigger, better carburetor on the anemic little sewing-machine, six-cylinder motor, all the rest was cosmetic.

Gremlin, hot

Always a good idea, he had it repainted – in Electric Blue, and then had it pin-striped.  He put on wide rear rims and tires, and fancy wheel discs.  It didn’t need it but, before he painted it, he traded in a hood with an air scoop.  He added a burst-eardrum kick-ass stereo system, and, long before they were common, a decent security system.  All in all, he added another $5000 ($40,000 in today’s dollars) to one of the most sissy cars ever built.

His girlfriend became a fiancé, and finally a wife.  Fun was fun, but she finally told him he’s have to get rid of his boy’s-toy, and get a married car, probably soon a family car, how about one of those new mini-vans that were becoming popular?

Sadly, he listed it for sale – and was outraged that the best of a few offers was only $1500.  “Don’t they see all the improvements I’ve made to it?”  They’re not improvements!  They’re just highly personal customizations to a lunch-box on wheels that was a piece of crap the day it came from the factory.  Take the money and run.  I don’t know if owning a Gremlin made you stupid, or if only stupid people bought Gremlins.

Every car maker has had a cosmic failure or two.  Ford survived the Edsel, and later the fire-bomb-on-wheels, the Pinto.  GM had the Chevy Nova, which they couldn’t sell to Chicanos, because the name Nova, in Spanish, means, ‘It won’t go’.

Poor little AMC already had one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel.  It wasn’t long after they stopped making this Cracker Jack toy, that they were gobbled up by a bigger fish.

#453

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Old Faithful

I can’t even rely on the Federal Government to be unreliable.  I posted on the 13th that the office was to mail the son’s passport out on the 21st.  On the 14th, the dog raised a ruckus at an ungodly hour, 11:45 AM.  Well, that’s early for me.  By the time I had on enough clothes to beat an exposure charge, and got to the front door, all that was there was a notice to pick up the envelope the next day.  Not at the postal depot a kilometer down the street, the one four kilometers away, on the edge of town.

Why couldn’t it have been left in our SuperMailbox, a half a block away?  It got mailed early, but these are the people who put the “Self Service” in Postal Service.  I guess this means we’re destined for a trip to the States.  I’ve already booked a room, and paid for it to get a reduced rate.  We’ll be staying 20 miles south of Detroit for a weekend, just to prove we’re Canadians.

The son had an interesting thing happen at his plant the other night.  A guy got locked in a car.  Two well-tanned recent hires come in the same vehicle.  Ahmed drives his friend Abou, in his, new-to-him, van.  When they got to work, Ahmed left the van unlocked.  At first break, Abou wanted to smoke.  Not being a Canadian, to whom 2 C is “a little chilly”, he climbed into Ahmed’s van, and hit the lock button, perhaps to keep the smoke in.

We don’t know if it was a malfunction, or whether it is a childproof feature but, when he went to climb out, the doors wouldn’t unlock, the windows wouldn’t roll down, and the horn wouldn’t sound.  Twenty minutes later, someone found him locked in the van.  They had to find someone to relieve Ahmed on his automatic machine, so that he could go out and unlock.

A 68 year-old female bartender was let go by a hotel chain in Toronto, when they moved operations to a smaller facility.  Her union (which might have been a reason for downsizing) does not have rights at the new operation.  In a fit of entitlement, she now wants to sue the union and the hotel chain for the wages and tips she would have earned until she planned to retire at age 75.

I’d like to feel sympathetic.  I wanted to put in 20 years, and retire at 65 from the auto-plant, but reality intruded.  Not the union, nor the hotel, nor society at large, owes her a job, especially till 75.  Move aside and let someone younger work.  If she’s as good as she thinks she is, and wants to work for sake of the job, I’m sure there is employment somewhere.  If she’s in it for the money, lack of planning on her part, does not constitute an emergency for anyone else.

The East-Indian restaurateur who threw spices in the face of an intruder, bent on assaulting him and his wife and kids, has finally had all charges dismissed.  I saw a lawyer in a TV show the other night, admit that lawyers do not practice justice, they practice law.  The law is a ass, and grinds exceeding slow.

The author of his own misfortune, is an East-Indian import named Sukhvir Sandhu.  This idiot just can’t keep his mouth shut.  He was recently arrested and charged for the sixth time, with drinking and driving.  The last time it happened, he drove away from an accident and into a residential area.  When he was restrained by a retired policeman, he assaulted and threatened him.  In custody, he bragged to police about how much he can drink and still drive, as well as admitting he’d driven away from other crashes.  He blamed his drinking on being bullied in high school because of his name.

In court, he threatened to “hunt down and kill” the police officer who charged him, and warned the court that he would just drink and drive again.  Four months later, he was caught driving while under suspension and impaired.  While in custody he was assaulted by another prisoner.  Gee, I wonder why that happened.  The judge was going to give him a year in jail, but the Crown and the defense agreed to 90 days.  Even knowing that the judge had no sympathy, he still tried to con a better deal.  He tried to talk the judge into giving him 180 days, but served on weekends.  It’s only three months, but I’m glad he’s off the roads, now if we could just get him to shut up.

A “good Christian” in Toronto hit his wife in the head twice with a hammer, and then stabbed a page from the Bible to her chest with a butcher knife.  He stole $200 from her purse and took his girlfriend on a trip.  When arrested, he cursed God for not preventing his homicidal rage.  Just once, I’d like to see one of the “good Christians” either actually be a good Christian, or take personal responsibility for their actions.

The dumb criminal of the week is the genius who took a cab to the Toronto airport, and walked away without paying.  Since there are always lots of cops there, the cabby raised a fuss.  Knowing he was now being pursued, Dumbo ducked into a washroom and tried to conceal an illegal handgun and magazine separately.  They were quickly found.  When he was searched, police seized drugs.  That got them a warrant for his house, where they found ammunition, Tasers, security guard uniforms, and “one gram of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used as an explosive.”

Timothy McVeigh needed a ton of this stuff to wound the Murrah building.  One gram wouldn’t out-pop a firecracker.  Thanks very much to the Sun Media, Chicken Little, who tried to frighten readers to increase sales.  It’s always about the money!