A 1990 Volkswagen GTI, my quirky two-door hatchback…
She carried hundreds of movie posters, a 16mm film camera, bins containing electronic equipment, musical instruments, clothes, pieces of furniture – everything I owned and then some fit inside Carrie.
The car came pre-owned, herself. Straight out them back pages of The Cape Cod Times classified section, paper edition:
- for sale
- 1990 vw gti
- 78K miles
- $5K firm
- cash preferred
I had cash. My family’s cash, not mine-mine, I could swing five thousand easy. I didn’t care too much for that RED part there.
Decided to check out a RED GTI… in person.
Carrie is a lot like Christine, except she doesn’t fix herself. Outside forces help restore her. She uses me as one extension to repair damage, moolah too. Ever read the book Christine by Steven King or seen “Horror Meister” John Carpenter’s Christine or at least know something about tragic nerds who fall for demonic automobiles? Those who hang onto their junky-looking cars for “sentimental reasons” sound familiar? Carrie is totally the Eruo-version of Christine. Loaded more than ever with personality, revenge… all that. Less evil.
Earliest origins unknown.
Carrie made the trip from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Burbank, California in two days flat. She transforms into a clown car when that hatchback opens up and those back seats fold down. One haul, baby. We drove West doing top speeds of ninety miles per hour. A straight shot. Gas-and-go. East Coast – West Coast. The 8-valve, 1.8 liter, 1990 Volkswagen GTI/MK2 Big Bumper Wolfsburg Edition packs a punch. A red-hot European import. Made in Mexico.
Maybe we should begin this whole thing here with an exterior shot of my car? Chapter One. Fade in, whatever. The lil engine that cooked…
“Carrie” from Europe
Not too clean, though. She used to look flash. She used to shine. I’m thinking… start out with just some normal morning exterior shot. A straight-forward, wide-angle view of the car. Something showcasing an automobile with over fifteen very hard years of everyday use. Yeah, start with Carrie in her natural state.
State and city where she’s currently resting on rubbers…
EXT. VOLKSWAGEN GTI – PARKING LOT – BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – MORNING
Dirty. Faded. Retro. A little rusty. Broken parts. Broken down and parked at the Burbank Metrolink in beautiful downtown Burbank, California… THE VALLEY!
Should I mention her two blown motors, a front end accident, three side impact hits, three rear end collisions, failing suspension and muffler problems? The damage is hardly noticeable. The vanity plates you can’t miss. Carrie’s got DAM*GR8 tags, front and back.
She’s been on five cross country road trips, racking up hundreds of thousands of miles with me. The wear and tear, the battle scars, she rocks each lil ding like a champ. Carrie is presently in the beginning stages of a bumper-to-bumper restoration, I keep telling myself. Yeah… I keep telling myself, “I’m going to fix the car up nice this year, cherry.”
“DAM*YOU, Carrie! Forcing me to get shit I can’t afford. Every fuckin’ other month… parts are crappin’ out, but this? I don’t know what to say other than, ‘I finally understand what the heck a head gasket is… or does.’
More or less.
Our relationship is a reel-life for real Ride or Die deal. I’m in this. I’m into this car. I’m in this car relationship. Never getting rid of what I’ve ridden around in for 1/3 my life. Not until we’re T-boned to death. Ride or Die. Carrie represents me perfectly: hit a bunch, hard to kill, high mileage, well-traveled. Cute Honkies.
Recent crap relates to us both today here: rebuilding stage, dirty, etc. And I’m resting on my rubbers, nursing a blown header… getting so fucking faded.
GTI gets stuck in SVF.
(SVF stands for San Ferndando Valley)
Carrie got her ass parked in Burbank because Burbank has cameras everywhere. According to me, Burbank is the entertainment capital of the world. Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, Pro8mm, Central Casting – they’re all here.
Central Casting? I’ll get back to Central Casting in future chapters… plural. One chapter certainly ain’t gonna show the scope of fuckery. Central Casting connects to my downward spiral (started ten damn years ago!) and I continue to troll the biggest casting company on the planet. Wait. What? Troll?
Who cares? Me, I do. It’s good to point ’em out and set ’em up proper-like. Story-wise.
Remember, folks… Central Casting! Biggest casting company in the world. Hey, there they are: Central Casting.
(to be continued…)
The point is: shifting gears with comfortabliity.
There’s a lot going on throughout Burbank, California. I knew I belonged here when I jaywalked – and I had only been in town a month – walked across the street… jaywalked into the cop’s hands. Officer “whoever there” scribbled out my ticket as I approached him by crosswalk. Illegal. Totally safe, but I get it. Extremely illegal. And Officer “what’s his name” couldn’t help himself – boom. Carrie suddenly nailed for out of State Massachusetts plates. Burbank PD fined me two times, decimating Carrie’s oil change fund. Two tickets, one being a “fix it” ticket. Same thing though. Same difference.
