So, my transformation, from American literary genius, to a real-life citizen of Israel, the King of All Jewish Baseball, is almost complete. The ministry of absorption, of transportation, city inspectors, this tax, that parking app, paperwork. But one piece was still missing, a car, our great symbol of stability, and mobility, at the same time.
After 6 months living in Israel – a nice, round number for review, I will note, leading THE MOST POWERFUL BASEBALL ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD, I have had 6, or 7, cars, I can’t remember. I am an expert, now, also, along with being a professional blogger and the most important artist of the century, a professional car renter, test driver, they know me at Hertz, laugh every time I walk in.
If I had known, I would have documented the whole thing better, as is my habit, let nothing slip by, write it down, make a list, photos, or it never happened. But, regretfully, dear reader, I did not get it all, as well as I would have liked. But I will, now, anyhow, using only the power of Mickey Sabbath, and my phone, of course, piece it all together for you.
It started with this modest little baby blue beast, a nice car, small, manageable, so long ago,I don’t remember if it was fast or slow.
Car 1. Blue Kia Picanto.
After just 1 week, I had had to turn the in for a van. It was time for baseball camp, and I was the bus driver, so I exchanged Car 1, for Van 1. I do not have a picture of the van.
After camp, I received as a gift from the Gods of Jewish Baseball, what came to be known as THE GREAT AND FAITHFUL MOBILE OF JEWISH BASEBALL, the car, thus far, I had the longest, a brown Suzuki Splash.
Car 3, the Splash.
The Splash made it through the Succot Clinics and nearly 2 months on the Battlefield. But then, the NUMERFUL AND WICKED ENEMIES OF JEWISH BASEBALL unleashed a plot to destroy the Splash. Broken glass everywhere.
But we will not be stopped. Like Malcolm, King, and Reagan, in the face of death threats, we picked ourselves up, and continued on…
No big deal.
But a King of Jewish Baseball can only drive a windowless Sukuzi full of Priceless Baseball Equipment for so long, so we exchanged the Splash.
The guy at Hertz said he had never seen a car returned in worse condition, covered in the dust of the Earth, and Bird Shit, missing a window, water bottles and crumpled flyers promoting the Plentiful Programs of Israel Baseball strewn about, phone chargers, coffee cups. He looked around as is if, just by being in the presence of the car, he was somehow in danger.
Goodbye Grand Master Splash.
But then, a new hope, a beautiful Nissan .
The next day, Hamid drove his van into us, another attempt to slow the proliferation of the Kingdom of Jewish Baseball.
Noooooooo. Hamid, you asshole! The Nissan. You didn’t hear me honking???
We continued on, the Hannukah Tournament, carting 4 coaches to Baptist Village every Wednesday for National Team Practice, remembering car start codes and license plate numbers.
One must not just test drive cars, but actual car rental companies. My time with Hertz, after 6 months, had ended. Time to create confusion somewhere else and start looking for a car not to rent, but to buy, to own, property, something to destroy that we can call our very own.
Cars in Israel are insanely expensive, exactly twice as much as in the US, because of a 100% car tax. But I had always heard an Oleh Chadash like myself, as we’re called, those who have, for one reason or another, recently moved to Israel, were to be rewarded for our braveness with an exemption from the dreaded 100% car tax, so I went for the top, a deserving car, an honest new Honda, or Hyundai. But being an Oleh Chadash isn’t what it used to be, the tax break has been reduced to nearly nothing! The new cars were 130k Shekels.
So we took our love of cars to Avis where they sell used rental cars cheaply.
I found a most Israeli model, a Mazda 3, nice car, they’re everywhere. But who has 70 Thousand Shekels just laying around? My collection of fake gold jewelry is worth only a combined 30k, I was 40k short. So I went to a GREAT INSTITUTION OF PERFECTION AND FLOORS, the bank. And in the meantime, was given this free loaner from Arthur at Avis.
Car 5. Chevy Cruz. Slow. Handles poorly. Bad Visibility. Uncomfortable. Shit on gas. Rating: Shitty .
As you know from my brief experience trying to get my license, and as a professional Jury Dutyer, back in the New York Days, Bureaucracy is Kryptonite for the King of Jewish Baseball, if you will, takes my strength, gives me mall legs.
With an attitude like that, I was, after 1 full-day, well spent, I must say, sitting in the bank, fantasizing long winded inner monologues about bureaucrats, the world has become too complicated, too hard to navigate, the weak rule the banks, and the world, I was, ultimately rejected for a loan for the car. You can’t trust an Oleh Chadash with history with cars like mine, he could leave, burn the car and leave, drive it into the ocean. I called Arthur, deal’s off, Arthur, I am sorry, what should I do with the free car you gave me? I will bring it back as soon as possible.
Let’s go check Auto Deal, they have deals, on autos. A Volkswagen, multi media, sun roof, black, a remote control in the car, it smelled like cigarettes, had probably been driven by a Jewish Muslim Wizard Gangster, radio probably half blown out, remote control, though, sold. Back to the bank. They won’t give me a loan for a Mazda, but they will, it turns out, give me one for a pimped out black Jetta. Stamped. Approved. Boom.
But no! Not so fast. It’s only been 5 months, accidents, break-ins, love found, and lost, at Tel Aviv’s most forthright and spectacular car rental agencies, more coffee, the bank, insurance, taken full days of the present, and more off the back end, nothing can be this easy. Let’s keep looking. I hear there are deals on cars up North, let’s check it out.
Another Mazda 3. Financing. Mazda 3, “the most popular model in Israel”, along with the Hyundai I-30, which I also test drove. I am transforming, becoming Israeli, might as well drive the most Israeli car. Let’s do it. And so, here it is, Car 6, or 7, MY car. The one I will know better than all the others, though our love is still new.
I returned the car to Arthur. The free loaner. But no, not free, unfree, the opposite of free, money, 6,000 Shekels. What the fuck, Arthur, bro? You told me you used to want to be a Formula 1 driver, but now you’re renting cars at Avis. We got personal. We are cool.
So, like all things, it is not done. I may owe Avis 6k, or 2, or they may throw it all away, their mistake, they’ll let me know. And there is more to be done, check the spare, owe more money for the new car, a lot, pick up the original copy of the registration, not get in an accident.
The race continues.