As Featured on News Cult: What to Do When You Get a Flat Tire

Apparently my life motto is, “Alex Eason: taking on all of the world’s car problems so you don’t have to.” As a newly anointed expert on the subject of flat tires, here’s my how-to guide for dealing with them.

1. Panic

You learned how to change a tire once in high school, but oh are those glory days long gone, so you’re SOL up the creek on this one, sans paddle if you know what I mean. Call your dad, obviously. Then lament your misfortune while you cry, of course. Be heavily disappointed in yourself for reinforcing sexist stereotypes, but then remember that every guy you’ve ever dated/every guy you’ve ever worked for/every guy you’ve ever met can’t change his own tire either and feel smugly vindicated that their bitch asses are just as useless as yours.

2. Lie on the ground and give up, because there is clearly no point to living anymore.

3. Call roadside assistance

Because you’re a pathetic excuse for an adult. This is why you get AAA. Or, you could rely on the roadside assistance that came with your car, and 5 hours + 2 cancelled tows later, you’ll be on your way to the mechanic in a tow truck that feels like an earthquake simulator and a driver that’s high, but don’t worry, because he can show you where the only Fatburger in/around LA County that didn’t sell out and still serves wings in a sweet and tangy orange sauce is.

4. Ask if it can be patched

Usually, if the flat is caused by something like a nail in the tread, it can be patched, as opposed to damage to the side wall. Patching is way less expensive than replacing a tire and is totally sufficient. #webroke

5. If you find out it was not an accident, but that somebody slashed it…

Find out who that person is, and then exact revenge in ways they’ve never even heard of (their credit score? Decimated. Their name? On the No Fly List. Herpes? Contracted for the sole purpose of spreading; successfully spread). What they didn’t consider when they slashed your tire is that you’d be able to find out it was them, by means beyond their wildest dreams, and now you get to haunt their every waking moment, which will be plagued by the relentlessly terrorizing knowledge that you know, and you know they know you know, and any instant, a metaphorical bomb could drop (or a real one—just make sure you do it with the stealth of Obama in the drone wars), and BAM—poof goes their illusion that they could get away with fucking with you. Silly rabbit, we don’t get fucked—we fuck. #wedothefucking

6. Leave the shitty tow company that cancels on you a bad Yelp review

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.47.30 PM     Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 11.29.48 AM

Finally make good on your threat to leave a Yelp review.

7. Become friends with the mechanic

He’ll laugh at the “I ❤ MY PENIS” air freshener hanging from your rear view mirror, and you’ll tell him that it’s supposed to be a joke but also kind of a feminist statement, and he’ll respond with, “it’s cute,” and then he’ll tell you he’s impressed that you drive a stick because not many girls do, and you’ll be so tempted to point out all of the patriarchal things wrong with alll of that, but you bite your tongue because anything in the name of getting things for free, right? #it’shardoutthereforafeminist

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When you get a flat tire on your way home from work

So you get onto a residential street and it’s all permit parking, so you pull over and put your hazard lights on and then call roadside assistance and it’s going to take them an hour to get there, so you call your mom and she expresses concern for your safety so you say, “I’m in fucking Beverly Hills, Mom. My life is not in danger,” just as a slightly scary looking man walks by, and then the cops show up a few yards behind you and apprehend the slightly scary looking man, and you really have to pee, so as the police are about to leave you run towards them waving your arms yelling, “Excuse me! Officer! Excuse me!” [fully aware that the only reason you can do this without getting shot is that you’re a white female] until they finally notice you and you say, “I have a flat tire and I’m illegally parked over there, but I really have to pee, so could you help me please?” as you gesture to your car, so one of the officers points you in the direction of the nearest business and tells you he’ll give you an exemption so you won’t get a parking ticket while you find a bathroom, and you think the LEAST they could do is give you a ride to the nearest bathroom I mean so much for public SERVANT, and also you’re a little worried because you have an air freshener hanging from your rear view mirror that says “I ❤ MY PENIS,” but you decide he’ll just have to deal with it as you scurry off to find the nearest business, which it turns out isn’t near at all, but the merciful cashier lets you use the bathroom, so you pee really quickly and then run back to your car in your cowboy boots and you haven’t run that much in ever so by the time you get back to your car you’re really winded and you def pulled your hip flexor, and then you wait another 45 minutes for the guy to come and you feel really ashamed that you don’t remember how to change your own tire, and then the next morning you take the tire to get fixed and the guy tells you it isn’t under warranty, despite the car being brand new, and it takes them three and a half hours to patch it, and it turns out it was the tiniest nail known to mankind that caused the flat because of course it fucking would be, and the guy ends up not charging you for it, probably because at this point you’re looking like a pretty pitiful rabid raccoon.