Straight out the gates, below-minimum wage earnings as a movie extra NOW to be spent on changing all Eastern style into California flair. California registration, California driver’s license, California insurance company… DAM! Great.
“Stop looking like a tourist and welcome to California. Have a nice day! Policeman’s Ball, mother fuckers!”
Those in charge of this little city keep their community safe. Cameras were strategically positioned everywhere around Burbank, that is a fact. Cameras are on buildings, movie studios, gas stations, offices, officers, cop cars, police and news helicopters – they have cameras on the traffic lights at most major intersections.
Cameras are helping to keep me safe. Or how about this? I feel safer being on any old camera at this point in time. Burbank’s stacked with ’em. Feels good.
Feels better knowing Carrie has cameras pointed in her direction again.
Registered in Burbank with Central.
I made an easy living as a professional background actor slash stand-in slash photo double slash yer wrists open. I hid in the background from movie cameras. Carrie, on the other hand… she had it rough.
I logged years…
Seriously. Years. Thousands of hours working on hundreds of productions as background through Central Casting’s booking services. Five days a week, maybe a commercial on the weekend? An employed working movie extra. And a card-carrying Union Member to boot. Carrie (also registered in Central Casting’s computers) was never considered to be used in background scenes. She couldn’t land one movie or television show – nothing – because Central Casting only books vehicles that are not red, white or black.
Fuck ’em. I featured the red beast in my own indie project, Bank Roll. Carrie makes her twenty minute appearance right smack dab in the middle of a bank robbing movie. No driving scenes, no cruising shots, no-no-no. Parked. Not even cast as the getaway car – friggin’ diva stayed parked. Shit, over twenty minutes of a ninety minute flick… two friends wasting time… talkin’ and stalkin’ bank tellers from the front seats of a Volkswagen GTI. She’s pretty much a co-star, in my opinion. One of the cast.
Carrie in a movie? Check. Movie poster? Check-check. Picture car on other projects? Well, Bank Roll and that’s about it. She stayed quietly locked away outside many productions around Los Angeles, nothing ever since her release in 1990 besides Bank Roll. She brings me here, there and everywhere… except on set as a picture vehicle.
I’m surprised this type of Volkswagen’s career hasn’t taken off. Bugs? We have Herbie. Cabriolets? Gidget. Volkswagen busses? Little Miss Sunshine and their banana-yellow bus comes to mind. Pixar created Filmore the psychedelic hippie van from Cars. Filmore the bus is the only bus for Vincente – voiced by the late/great George Carlin and DAM*GR8 DuhDuh.
“Look, DuhDuh… Filmore bus! Look, DuhDuh! Look!”
“Whoa, man! That’s like… totally cool, dude!”
Bam. Score two memorable roles for the big bus. I’m sure there’s gotta be more bus parts making cinematic history.
No GTIs. No Golfs. Not even a Volkswagen Rabbit GTI.
So what’s up?
Hard to figure why entertainment industry hotshots dismiss both the Golf and GTI MK2 models. Could be because these v-dubs steal scenes away from A-listers. I dunno. And them hotshot producers must be mad jelly I got VW’s first line where they introduced Big Bumpers. Pedal to your meddling. Bank Roll beat them to the punch.
Hold tight, Hollywood. This hunk o’ junk makin’ more DAM*GR8 moves into movies – big AND small screen.
Parked on the Worldwide Web… and beyond!
Check it out: other fools at work online! Social networking platforms postin’ up! We holdin’ shit down! Trust your Super-fans…
Facebook Page created before Bank Roll cameo.
Carrie gonna be FAMOUS, “like it” or not… wait a sec, hang on.
“How long has this red Volkswagen on Google Maps been parked in the same place???”
Google Maps presents: “Carrie” – WORLDWIDE! *now showing @ the Burbank Metrolink*
GEEZ! NO WAY! CLICK THE PIC!
Right now I could totally use all of 818’s visual surveillance, all I can get. Right now I’m front and center and mixed up with certain people – dangerous mother fuckers, let’s put it that way. Let’s put it this way: There are dangerous mother fuckers who know who I am, where I am, who I worked for, where I go to do stupid daily nonsense, what I drive…
Dangerous mother fuckers know more personal stuff and they’re beyond pissed, using information against me, taking petty bullshit out on this car of mine. We’ve had sugar in the gas tank, punctured tires, pin-pricked fuel lines, sliced open CV boots, general vandalism… someone is currently having a good time spitting on Carrie’s paint and glass.
Carrie the fuck on…
I cannot prove the constant targeted harassment I’m receiving from ex-family members, the dangerous mother fuckers. Cool. What I can prove (at this very moment in time) is a dead car engine. Proved that shit to the cops. I proved pressure buildup from inside the coolant reservoir causes anti-freeze to mix with oil. Clear as California crystal meth. Yep, I’m dealing with Carrie’s fucked up blown up head gasket.
