She Drives Me Crazy: Three Favorite Essays

She Drives Me Crazy: Three Favorite Essays

3.4 52
by Celia Rivenbark

From the bestselling, award-winning author of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning among others, comes three wickedly irreverent essays that will resonate with women, mothers, and girlfriends everywhere.

In these essays, Celia Rivenbark reviews the many oddities in stranger-than-fiction news story, chronicles her transition into


From the bestselling, award-winning author of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning among others, comes three wickedly irreverent essays that will resonate with women, mothers, and girlfriends everywhere.

In these essays, Celia Rivenbark reviews the many oddities in stranger-than-fiction news story, chronicles her transition into the Twitter-sphere, and laments a missed opportunity to be a guest on a certain national talk show.

These essays and many more are featured in You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, available August 2011.

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St. Martin's Press
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SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY (Chapter One)She Drives Me Crazy (Shaving Time Off the Commute)

My friend Randy is ’bout to lose his religion over his new car.

A good Southern boy, Randy was tickled with his car at first because it (a) has plenty of leg room (b) dual sunroofs and (c) isn’t a Toyota.

Randy’s car is awesome in many regards but it was the state-of-the-art navigation system that sold him.

Who that, you ask? Well, it’s a fab little device that lets you keep your eye on the road while you “talk” to your car. Randy likes to use the system to call people, hands free, or, more often, to command it to play music.

Unfortunately, his car can’t understand Randy’s melodious Southern drawl.

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” Randy told me. “I tell it, as plain as I know how, to “Play artist Hall and Oates” and it will come back with this hateful Yankee voice that snaps at me, “I didn’t understand you. So then I say, “I said Hall and Oates, por favor because I’m feeling just a little bit hateful and I might as well be speaking in a furrin language.

“So I say again to the machine, “Play Rich Girl. It’s one of my favorites. I remember the first time I heard it I was in high school and it had been out for a long time but I really liked it because I was actually dating a kinda rich girl at the time and what was her name?…She was really cute but a little taller than my usual girlfriends, ’cause you know I’m cursed in the height department. All the Wagram men are. My Uncle Elvin was short, but he never had any trouble with the women. He liked ’em young with old money. I’ll never forget when his mama, who was a real piece of work, got introduced to his newest woman friend and she was way different from his usual teenyboppers. She must’ve been at least forty-five which was perfect because Elvin was close to fifty. Anyway, Aunt Berle had been sipping cocktails for a couple of hours, and when he introduced his new grown up woman friend to Berle and explained how she owned a highly successful chain of lawn furniture stores, Aunt Berle said, “Well how ’bout that! Usually Elvin goes for young poontang and old money, not old poontang and new money. That boy’s just full of surprises, I reckon. Anywho, I loved that song Rich Girl and had just developed a real hankerin’ to hear it and so I was talking about old times and that Yankee bitch just cut me off!”

Well, as a typical Southerner, Randy may go on just a bit. And it’s possible that he even forgot for a second that he was talking to a machine. You know those people that you describe as “he never met a stranger”? That’s Randy. Except sometimes I want to say a stranger what.

Randy says that his car’s navigation system’s inability to understand his Southern accent means that he arrives everywhere just a little pissed off.

“That crazy Yankee bitch inside my car hears Derek and the Dominos as Death Cab for Cutie,” he said morosely. “I haven’t been this upset since they put me on the prayer chain at church for foot fungus. You know, I just hate when everybody has to know my business. That prayer chain is something to be scared of. The Baptists print the reason for the prayers right there in the bulletin, you know, so I was embarrassed to wear sandals for a very long time.”

Oh, yes, well…

Randy says he gets so upset sometimes that he just pulls over to the shoulder of the interstate and takes a few minutes to cuss out his car.

I told Randy that I was completely sympathetic. And as a member of the pseudojournalistic profession, I plan to investigate this thoroughly and get back to him with the results of my in-depth research and extensive interviews.

Kidding! I haven’t got time for that shit. But I do get it. I told Randy that I have the same problem every time I “tawk” to a phone tree.

I don’t think I’ve ever used directory assistance without a real human having to come on the line to figure out what the hell I’m trying to say.

The computer says, “What listing?” in that clipped tone that indicates you better get it right the first time.

So I say something perfectly normal, taking care to enunciate perfectly: “Ah’d lock da numbah for Bream Baituh’s Worms and Cawfee Shop, puleeeeez,” which any moron should be able to understand, but no!

This is followed by that hateful pause and “Please hold for an operator.”

Randy will, I’m afraid, just have to get used to the fact that the rest of the country tawks funny. They can’t hep they-selves.

He shouldn’t oughta be talking on the phone while driving anyway. Even hands-free devices aren’t safe.

You know what’s even less safe than talking on the phone or even texting or reading the newspaper while driving? Shaving your cootch, that’s what.

Well. You asked.

Florida driver Megan Barnes wins the Lifetime Redneck Achievement Award for her behavior while driving along the Keys on a balmy March day.

Megan decided to multitask, as we all have at one time or another, while she was enroute to a date. But while we’ve all done dumb things like applying eye shadow or mascara at the stop light when we’re running short of time, Megan took the whole grooming-while-driving to new heights. That’s right: She decided that she’d use the drive time to spruce up her love rug.

Unfortunately for Megan, this required more attention than she could safely give such an intimate project so, mid-shave, she slammed into the back of a pickup truck at forty-five miles per hour.

