Make It Stop! by Chris Zito

I brought this on myself. Had I gotten my inspection sticker on time I wouldn’t have been driving my wife’s Ford Escape last night.
And I wouldn’t have found myself stuck inside it with the alarm blaring.

We’re a two car family with two very different cars. I drive an old man sedan. What can I say, I’m a Guido at heart.

I’m a bit obsessive about keeping it clean, inside and out. My wife has a  much… busier car. She has Vince most of the time. Keeping a car clean with a preschooler in tow requires a couple of  detail guys plus a medical professional to make sure no resistant super bacteria have a chance to grow. She’s okay with the conditions in her car, I’m happy in mine. We don’t switch that often.

The entire previous paragraph is just a long way of telling you that I have no idea how to properly operate her vehicle. Which brings us to last night.
I drive into the city for a gig at Dick Doherty’s Comedy Vault, get myself a great parking spot on the street just two blocks away and attempt to exit the car. That’s when the alarm started.

I have only a valet key for my wife’s Escape. No fob, no “panic button,” no lock and unlock button. I close the door and put the key back in the ignition and start the car. The alarm continues. Several people across the street are staring. They seem more entertained than annoyed to see a guy in his own vehicle struggling with the alarm. Oh boy, what a hoot! Thank God for them I am unarmed.

At this point I start pushing every button I can reach. The hazards, the lock button, the radio, the turn signal. Nothing makes the alarm stop. “Where’s the snooze button on this thing?” Suddenly, miraculously, the alarm stops. I shut off the car and open the door and-BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Oh sweet Jesus, make it stop!!!

I grab the phone and dial my wife. Voice mail. I dial again. Voice mail. I dial again. Ring, ring, ring…
“Why don’t answer your GODDAMN phone FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE!!!” I shout at the phone.

“Hello?” My wife’s voice on the other end.
“Oh, hi, honey.” I answer sweetly. It’s one thing to shout obscenities at my cell phone, but I don’t speak to my wife that way. I’m not an animal. I’m not a  jerk. I’m not stupid.

“I’m in the Escape and I just parked. When I tried to get out, the alarm started and won’t stop. It’s been ten minutes. I’ve got to get into the club. How do I make it stop?”
Her reply was so simple. So direct. And not at all unexpected. “How should I know?”

By now more people have gathered. Some are pointing. Some are holding their ears. Some wonder why an idiot like me is ever allowed out of the house. One guy stops beside the car and is talking to me. I read his lips: “Turn it off!” Say, there’s an idea! Why hadn’t I considered the whole ‘turn it off’ scenario?

Finally a woman steps out of the salon I’m parked in front of, reaches into the car with a cellphone and says with a heavy Asian accent, “My husband know car. He help you.”
She is like an angel with an answer. She is so kind, calm, and beautiful. In my near panicked condition I actually think to myself, “Will this woman give me a happy ending?” without even getting the joke myself.

“Okay, out of car,” the man instructs me. “Turn key. Lock. Unlock.” I do what’s instructed. Silence.  Then…applause from across the street. I skip the bows and go to work.

Oh, and I got my inspection sticker today.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


3 Responses

  1. Priceless. Priceless. Loved it. I can still hear the alarm going off. LOL

  2. My husband just wanted me to tell you, he has an 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood Bougham. He once owned a 1968 Deville Convertible. Nothing else just that he loved your car. The story was awesome.

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