“Her engine will live again.” they assure. Cool. A blown head gasket hasn’t allowed me to crank Carrie over in weeks, soon to be 100% headache-free for a few dollars more than a thousand bucks. In two months I can get those kinda funds together.
Only two more months of sitting in a car all day. Cool.
Only two payments left on a thousand dollar bank loan. September “whenever” we get towed the fuck outta here by AAA to our mechanic’s garage in Torrance. The mechanic quoted a head gasket and timing belt at $1,100.00 – an eleven hundred dollar job and three days in the shop, which means three days living on the streets of Torrance. I can’t think about Torrance. I’m thinking about being broke in Burbank tonight, missing Baby Vince something fierce. Smoking. Living in a car.
Living in a cool car.
Hamster on friggin’ wheels!
Save up, repair the car to be mobile once more, attempt to gain ground on Long Beach Court’s 0% custody ruling with the son, go to jail, go to the mental institutions, crawl out from a shitty pit to lick the wounds… and this un-driven car magically brakes again? You don’t say!
And so it goes. We’re on the “repair” stage. We’ve never needed a loan from 1st Entertainment Credit Union. I’m paying off (paying into, actually) a Secure Savings Loan. One year and one half… slowly building credit. In two months, bankers owe me a grand. Goddamn three days without any roof over my head soon will drive me nuts. Thinking about Torrance drives me nuts.
Money thrown at motel rooms is money horribly spent. I may need to sleep on the streets of Torrance this next trip to Euromotors. Torrance sucks. She’s worth it.
I’m too sentimental. Tonight I feel mentally/physically safe inside the car. And no matter where I go… here I am, with Carrie. Fuck being alone in Torrance. Tonight we’re in Burbank.
There’s a parking lot in Burbank at the Metrolink. Looks safe enough here. Not totally safe, but the parking lot overall is a safe bet. During the day we see commuters and employees from Central Casting. Feels like I’m rubbing my failure in their faces, not the rail commuter faces. Rubbing fail on Central Casting’s casting directors. I’m curious… a tiny bit curious. They gotta think something. Do they talk?
“Who’s the horrible red car guy? I see him staying here often.”
“Doug Maguire? We have a restraining order against him. Is he staying one hundred yards away from our property?”
“We still have to walk by him… and that horrible red car, Monday through Friday. He’s there night, day, probably weekends, Holidays… what’s the deal with Doug and that DAM*GR8 car? Ah, screw it. Let’s cast a bunch of extras in some Hollywood TV shows.”
Not bitter. Not Important where anyone parks. What is important: the GTI needs to be parked facing out, at all times, just in case. Back end against a chainlink fence with the L.A. River behind us. Yep. Just in case. I need Carrie to appear as if she can take off.
GTI: posturing/positioning in parking lots.
One defining feature GTI’s posess? Four round headlights on their grills. Christine also shares the four round headlight look. How ’bout that? People need to see her quad-style lamp action. I need to see everyone coming and going. And I need to “act” as though I don’t notice they’re there.
Maybe act like Arnie Cunningham? Game on.
“Okay… show me. Show me yer grille, girl. Fuckin’… show me something.”
Roll back, tuck away.
At night, homeless regulars run the parking lot. You’d never notice them at first. They’re spread out and number a few more than ten. We all live in our separate vehicles, we’ve all got our sad stories on how we landed up sleeping overnight at the Burbank Metrolink. I’ve gotten to know only half the Metrolink homeless population. They hide their business, more or less. Hiding out of shame or embarrassment or privacy… hidden in a public place? Nah. Come on.
Desperate homeless suckers sleeping in Burbank and dangerous mother fuckers creeping into my city… presently. Maybe this is why we’ve been parked here for months? To lure in criminals. I’m cheese on a mousetrap. Stick out and smoke ’em out, cuz let’s be honest – I kinda stick out. No, actually, Carrie does the “sticking out” for us. I’m more low key than the wheels I’m rolling around in. However, personally, I gotta be be low key and patient for only two months, until my thousand dollar bank loan pays out.
And then we fix the car and then we be “whatever the fuck” kinda key needed… high key, please.
For now? Now’s not a very good situation here in Burbank at all. Low key my ass. I need to stay sharp and remain at least one step ahead of the dangerous mother fuckers doing me and my crazy car dirty. And I need to try my best to be super low key. At least try, because clean or trashed, any Volkswagen GTI is out of the low key race. Goddamn bullseye-looking, four-eyed, corny-ass Carrie. You…
I’ll Carrie you dangerous mother fuckers straight to goddamn hell in a DAM*GR8 hatchback, if I hafta.
And I’m gonna. Keep that noise on the DL.