Jem’s Rolls Royce and the Post Office Adventure

Who remembers this car/toy? This was Jem’s Rockin’ Roadster, released only in 1986. The next year it was replaced by the Glitter N’ Gold Roadster, which was probably more appealing to little girls. I disagree.

Jem Rolls Royce

I was 4 years old when the Rockin’ Roadster came out, and I believe Santa brought it to me. I was Jem obsessed – and still somewhat am – and had most of the dolls, accessories, books, tapes, and whatever else we could afford.

This car symbolizes my childhood. Crazy colors, fun, and energetic. Nearly 30 years later, when I hear “Jem” I think of this car.

And I found one. Oh yeah, I bought this fabulously 80s treat. Scheduled to arrive early this week, I had trouble containing my excitement. Not only was this more than affordable for what it was, but it was in great condition. Even the radio works.

The Post Office Fiasco

This week rolled around, and on Wednesday I received a slip saying the post carrier left the package with my apartment manager. I visited the office, and they didn’t have it. I remained calm and called the post office.

A wonderful lady took all my information, and said to check back later. On Thursday, I called the post office, and no one had seen it. This time I spoke to an idiot, who answered the phone laughing and put me on hold, so she could contain herself. Then she was useless and advised me to call Friday morning to speak to the carrier personally – “only they know what they did with the package.”

Friday morning came, and I called again. Thankfully, the nice lady answered and spoke to the carrier for me, and they had no idea where it was. The carrier’s daughter ran the route and said she left it in the package box. Well, guess what? She didn’t because it was way too big. And again, no one knew where it was.

By Saturday, I was about to have a nervous breakdown. When I placed the order last week, I had this terrible feeling something would happen to it because it was so special to me. That’s just my luck. I called the post office again and spoke to another useless person who was less than helpful. I had lots of errands to run but ended up back at the apartment office. I decided to check the packages for the third time, and my manager found it! Apparently, it had been dropped of late Friday afternoon.

After 10 minutes of getting through the packaging, the Jem Rockin’ Roaster has a new home! Here’s a full tour of its awesomeness!

Jem Rolls Royce
For scale: It’s 24 inches long.
Jem Rolls Royce
Gorgeous 80’s plastic chrome. Only the top cars had this feature.
Jem Rolls Royce
Roomy interior, but it was hard fitting the huge dolls.
Jem Rolls Royce
Missing the stick shift, but the hot-pink interior more than makes up for it.
Jem Rolls Royce
Beautiful curves and gem white-wall wheels.
Jem Rolls Royce
Check out the working FM radio! I mis-remembered this as a tape player, but I do credit the radio for my love of The Monkies. It picks up a whopping three channels and provided music on many days!
Jem Rolls Royce
Pimpin’ in 80’s style. The end.


Story of the Month: Crazy Car Crash Part 2


Last month I shared the ordeal of a car accident I experienced several years ago. This month i thought I’d wrap up with a bit of fallout AFTER a car crash…the little things people don’t expect after dealing with trauma and the relief of “I survived!” has passed.

As I lay on the couch for a few days recuperating, I received a call from my insurance company. Apparently my agents, with whom my family had been associated for something like 25-30 years, didn’t do any investigating. They handed it off to a specific investigator who…never left the office. How one can determine the causes of a physical event like a car accident without actually visiting the scene or viewing the wreckage I have no idea. Imagine Sherlock Holmes calling up Sir Baskerville and asking, “Sooo…it was a dog of some kind?” But that is essentially what happened. Remember that person who asked “what happened?” as I was being loaded into the ambulance? Evidently that was the investigating policeman on the scene. Remember my response of “someone hit me?” THAT was recorded as my statement! The woman who rear ended me apparently cried and gave a long statement that I swerved in front of her and hit her. Despite all my damage being on the driver’s side of the rear of my vehicle, which made that claim virtually impossible…

I did actually speak to my insurance “investigator” once who said, “well we do have a police statement saying you swerved in front of her, according to the report your comments were very sparse.” The fallout from this was such that everyone in my family who had the same insurance agent called asking for SOME kind ofa assistance, and only heard “it’s with investigations now.” So despite 30 some odd years of patronage, no help was given. It eventually resulted in everyone in my family, including my grandparents who I think had them as long as they had insurance in this state, switching to a different agent.

