Uggh! I Did It Again!

Many years ago, when Britney Spears was hot, she released a hit single called “Oops, I Did It Again.”

I may not fully understand this song, but Britney makes it seem just so sexy when she makes a mistake. According to Wikipedia: “Its accompanying music video ranks among her most famous, and began to more openly express a more sexually-provocative Britney Spears, when Spears herself was only 18 years old while in the video.”

Well, when I make mistakes, nobody seems to get wet.

Let me back up. This past week, my computer monitor (after ten years) and my microwave (after seven years) died.

So I lugged them out to the street and hoped the trash man would take them away.

No! I was reproved. That was not the way to dispose of what is called “e-waste” in Los Angeles.

I needed to drop these things off at a recycling center.

So I Googled and found one at 2649 E. Washington Blvd. The flyer said it was open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

So Sunday morning I go out to my car at 8:40 a.m. I find a note. “This is never good,” I thought to myself.

The note read: “Are you interested in selling your car? If so, I am interested in purchasing it. Please call me.”

“Harrumph,” I thought. “I could never sell this car. I’ve put so many thousands of dollars into it. Just added a rebuilt engine for $3,500 three years ago. Just put $2,000 into it over Christmas break.”

I drive nine miles east on the Ten freeway. I exit on Alameda. I go right for .2 miles and then go left on East Washington Blvd. Yahoo Maps tell me I have .9 miles to go before the recycling center but what do you know, the recycling center pops up after .3 miles.

I turn in and find it is closed. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Damn information on the internet is not accurate,” I fume as I turn around and drive home, calculating how much money this fiasco is costing me.

I’m home for an hour, just starting to watch the Kansas City – Baltimore football game with the sound off so I can simultaneously listen to a Dennis Prager Torah lecture on this week’s parsha when it hits me that I did not go to the right place. I did not check if the recycling center was 2649 E. Washington Blvd. In fact, I know it wasn’t. I needed to go down the road a further .6 miles east.

So I get back in my car and drive .6 miles east of the recycling center to the S.A.F.E. center and turn in.

A cute hispanic girl asks me for my zip code. I say “90035.” She says OK. Then this hefty black woman walks over and hauls away my junk.

I drive home.

I feel that I waste much of my life running around in circles. For instance, I’ll invest in a community, say a Dennis Prager community or an Orthodox Jewish community, and then I’ll blow things up for myself with some ill-considered blogging.

I am often inept at real life and while this may be sexy in a teenage girl, it ain’t in a 44-year old bloke.

I worked in Australia for a year after high school. I had this cool cleaning contract at the Boyne Island Shopping Center. It paid me about $14 an hour and it gave me lots of time to read on the job. Then I returned to America and between college, I worked construction for $4 an hour. I fell in love so much with my work, that I quit full-time college the fall semester of 1986, taking only two classes.

On a job at Chico, I was given the assignment of driving a tractor home to Rocklin. I was told that one gas tank was almost empty but the other one was full, so I should just press the button to change the tanks.

I start driving out from Chico. The truck runs out of gas. I press the button. Nothing seems to happen. I keep pressing it. Nothing happens. So I get out and walk back.

These drunks pick me up. I’m scared to death. They’re drinking and driving. I get out when I can and just walk.

These college kids drive by me and whoop. Chico State at this time has been named the number one party school in the nation by Playboy magazine.

I’m working construction at $4 an hour. I’m still a virgin. I know I’m smart and that I should be having the time of my life at college but instead I’m trudging along the side of the road in 100 degree heat having college kids hollering at me.

After about four hours, I make it back to the boss’s house. He knows what’s happened. I didn’t push the button right. We drive out to the truck and trailor. He pushes the button right and the truck starts up and there’s a full tank of gas and he calls me names and sends me on my way.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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