That kinda makes the time you drove with your elbows while eating a Whopper seem downright virtuous, doesn’t it?

I’m trying to remember back to my driver’s education classes, and I swear I don’t remember Mr. Kilpatrick ever coming right out and saying’ “What ever you do, young ladies, do not ever be tempted to trim your hoohah while you’re behind the wheel.” No, I would’ve definitely remembered that, and I’m certain there was no grisly video to watch that showed such behavior.

Ms. Barnes told the investigating officer that she was “on her way to a date and wanted to be ready for the visit.”

Yes, she wanted to look her best. All over. Except, well, I’ve seen Ms. Barnes’ mug shot and she has a face that would stop a clock and raise hell with small watches. I don’t want to sound cruel, but you’d have to be pretty walleyed to even make it as far as her hoohah, bless her heart.

I guess the only thing to be grateful for in this sorry scenario is that Ms. Barnes didn’t try to wax her bidness while driving. Imagine the horror if she’d tossed the used wax strips into the waterway as she cruised toward Key West. Talk about saving the manatees. They might’ve thought those were the pelts of long-lost cousins.

I’ve driven this particular stretch of highway a few times in my life and it’s one of the prettiest drives imaginable: crystal waters, cloudless skies, gorgeous mangroves. Call me crazy but I’ve never been so bored that I decided to drag a sharp blade over my naughties just to have something to do.

In all fairness, Ms. Barnes was smart enough to realize that she couldn’t shave and steer simultaneously so she asked the passenger in the front seat, who happened to be her ex husband, to take the wheel while she got busy. What a guy! How many men do you know who would help their ex get ready for a big date in quite this manner?

And how did that conversation go, you reckon?

“Here, hon, hold the wheel for a few minutes. I’m gonna hook up with Ray-Ray when we hit Long Key and I wanna try to make it look like a lightning bolt!”

Precious Lord.

Not only did Ms. Barnes’ ex agree to take the wheel, but after the wreck, he switched places and tried to take the blame, too.

Unfortunately, his bare chest sold him out. The airbag only deployed on the passenger side and our white knight (OK, actually more of a pawn) had the bruises to prove it.

To nobody’s real surprise, the Florida Highway Patrol quickly discovered that Ms. Barnes didn’t have a valid driver’s license. Oh, and the day before, she’d been convicted of DUI. (Everybody say, “Noooooooo!!!!!”) Oh, and her car had been seized and had no insurance or registration. (It was a Thunderbird, if you were wondering. Yes, she was having fun, fun, fun til the police took her T-bird awaaaaayyy.) Oh, and she was a probationer. Albeit an impeccably groomed one.

I imagine that Megan Barnes’ tale will be legendary in the Keys and beyond for many years to come. And, thanks to her foolishness, there will doubtless be a new warning label on your razors and shaving products. Because every time a dumb ass does something like this, the companies involved feel the need to explain the dangers to prevent possible lawsuits.

Something along the lines of “Warning! Do not attempt to use this razor in the vicinity of your cooter while driving. Failure to use this product in the safety and sanctity of your bathroom will result in unremitting grossness and possible harm to yourself and others.”

Because these warnings must be accompanied by simple drawings that transcend language barriers, it should be one hell of a picture, am I right?

I told this story to Randy to get his mind off his own language problems, but it didn’t help all that much. He’s decided to accept his Aunt Berle’s wisdom on such matters.

“She always says that which does not kill us makes us meaner.”

She’s a feisty one, that Berle.

SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY Copyright © 2011 by Celia Rivenbark.

Meet the Author

CELIA RIVENBARK is the author of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning, Belle Weather, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier and Bless Your Heart, Tramp. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Celia Rivenbark is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank; Bless Your Heart, Tramp; Belle Weather; and You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Born and raised in Duplin County, North Carolina, Rivenbark grew up in a small house “with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats.” She started out writing for her hometown paper. She writes a weekly, nationally syndicated humor column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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She Drives Me Crazy 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Celia uses such descriptive wording that you are able to paint the pictures in your head that she is describing. I could not put this down, and have not stopped laughing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This had me laughing out loud. It was funny, irreverant and a quick read. I will be looking for more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
20 pages, and I didn't find humor in any ofthe author's musings. I am someone quite easily amused, so I found that a bit disconcerting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some sort of diary? Complain, complain, complain.. that's what the author was doing. I don't think this is even a real book ! Don't waste your time on some 20 pages of bitterness !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kinda funny but could be better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delightful and perfectly Southern. Humor at its best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Celia writes exactly what I think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not tweet humor but it is very funny short comedy esaayss.of course I am from Twzaa so I favor Southern humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is hoible!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Celia's the best. Very, very funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a kid and that is some pretty intense words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Southern, funny. Great for short read time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was okay didnt really keep my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the way she writes.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This only three stars because it was free. It would have been 2 otherwise. I did laugh in spite of my better nature, which kept it above a 1. The first essay was too rambling, even "for a Southerner" and quickly turned raunch for effect. A little would have been funny, but it wasn't a little. The 2nd essay I could have really gotten on board with, considering a few snarky conversations at the dinner table with my own Southern relatives but she took being snarky past the legal limit. The third I just considered jealous whining while trying to sound funny self deprecating. It didn't work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
but it was free so cute short read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a cute, witty book that I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horrible! Thank goodness it was free
dddaaron More than 1 year ago
The book has one star because I have to show at least one. I cannot believe I wasted time on this book. It was AWFUL!!!