In the end, the investigator never visited the scene, never saw the car, and from what I can tell, never really submitted a report. I do know the accident was declared “no fault” and this has led us all to believe the other driver must have had the same company as me…meaning they would be paying out someone…UNLESS it was no fault in which everyone paid their own…which how I got my next car…

Insurance Companies in Practice

So what are the life lessons here? Well number one is: it’s a MYTH that the person who rear ends you is always at fault! Number two is balance, I was in a car accident and looked bad enough that the hospital staff thought I’d been on a motorcycle instead of a massive, safe car. You can get away with nearly being squished, but that amy be as far as your luck goes when you try to put things back together that AREN’T your bones! And number three, Insurance is essentially reverse gambling. You pay a LOT of money over the years all in the hopes that you never have to cash out. They aren’t they for your protection or for yous benefit, they’re mostly there because it is safer to have them just in case of a catastrophe that you may or may not cause, than to not have them at all. Even if their willingness to help when you really need them is slim to none…

In the end this wasn’t a sad or bad story. I got lots of nifty scars, a good “worst car crash” story, and I always have good “here’s why I hate insurance companies” argument whenever it comes up. I’ve been a cynic my whole life, but this taught me extra caution when dealing with companies like insurance or traffic cops. There ARE very good ones out there…then there are the ones who are just barely making an effort. If nothing else it has helped post-graduation me NEVER be the kind to just barely make an effort. Who knows whose on the other end of your work…waiting for an answer only you can provide and hoping you’ve done the best you can.

And in the end it always come down to Wheaton’s Law no matter who you are, what your job is, or what you’re doing:

Wheaton’s Law


Story of the Month: Crazy Car Crash Part 1


In 1989 my grandparents of all people got the coolest car I’d ever seen. I was 8, and they got a brand new Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme. An Olds the coolest car ever?   Oh yes. I remember the first time going for a ride in it; it was navy blue, was the quietest car I’d ever been in, and the dashboard panel looked like this:


I felt like I was in the Millennium Falcon.

For years they had this car as their “backup” vehicle, driving either my grandfather’s Olds Eighty-Eight or their Ford Bronco depending on what their second car was at the time.

In 2001 they started looking for a new car. I was driving a Geo Prism at the time, mostly using it to go back and forth from college to home on the weekends. Since my G-parents wanted a new one my mom talked them into giving the Cutless Supreme to ME. I paid the registration fee alone and received the coolest car ever, awesome digital dash, very low mileage, still a shiny dark blue. I looked forward to going back to college (about 50 miles from home) just for the short, casual commute.

One fall weekend I was on the way back home to go to a library book sale. It was a clear, bright day, sunny and unseasonably warm, when my Cutless Supreme made its last journey…

I was in the left lane, moved into the right near my exit. I glanced into my rear view mirror and saw a white Mustang (see THIS post about Mustang drivers) racing up behind me. I’ve always heard that in times of danger “time slows” I think it’s more accurate to say “the mind races.” It’s in these moments, where adrenaline flows and heart rates thunder that we see things in the same way a hummingbird does…racing metabolism seemingly slowing the world around us…

I knew from the pace and timing the Mustang couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. Not only did it NOT stop it didn’t even slow down. I was struck in the rear driver’s side and PIT maneuvered off the interstate at about 65 miles an hour. I’ve always been told I have an absurdly good memory and in this case have distinct memories of what went through my mind. I actually remembered my driving training before being hit (“no matter what go off to the right if there is a problem, that way you’re more likely to NOT hit another vehicle,” which explains why my rear driver’s side was hit); I remember a stand of small trees and thinking “Good, they’re small trees that will stop me from continuing in the unstoppable plunge off the road without crushing me utterly;” I then remember seeing them go to my left and vanish from view as I spun. Apparently what happened next was the rear of the car struck a steel lamp post in the exit and the spin was brought to a sudden halt. When I made the trip home weeks later I saw navy blue paint about 6 feet up the post demonstrating how far up the car crumpled before arresting its momentum.

The next thing I remember is trying to open the driver’s side door, which was stuck. I got angry slid over to the passenger door and kicked it free. I crawled out and to my surprise people had already gathered. When did they have the time to do all that? One woman implored me to sit down, but I was too busy looking for my phone so I could call home to tell them what happened. A guy in scrubs rushed over and told me he was a LifeFlight Nurse from Vandy Hospital and asked me to sit down. He held my neck to prevent any further trauma and I tried to call home. Our home number had recently been changed (it had been the same since 1987) and after I dialed and handed the phone to nurse he said “the number says it isn’t available.” I responded, “Dammit, they just changed it. I swear this isn’t brain damage.” I dialed the new number and when my mom answered I said, “Mom I just got into a car accident.” She said, “How bad is it?” Not thinking I responded, “Well the LifeFlight Nurse is here.” To which I heard a, “WHAT?!” and Immediately clarified, “no, no he was just passing by!” (People don’t do that to your mothers…)

They loaded me into an ambulance on a big, orange plastic board and someone asked “What happened?” I had no idea who, I was strapped down staring at the ceiling of an emergency medical vehicle and responded, “Well…someone hit me.”

