Who doesn't love Christopher Walken?

Friday, April 26, 2013

How I Came to Own Peaches - My 1986 Toyota MR2

Recently I've been seeing a lot of people posting stories of what led them to buy their special cars and it inspired me to tell my own, in a length fashion...because blog.

Well I should start off by saying that I grew up in a GM family.  The only non-GM car any male in my family has owned, was my father and his Mark I Volkswagen GTI before I was born.  My father currently has a 2003 Silverado and his brother, a 1964 Corvette convertible with a 327 (drool).  Even my first two vehicles were 1980's Camaros and I broke the mold when I bought my 1985 Dodge D150 SWB pickup.

With gas prices on the rise, and my Dodge only having 3 gears mated to a 318 V8...it was time for a change.  I started looking for a small import to putt around in and still have a bit of fun.  All I asked for was that it had a manual transmission and had a decent aftermarket for once I got the urge for go-fast parts.

I saw an ad on Craigslist for a 1998 Honda Prelude, 5spd and bad paint that was at the top end of my price range.  Upon seeing the car in person, the seller failed to mention a few things.  It had been in a wreck, it had high miles, windshield was cracked completely across, wipers didn't work, and 3rd gear synchro was going out.  The test drive wasn't much better.  It torque steered like crazy, the synchro was frustrating, the exhaust was annoying and droned incessantly, etc, etc.  I left and continued my search.

I posted an ad on my local "racing" forum that I was looking for a small import, had to be 5spd, had to be RWD, and had to run.  A few people chimed in with their rotary RX-7s but rotaries are beyond me.  A few weeks later once I had started to give up hope, because anything that interested me was far out of my price range, a local sheriff's deputy chimed in that he had a 1985 Toyota MR2 5spd that needed very little work and he was willing to let go for half of my budget.  So I jumped.

We met atop a parking garage in downtown and my lord....I had never seen a car so small.  My truck was dwarfed by a buddy's F150, and my truck dwarfed this little micro-machine.  The car was accurately described to me upon inspection.  The paint was good but it had a horrendous off-center silver stripe.  The interior was half tan, half brown and there was no shift boot.  But for the price, it seemed like a reasonable deal.  Then came the drive.

Directly under the parking garage ran a road with a beautifully abandoned S-curve.  Getting used to driving a manual again took a little bit of slow driving and remembering, but I got the hang of it by the time I exited the garage.  I started down the aforementioned road.  I have no idea how fast I was going but I'm sure it wasn't within the legal limit, but I didn't care.  Not one car had put a smile on my face as big as the one that tore, not cracked, across my face when I hit those bends.  Not even my 450hp Camaro.  I had to have it.

I got back to my truck and the owner of the MR2, unable to shake my smile.  He knew I wanted the car because he asked "So...what day works for you?".  We scheduled a date for purchase and parted ways.  I was still smiling when I got home.

The morning of the day we were scheduled to meet, my heart was broken.  I had a voicemail.  Apparently this man had lent the car to his cousin, who had parked the car downtown on the biggest drinking night of the week.  It was rear-ended overnight and the engine was basically sitting in the cockpit.  I was furious.  And as stubborn as I am, I had to have an MR2.  I got on the internet and found another one....1000 miles from home, in Atlanta, GA.

I exchanged texts with the owner of this one, set up a time for him to meet me at the airport, convinced a buddy of mine to fly one way and drive home immediately after landing.  So we bought our tickets and boarded our plane at 6:45am.  I baffled the crew and surrounding passengers when I ordered a beer at 7am, but I was flying 1000 miles to spend $2300 on a car I had never seen in person...I needed it...and I wasn't charged for it.

Anway, we landed and the car arrived shortly after.  I was a little surprised when I noticed it was a hardtop as I had never asked and naturally assumed that it had a sunroof.  I noticed it had been in a front collision at some point because there was no front bumper and the support had been shoddily repaired.  All 4 tires were bald, the speedometer didn't work and I noticed the struts were blown.  Considering one-way return tickets bought the same day would probably cost as much as the car itself, I bought the car.  It was more fun than the flight anyway.

So we got all the paperwork together, shook hands, got the tires replaced and embarked on our 16 hour drive home.  This was probably the single greatest experience of my life.  Granted my calves were absolutely GONE after a few hours of no cruise control, but it was fun regardless.  It was incredible getting to know the car over such a long period.  Going through the back roads deep in the hills of Arkansas was amazing.  Even with a 270lb passenger and used tires, the handling was that of a cat on carpet.

It was long, risky, uncomfortable, and incredible.  Doing something similar is not for the feint of heart, but I highly recommend it if you think you can handle it.  These little cars stolen from Pontiac and re-engineered by the Japanese are one of the most overlooked tuner cars.  Mid-engine, rear wheel drive, the platform almost all supercars are based off of.  The handling is insane.  Sure they lack a little in the "go" area, but that can be remedied over time.  If you find an MR2 for sale, just go and drive it.  You won't regret it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I know most of my blogs have been rants about other people or society's problems.  Those are extremely easy and more common knowledge compared to self-reflection.  I promised some of my readers that I would write something positive for once, and this is as close as I can get for now, so bear with me.

