April 28, 2005

Successful Moron Project Tips

Often, the difference between a successful moron project and and a failed one is determined by the level of familial involvement. It is very important to at least make the attempt to drag the rest of your family down with you.

Misery, after all, loves to have others to blame.

So, as I mentioned, over the weekend I managed to "let it slip" to Miss Reba about my nefarious scheme to procure an outlet for my dementia. The first step in this, obviously, is to not let on that it's a moron project, but to pretend that it's A Good Idea. This requires lots of gibberish. Which I am good at.

The next tip is to give only small doses of moronium at a time--too much may cause sudden lucidity and bring everything to a halt. So, I mentioned the vehicle I was chasing on Ebay, and before we drifted off to sleep Tuesday night, I mentioned that I had been outbid for it.

Administering the dosage while the subject is near sleep is another fine way of making sure the ideas are planted, yet be able to have plausible deniability should anything untoward happen. Like rational thinking. "Gee, you must have dreamt that!"

Another good thing to do is to take every effort to point out meaningless coincidences and treat them as omens. When I came home yesterday, the kids were already eating supper (church night--eat and run) and I sat down and noticed the cup Catherine was drinking out of. Red, plastic, giveaway from one of the high school football games. On the front, the Hewitt-Trussville Husky logo. On the back, the sponsor who paid for the cup. Who was it?

Why, the Mercedes Doctor!

"Cat, turn your cup around and show Mama! Look, Reba! The STAR!" When said with a slight smile and good-natured jocularity, the underlying madness of your quest is disguised as simple-minded banter. But it is yet another dose of moronium.

You can tell when the moronium has begun to take hold when the subject begins to ask YOU, unprompted, about the moron project, or even better, begins trying to "help" you in your long slide into idiocy.

For some reason, Reba has her own obsessive side, although it operates at a monetarily unattainable level. "Did you see the piece of want ad I had yesterday? There was a BMW in there that sounded REALLY nice, and they only wanted $38,000 for it, and it was here in Trussville!"

"Why no! I did not see it! But...," I said with much seriousness, "we could never afford anything like that. I'm just trying to find something small and humble to match my personality."

She did get the humor in the statement, but I indulged her by looking at what she was pointing out, and let her look through my copy of the Autotrader so she could get an idea of the differences between a '05 750iL and an '84 323. And the difference between those and what I wanted to get.

Then Reba asked yesterday evening if I had heard any more from the Ebay car, and I reminded her that before we went to bed the night before I told her I had been outbid. "Oh." Then I mentioned that I had found ANOTHER interesting thing. "Is it the one you were talking about at the shop that's kind of a light yellow color?"

I nearly forgot--one of the best ways to allow your moron project to gain traction is to sow confusion by pointing out many different versions of the object of your desire. There was a customer car in the lot at the mechanic's place that was really lovely, and I had mentioned it to Miss Reba the other day in passing. (And yes, I called to see if it was for sale. No.) But that's the one she thought I was talking about.

Back to the newest object at hand--"No, it's not the same one, but it's the same color. I'll pull it up and let you look at the pictures when the kids are in bed tonight when we get home."

Forbidden fruit--the idea that it's some sort of secret fun surprise to be kept from the children, at least for a little while--yet another catalyst making the moronium work better.

Back from church, kids bathed and in bed, and crank up the old Internets. The newest bit of bait dangling before me lives with its owner over in Newnan, Georgia--moronitude has no sense of territorial limits--and the fellow has been very nice to answer a raft of questions about the car. It's good, but not quite a pristine showcar. A survivor, and all in one piece with nothing missing or falling off. Yet. High miles--ridiculously so. But as is common with these cars, they tend to keep on going long after other cars have disintigrated. But it's still going to need a little engine attention, and probably before it reaches 500,000 kilometers. And it's right there in the right price range. (Although it never hurts to dicker a bit.)

The final part of the puzzle dropped into place last night as we were looking at the pictures of it. Boy had been in the bed and got up to go to the bathroom and came through our room to hug Mommy some more before going back to bed. He looked over my shoulder and I asked him, "Hey, Buddy--how do you like THIS car?"

"I don't."

"You don't!? Well, why not?!"

"It's too OLD!"


I laughed and told him that's why it was perfect. Reba, who up until now has been spared my lament about having everything I own converted to girlie/kiddie use, asked, "Why? So you won't have to worry about them taking it away from you?"

"Exactly! I'm tired of not having nothing but my underwear that I can say belongs to me and me alone!"

Boy (who along with Reba is not privy to this OTHER continuing whine of mine, since neither one even knows Possumblog exists) burst out into a gale of laughter at the mere mention of my underwear. So, obviously the moronium is having a good effect on the whole household. But again, use small doses, spread over time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 28, 2005 10:06 AM

I could send you a picture of the "free" Mercedes anything the Moron Project comes up with will look good in comparison. Oh, wait, I have to do some work on my own Moron Project before taking any pictures. Mine involves spending money to put the Mini on the street to save gas.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 28, 2005 10:17 AM

I think everyone needs to see The Free Mercedes. It actually could be a pretty cool project for the entire Axis of Weevil to participate in!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 28, 2005 10:27 AM

I have to repair my riding lawn mower before taking any pictures. Its transmission drive pulley wallowed out the lock key and the whole mess is sitting in front of the Mercedes which is in turn blocking the Mini from leaving the garage. Luckily, Lee mows the lawn with her push mower so there hasn't been a real need the get rider fixed.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 28, 2005 10:32 AM

Well, dern it all--get her to push the riding lawn mower out of the way! We need pictures!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 28, 2005 10:41 AM

Make Larry fix the rider for Lee! Then the lawn gets mowed more happily, pictures can be taken of the hostage Mercedes and the Mini can get dolled up for commuting duty!

Posted by: Nate at April 28, 2005 10:57 AM

I think that would require getting Larry to fix the mower, which I don't think is high on the priority list. Better to allow his wife to move it, since she already has experience pushing things. Then she could roll the Mercedes into the yard, and then Larry could go and sit in the Mini.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 28, 2005 11:01 AM

Lee refuses to use the riding mower and I am blessed with fairly severe allergies to grass and other chopped up green stuff. She likes mowing the lawn especially after I calculated that it is over two miles of pushing the mower.

I do want to get the Mini out. Huntsville is being overrun by new Minis and I would like to show those folks what a real Mini is, plus it would be lots of fun to run them between stoplights.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 28, 2005 01:42 PM

I'm a not-very-interested-in-cars-as-long-as-they-run kind of girl, mostly, so I hope you'll forgive my ignorance --what does a real Mini look like?

Posted by: Jordana at April 28, 2005 03:05 PM

Try http://www.gomini.com/ for some Minis of the olde-timey classic variety.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 28, 2005 03:22 PM

The original Mini is a full two feet shorter than a new Mini and abut a foot narrower. I'm not real sure I am brave enough to drive one on streets filled with SUVs.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 28, 2005 04:06 PM