I was taken to a major ER where I received between 230-300 stitches and Dr. Grimmet (I still remember her name) stayed for over two hours (much to the chagrin of the other ER staff who wanted her to assist elsewhere) to finish suturing my left arm which needed by far the most work. I also got sutures on my eyelid which I won’t lie FREAKED me the EFF out.

After about 6 hours getting sewn up in the ER I went home and slept on the couch for a few hours. I woke up a couple times, once to see our cat, Sweetie Pie, peeking over the couch at me in awe and wonder almost saying, “You smell like the guy who lives here but you don’t look like him…” I met her gaze for a moment before she fled the scene in horror!

I actually couldn’t make any calls so I sent my RevPub partner an email telling her what happened before passing out (I have never lived down the fact that I related the crisis via email…) She called and talked to my mom to check on me. My grandfather showed up the next morning and said, “What did you do to my car?!” and a good laugh was had by all.

My dad went to the local wrecking yard to take pics for insurance purposes and here’s what he came back with. To this day I can’t help but think only a few months before I was in a Geo Prism…I don’t think it would’ve fared as well…

Crash4 Crash2 Crash1 Crash3 Crash5 Crash8 Crash7 Crash6Preview

Next month, the epic battle between a rear-end collision victim and his own insurance company!

silver airconditioning duct

Story of the Month: Car Slinky


Do you remember the end of Toy Story? Woody and Buzz hop on R.C. and ride to the moving truck. They make it to the truck, and Slinky Dog hops down and grabs Woody. Slinky Dog stretches as far as he can, moving from one side of the street to the other, until he can’t hold on any longer.

Believe it or not, I’ve had a similar incident involving a car and a slinky-type contraption.

Slinky Dog helping Woody and Buzz
Photo from:

 Car Slinky

One night after work, my friend and I decided to take his mom’s 350Z for a spin. It was a beautiful car and an awesome night for a late drive. The weather was perfect.

2003 orange Nissan 350Z
An orange Nissan 350Z. Photo from:

We drove around and chatted, twisting and turning through all back roads of the Franklin Road area — until we came to this in the middle of the road:

silver airconditioning duct
Photo from:

You may recognize it. It’s an air conditioning duct. We tried to dodge it, and thought we did until I looked in the side mirror.

The duct was attached underneath the car, and we were dragging it down Edmonson Pike and Nolensville Road at 1 in the morning. The silver car slinky was at least 20 feet long, and it dragged from one side of the street to the other. Frantically, we tried to figure out what to do, but we couldn’t stop laughing. I cried from laughing so hard and knew we were going to get pulled over. No cop would ignore a sports car dragging a 20-plus-foot slinky down a main road in the middle of the night.

I felt like the baby sister in Toy Story seeing Slinky Dog in her side mirror. It was epic.

After about 10 minutes, we were finally able pull into a parking lot and unhook the duct. There was no damage done to the car, and it made for a great story. Some of my fondest memories are car stories, and you never know what you’ll see. Who knows there may be a YouTube video somewhere…

For fun, here’s the end of Toy Story, backwards! And if you have any funny car stories, we’d love to read them!

Off the Edge #3: Random Annoyances

Off the Edge

As anyone with the internet, a PC, a car, or a television…I get a little tired of things sometimes.  Not just typical annoying things, but other things that might seem harmless, or even wildly popular, but for some reason I just get incredibly weary of some aspects about the culture and just life in general.  Just for fun (bring it on internet) I thought I’d do a list of the things that have been especially annoying recently in no particular order:

