Although 2016 as a whole trumps (intentional) 2015 for "Shittiest Year Ever," the summer of 2015 was real bad for me. The first omen was when I wrecked my beloved 2007 Fiji Blue Honda Civic Si, Pearl. Pearl was a gift from my parents when I graduated college; she was fast, badass (i.e. manual transmission), and most importantly, a vibrant shade of blue. I loved the hell out of that car, and I was more than a little saddened when she met her untimely demise thanks to an uninsured driver running a red light.
Ultimately though, as one of my least sentimental students told me on our last day of classes together, "When the pope dies, you get a new pope."
I already had a pretty good idea that I wanted an Acura TSX, which is basically a more grown up version of a Honda Civic. So, I did a search for blue Acura TSXes in Austin, and there was one in the entire city. I didn't know at the time that you are supposed to call ahead to the car dealership, so I took the day off work and just showed up shortly after they opened. After waiting for like, ever (to be fair, it was probably 9:30am on a Tuesday, not exactly prime car-buying time), I finally flagged someone down and was handed off to a salesperson, let's call him Milton (because he looked pretty much exactly like a Milton).
Milton was a paunchy guy in his 50s with white hair and a bristly mustache. He reminded me a lot of The Simpsons character Gil: he seemed kind of down on his luck, which was sad, but he also had the personality of warm ham. I'm really mystified as to how he got into the car-selling game, much less why dealership management paired him with me, a fairly vivacious girl in her 30s. So Milton pulls the blue TSX around, and we get in and drive, making the incredibly awkward chit chat that I would generally make with someone my father's age. I'm pretty sure we discussed my college major and responsible budgets interspersed with him awkwardly trying to sell me the car by saying things like, "It really goes, huh?!"
Anyway, so after about 20 minutes of stilted conversation, we finally arrive back at the dealership and are sitting in the parking lot when Milton decides to pull out all the stops to make the sale. "Check out the stereo on this thing!" he said, eagerly reaching over to crank the dial. The radio, which had been inaudibly playing in the background, was set on a local rap station, and when Milton decided to get the party going, the stereo started blasting "Trap Queen."
If you are unfamiliar, Trap Queen is basically an ode to drug dealer girlfriends*. Milton and I sat there, too stunned to move, as this rap song, that I am 100% positive Milton did not know the meaning of, blasted from the TSX's truly impressive stereo. Every fiber in my body wanted to reach over, turn the music down, and make this sad attempt at a connection end, but I didn't know if that would just be more embarrassing to him. After an interminable 90 seconds of enduring a rap song playing way louder than I am comfortable with normally, much less with my awkward-dad-salesperson in the car, I just turned the car off and said, "Yeah, that sounds great!"
Milton did not make the sale that day. In fact, I take my silver TSX (Sheba) to a dealership on the opposite side of town for the sole purpose of avoiding Milton for the rest of my life (also: because they give me cookies while I wait) (it is very easy to keep me happy).
As much as I never want to experience that awkwardness again in person, I do think of "Trap Queen" as Sheba's theme song. Whenever it comes on the radio, I chuckle to myself, then reach over to turn it up. For Milton.
*(If you are one of those people who didn't know what a Trap Queen is, FOH. Pay attention to the context clues!)