AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 6/28/2004 09:42:00 PM ----- BODY:

Bling Bling, Home Slice

Here's what I don't get: This morning I get up bright and freakin' early because I'm convinced the traffic on the bridge near where I now live is going to be the end of the universe, and of course there's very little traffic to be had, so I'm steaming along toward one of the many infuriating intersections in Lowell where all manner of people crawl out from their slimy little ghetto rocks and show up in all manner of vehicle at a fairly good clip this morning when something stops me dead in my tracks. I have been called "Fatso" at one of these intersections. By a stranger. In another car. That had almost broadsided me when I had the right of way. I have watched pedestrians literally drag their feet across the road just because they felt like aggravating me for no reason. I've seen fat thirteen year old girls in tube tops that look like they belong on barbie dolls and old men with truly alarming teeth staggering along muttering to themselves. I've seen boys no older than ten doing their best gangsta roll in a backwards Yankees hat along the sidewalks toward the Cumberland Farms. Yep, some things on those wild roads of Lowell that would make your hair curl, and I only started living here this week. But nothing--and I mean nothing--could have prepared me for what rolled my way this morning. I saw it, and all I could do was blink. Once. Twice. If I'd had glasses, I would have taken them off and wiped them on my shirt. Contacts, I would've taken them out and inspected them carefully. Blink. Blink. It was a Ford Taurus. Not just any Ford Taurus, but a Ford Taurus that clearly had a few miles on it. In seafoam green. With a blue racing stripe. And rims like you have never seen. Rims made out of the most dazzling chrome. Rims that spun hypnotically within the wheel wells as the car rolled to a paradoxical stop. Do not attempt to adjust your sets. Rims. On a 1998 Ford Taurus. Seafoam green. Blue racing stripe. Chrome rims. Chrome spinning rims. And though this may not seem possible, this isn't the first soccer-mom pimp ride I've seen in recent days. Pimping out Honda Civics seems to be a bit of a fashion trend here in the All-American City. In fact, earlier this week I saw a VW hatchback--yes, hatchback--with gigantic rims, a thudding stereo system and a license plate that said VW ENVY. You cannot be serious. Meanwhile, though I still have yet to meet my upstairs neighbor, I've come to the conclusion that he either weighs 500 pounds or bounces around his apartment on a pogo stick. This is what I have been hearing all evening: BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM ...pause... BOOM BOOM BOOM Every so often he drops what could be a bowling ball or an anvil or perhaps a dead body with a great big "KERSLAM." Or maybe he just falls off the pogo stick. Oh yeah. We livin' large. Biatch. Now excuse me while I find some bling for my hoopty--otherwise known as a '99 Corolla, but you know how we do.