  • People: They’re rude, selfish, and needlessly hateful.  In fact it’s such a surprise when someone is civil you aren’t quite sure how to take it.  When you get the note from the guy who scratched your car or a “thanks for the tip” on a youtube comment it’s stunning.
  • Reality TV: I used to wonder when this trend would end.  I don’t think it will.  There are way too many shows with washed-up celebrities and/or “regular people” competing or behaving stupidly on TV.  I only turn my television on for 2-3 shows.  If I see one more person crying on TV I may just wait til things show up online and give up cable altogether…
  • Dropping Things: How do they vanish into oblivion?  I dropped it straight down.  I can understand it might bounce an inch or two but how did it get 12 feet away underneath the aquarium?
  • Parking: How on earth do people NOT hit the lines?  Ok we all can leave a poor attempt at parking on occasion but I’ve noticed a LOT of people park consistently badly and leave it.  When you use the same parking lot every day you can see the same white truck or the same blue car crooked over the lines.  If they have that much trouble with painted lines while stationary I live in fear of how they deal with them while moving.
  • Hipsters: What pop-culture crypt spawned these foul creatures?  They’re this generation’s beatniks; only instead of being annoying poets they mostly just criticize annoying poets.  For not being annoying enough.  That’s a double whammy.
  • Geek Culture: NOT geeks.  I have no issue with dorks since I’m a huge dork myself, but it’s more the marketing toward geek culture that drives me insane and how people wear geek culture like a jacket now.  It used to be geek culture was driven by the geeks.  Now people become geeks the way they become raver-kids or goths, they wear the clothes, watch the TV shows, and learn some lingo.  It’s just what is popular right now.
  • Movies in CGI: Yeah that’s what it is now.  No more CGI in movies.  It’s more movies that are CGI.  They’re all CGI.  People don’t build sets anymore just green screens.  No one builds props anymore, they’re just rendered.  I’d rather see something in front of the camera than see an undulating cartoon character or more pixelated fire.  I don’t think I could take seeing another computer-generated army running at another computer-generated army.
  • Model Glue: Why does it stick my fingers together better than the model parts?
  • Fanboyism: Sometimes people just can’t see the problems with their own beloved obsessions.  Nothing is ALL good and what is good, better, and best is all a matter of personal opinion.  So what’s with all the flame wars?
  • Apple: I know there are scores of Mac lovers but honestly I find Apple’s practices as insidious as anyone’s…probably more-so.  The big problem is some publishers ONLY publish their digital material in the iTunes store…to get it you have to have iJunk.  So to get a 15 dollar book I need a 300 dollar device…
  • Traffic: I’ve noticed nearly all traffic problems are caused by selfish and/or over-reactive people.  One jackass stops or pulls out in front of everyone and that spot will sometimes create a chain-reaction back-up for hours.
  • Haters: People who only find the negative in things.  “It’s a great ::blank:: but it has this stupid thing.” Or “It would’ve been perfect but ::whatever:: ruined it.”  And yes, I see the irony in having haters on a list about things that annoy me!

 That’s all I can think of now.  Again, this is just me.  We’re all allowed our opinions so feel free to disagree!

And as usual, it’s all just good fun 🙂

Off the Edge #2: Annoying Holiday Car Commercials

Off the Edge

Next week I’ll start the first of my legitimate Versus Mode! posts but since it’s just after Christmas I really wanted to get this one out while it was still relevant!

I’m sure we’ve all seen it, I’ll set the stage:

You’re watching TV and this soft music comes up.  Some square-jawed guy walks through his overpriced house, by a Macy’s store-sized Christmas tree, and into a bedroom where he wakes his sleeping wife, who doesn’t have “I’ve been asleep hair or face.”  He then leads her outside where, sitting in the perfectly snowy driveway, sits an Acura, Infinity, Lexus, or Mercedes with a ridiculous big bow on it.  They celebrate, etc and voice over says something about a gift you both can cherish for years to come.

OK.  I HATE these commercials…  Truly.  It’s pure commercialized fantasy and borders on absurdity.  It could be that I don’t brush elbows with people in a high enough tax bracket that secretly buy their spouses cars for Christmas, but I’ve never heard of this happening for anyone.  The logical person in me (who makes up 85% of my personality) has a few problems with this:

  1. Who in the hell buys someone a $40-60,000 Christmas present?
  2. How does one spouse spend that much money on the other without the other knowing about it?
  3. I’d like to have been present for the conversations they have as they tried to figure out what the giftee spouse would like in a car…or did they care?
  4. Where does one get car-sized bows and ribbons, how much do they cost, what do you do with it AFTER the car has been given as a gift?

I know, they’re just trying to sell cars, but the entire concept is so annoying to me, even as commercials go, I thought I’d rant about this one while the season was right!

Photographs below show the closest I’ve come to seeing a car wrapped up for someone.  A friend and I went to Target in October and saw it sitting out there.  I have no idea who the owner was but they have my pity…

It was definitely wrapped and decorated…but the owner was probably less than happy about it…

So here’s the fantasy:

Here’s the closest I’ve seen…

IMG-20121026-00441 IMG-20121026-00442 IMG-20121026-00443

Next post is my Versus Mode Street Fighter II Reminisces!