A sad, but inevitable piece of news from Japan: Frank is not long for this world. His JCI (Japanese Insurance Tax Thingy) is due in November and I'm pretty sure with the two windows that won't roll up (unless you count the duct tape intervention), he won't pass inspection. They are bound to notice a few things.
Also, no way, no how I'm shelling out $800 to keep an embarrassing car, even if by some miracle, he passes. To add insult to injury, with the warm weather and humidity, a formerly subtle odour (did someone pass wind, maybe?) has now become a quite rude stench (what frickin died in here?). It's bad enough that the car is hideous on the outside, but as passengers, hey, gazing at Frank isn't OUR problem. But now we are constantly reminded that he is an unmitigable disaster with no redeeming qualities. How did we not see this all along? We were so blind. And greedy.
To add to the case of junking Frank, our neighbor, who is moving soon, offered us a nicer, newer, and get this, FREE CAR. I know what you are thinking: We could be God's Chosen People and He is rewarding us with Vehicular Manna from Heaven. But Caveat Emptor. Just like the real manna, this stuff gets the job done but isn't too palatable. You just have to throw out all preconceived ideas of taste, close your eyes and gulp it down.
Which reminds me of a funny ad I saw the other day. I'm in my zoning-on-the-train mode, when I look up and see a beer ad, mostly in indecipherable Kanji, but some English: "New Asahi Beer--Style Free!"
Huh, wha? Is this a selling point? Did they mean, no style at all? Refreshingly free of style? No style has been added? Oh sweet mystery of life...
In any case, it pertains to our car "purchases" in Japan. Our new car, which we get at the end of the month, only has one giant scratch that is oozing rusty goo. No problem. Although I am not sure about the smell, at least the doors are all the same color. BOOOOONUS! In any case, we are used to living the style-free life over here...it frees up money for travel and to waste on kooky snacks and drinks (Jello Juice, anyone?).
We are so committed to this way of life that we have formulated a pledge: We will hereby continue to be 1oo% Style Free. No unnecessary style will be added to our product. We will actively promote all things style-less and generally lacking of said style whilst in Japan.
We hope this message inspires everyone, everywhere, to become style-free in the very near future.
So we won't look so dang ridiculous.