We've all done things in our pasts that we aren't exactly proud of.  Most of mine involve the way I have treated and/or dealt with relationships or women in general.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I spare no expense at ripping people new holes for pooping.  In person I am quite terrified of confrontation.  It's not that I'm overly concerned with what people think of me, they probably judge me enough just by looking at me...at least I've heard that from a few people.

Admitting to something you've done that's less than desirable in an ethical sense is one of the hardest things to do for most people, and justifiably so.  No one wants to be "the asshole".  At points it seems necessary, but as we get older we realize that we were WAY out of line.  Going back and apologizing to people is a nightmare for many reasons.

You never know how your apology is going to go over.  Some say they don't remember the incident, others say "don't worry about it, water under the bridge", but some will go apeshit - for lack of a better term - and castrate you for even having the gall to contact them.  So here are a few of my personal problems, so you people know I am indeed human.

Confrontation terrifies me.  I'm more comfortable typing than actually talking to people.  It gives me time to think, choose my words, and not worry about getting slapped/punched.  I still have an extremely dark sense of humor but my filter is on when I go out into civilization.  Once I go out with a woman a few times, and it doesn't seem to be going well on either end, I tend to sever contact entirely.  Well, sometimes not entirely, but I give nondescript answers and deflect damn near every direct question.

I promise to all of my readers, and then some, that these faults WILL change.  I will be more outwardly spoken, open with potential wife-material, answer direct questions directly, and maybe even nice to strangers I find repulsive.  That last one isn't guaranteed, but I'll try.

I encourage anyone reading this to do the same, or at least attempt it.  It will open doors you closed or at least make you feel better with yourself.  No matter how difficult it is, give it a shot and you won't regret it.

Chicken and Waffles,

Mr. Two

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fair Weather People - Fans, Friends, Christians

We all know them, we all hate them.  The bandwagoners, the turncoats, the 'all-of-a-sudden-interested in sports' people.  Fair weather fans.  These are the people who are absolutely nowhere to be found during a  team's lull.  They may even talk a little trash if a team gets a win after a losing streak.  But bet your bottom dollar that if that team gets on a streak - look what the cat dragged out.  'Fans' come out of hiding holes not seen since 'Nam.

I'm posting this because my hometown has finally united because we have a team in the NCAA Final Four and it's only the second time in the school's history.  Is this something incredible?  Damn straight.  Am I going out and buying black and yellow everything, claiming to have supported them all season and talking about the team like I carry any weight or ownership?  Heeeellllllll no.

All over my social medias I see people who probably never even knew this team still existed starting to spontaneously care, buy all sorts of memorabilia, some have even gone as far as to set off some leftover fireworks.  I just couldn't take it anymore and had to say something and when I did, they called me cynical.  Now I work in retail, so that has some truth to it, but this is not the case.  I am beyond happy that this town finally has something to cheer about.  I will go to the bar and watch the game.  I will hope they go all the way.  But you won't see me out screaming like a jackass with a letter painted on my chest calling them "my team".

Occasional friends are the same way.  When things are going well, they're always around.  Then you hit a rough patch.  It could be because of money, a relationship, your job - but they sense trouble and hit the bricks.  Once they see you've gathered yourself they'll come back around.  It's kind of a crummy deal, but some people thrive on dysfunctional relationships oddly enough.

Fair weather Christians really strike close to home with me.  I grew up Catholic.  That means private education K-12, and yes....it was a nightmare, but a good education.  I was recently in an argument with a woman claiming to be Catholic, over the issue of gay marriage.  She was using the typical "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve", Bible this, Jesus that approach.  This woman is unmarried, in an on/off relationship with a man and they have two children together.  If you're going to claim a faith I believe it is your obligation to follow the teachings rather than disobey and use confession to wash your hands of your past.

Catholics/Christians are also obligated to attend Mass once a week, preferably on Sunday.  I was told in school "If you somehow manage to miss Mass every single week of the year, the ONE service you MUST go to is Easter service."  No.  Just, no.  Claiming a belief system means you accept its rules without amendments.  If someone tells me "I'm Catholic buuuttt......".  No.  You can't Bible.  I live within walking distance of two or three churches.  I almost got in multiple wrecks yesterday from all the idiot drivers rushing to get their Jesus fix for the year.  These churches haven't been this busy even on Christmas.

Your team sucks this year?  Who cares.  Your friend is having a hard time?  Talk to them.  Buy them a beer.  The Bible doesn't agree with your lifestyle?  It's not for you.  If you're going to claim something, do it right.  Don't avoid it in company because you're embarrassed or ashamed, be there for people close to you and practice what you preach.  All that jazz.

Kiss kiss - bang bang,

Mr. Two