May 27, 2013


What's in Dan's trunk?

I borrowed Dan's car the other day because there were some great sales on canned goods at the grocery store. Canned goods are almost perfect -- non-perishable, inexpensive, convenient. But like anything in life, they have at least one fault, in this case, weight. I'd usually walk or ride my bike to the store, using my backpack to carry everything back home to the mothership but cans are much too heavy. My doctor said that if I lift just one more box of bibles I'll need a new back faster than the Internet that the Flash invented after he decided that running around is boooooring. Plus, it's winter and I don't need to be freezing anymore than Barack Obama needs a reliable, day-to-day underpant.

I was in the store, happy as a pig in Rome. I went to the soup aisle first because I knew that I'd go buckwild, and sure enough, five minutes in I have an assortment of condensed delights as well as some of Chef Boyardee's finest and 4 of those hearty classics, un-condensed. I'm a variety man so I got one of each -- Chicken Barley Disaster with Oat Slivers, Beef and Kidney Utah-Style, Vegetable Neighbour - Fat and Vitamin Free and the one I'm looking most forward to, Lettuce and Cheese Limited Edition with Chew.

I figured I wouldn't be able to afford much more so I had to decide what my final cans would be. Originally I wanted to do fruit over vegetables because I love how they take the skin off my favourites, but in a split-second decision guided by my taste buds and the voice of my dad telling me "anything brown tastes good", I double downed on canned gravies.

At the check-out the clerk asked me if I was planning on donating any of my loot to a Holiday food drive that was in full swing. The guy caught me off-guard and since my mind was on soup and soup only, I blurted out "I borrowed a car for these, no". He wasn't as friendly after that and I swear he held my change in his palm extra long and tight just to clam it up for me. The bag boy was a different breed altogether. His sloppy right eye winked at me, then his extra-long head nodded toward a semi-attractive middle-aged woman who was paying for a bundle of organic carrots and a tube of mascara. I didn't know what he was referencing so I tossed him a quarter and told him to "learn Italian, kid". I always like to confuse those who I feel are attempting to confuse me.

At this point you probably want to know what was in Dan's trunk. I don't know! I couldn't get the damn thing open. I had to put the cans in the backseat alongside some jumper cables and a baby seat Dan uses when he's trying to impress the cheerleader who works the drive-thru. All I know is that I spent 3 hours in the parking lot trying to get the trunk open. During that extensive time period I discovered the following about what might be inside the trunk:

1) It smelled like my grandma's old bathroom in and around the trunk. The scent is a mixture of a room deodorizer that smells of spring flowers, 2000 Flushes Blue Plus Bleach and this medicine she had that kind of smelled like swordfish on the BBQ. To make sure I wasn't crazy, I smelled everything in the vicinity. The shopping cart coral smelled like oil and vinegar, but only because someone had spilled a bottle of dressing. It was fairly fresh as I saw no crows.

2) Whatever was in there was big because the rear part of the car was riding fairly low. This piece of evidence I cannot fully trust as Dan has had trouble with his shocks and struts before, which is a result of him storing bricks of silver in the backseat during that strange period in Dan's life when he believed in the healing powers of precious metals. I'm generally a skeptic but his fingernails were a lot clearer back in those days.

3) There wasn't any sound coming out of the trunk but when I was driving to the store and turned up my 48th Highlanders Pipes and Drums casette tape I thought I heard myself run over a duck. I pulled over quickly to check things out but there was no duck. There wasn't even a rat. The road was clear. I know this sounds like something out of a horror movie about a murderer who hides in cars, but I think the sound came from within the car.

You're probably wondering why I don't just ask Dan what's in the trunk. Here's the thing: when I went to drop the car off, Dan was very excited and told me that his short film had been accepted into Cannes.  I didn't want to create a strange atmosphere that might damper his good news so I shut my trap and we drank mimosas with him and his family.

Dan is at Cannes as we speak and he lent me his car for the entire two weeks. I still haven't got the trunk open but I did score a date with the cheerleader from the drive-thru after she saw how much soup I got. I'll keep you updated but I think this is one of those mysteries that will remain unsolved.
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