As Featured on News Cult: What to Do When You’re Stuck in Traffic

If you’re lucky like me and any of the other 9 million pieces of shit people living in Los Angeles, you spend the majority of your life in traffic. It can get pretty depressing/maddening/homicidal-inducing, so you need to distract yourself to get through it. Distracted driving is the best kind, am I right?

Here’s what to do when you’re stuck in traffic.

1. Make hateful, prolonged eye contact with surrounding drivers

They are, after all, the reason you’re in this mess, so you need to express to them exactly how you feel.

2. Sing

Preferably strong ballads, with your windows down, volume all the way up, and also eye contact here, plus Backstreet Boys-esque hand gestures, towards your fellow drivers. Ideally: Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and/or Clay Aiken (that dude has to be a child molester, right?? He’s the next Jared the Subway guy, I’m telling you. Don’t act surprised when it happens. #Itoldyouso).

3. Dance

Hip circles, people. HIP. CIRCLES. Work with what you’ve got—lots can still happen with the mid-to-upper body. Would you tell a wheelchair-bound man he can’t dance? It’s literally the exact same situation.

4. Cry

I find it’s helpful to get in my morning and evening cries during my commutes. It’s more efficient that way.

5. Read

Look, if you’re at a standstill, I really don’t see a problem with this.

6. Write

Pls see above^

7. Floss

When else are you gonna do it, if we’re being honest? Frankly your dentist is lucky and should be grateful. Whiny little bitch.

8. Apply makeup

That way you get to sleep 20 min longer. HALLELUJAH. Alternatively: just don’t wear makeup. Give up on the outside like you’ve given up on the inside.

9. Pay your bills

You might as well use the fact that you’re a captive audience to your advantage.

10. Call your mom

Pls see #9^

11. Eat

Um, in driving school they tell you not to eat because it’s too distracting but they clearly don’t know what skilled eaters we are and how important food is. Like… get out of here, fucking amateur hour.

12. Plan your meals for the day

While you’re eating breakfast #1^, plan out breakfasts #2-5.

13. Give up and start walking

Just park your car where it’s already parked and come back for it later. It’ll still be there.

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As Featured on News Cult: What to Do When You Go to Traffic Court

If you get pulled over, and even after following my instructions, get a ticket and have to go to traffic court, don’t worry—everything you need to know about what you need to do in traffic court is right here.

1.  Understand what you’re there for

Your ticket will be for something like an infraction or a misdemeanor, and will have fines/fees attached to it, potentially along with other options (like traffic school, community service, correctible violations, etc.). Make sure you know exactly what you’re being charged with and all of the consequences that come along with it. If you don’t understand the written instructions on your ticket, call the courthouse and ask the clerk before you go in.

2. Make sure you arrive on time

Sounds obvious, but traffic court can be confusing—there may be multiple courthouse locations listed on your ticket, and multiple times as well. In my experience, you are given a definitive court date/time by the officer when you’re pulled over, but should you wish to go earlier, you can. However, in order to do so, you have to go to the court as soon as it opens, and ask to be put on the calendar for that day. This could mean you get there at 8 AM, but court may not actually start until 1:30. So bring a book. And make sure to call ahead so you know exactly what location and what time you have to get there, as well as what days you can go (e.g. some courts only hold session on Mondays, or Mondays and Tuesdays, so don’t be the jerk that shows up on a Wednesday).

3. Don’t be surprised that there are other people there

Unfortunately you will not have your court session all to yourself. There will most likely be a large group of you there to see the judge at the same time. This means that everyone else gets to hear why you’re there, and anything/everything you and the judge say to each other. In other words: it’s embarrassing. And takes a long time because you may have to wait for a bunch of other people to called before you. However, rest assured, because there will always be people in there worse off than you. Yes, there will be those better off, too, but focus on the worse off ones. Trust me—you may think you have it bad with your $400 speeding ticket, but the guy who’s in there on possession of marijuana while driving, and who will lose his license for at least 180 days, if not a year, plus a $1000+ fine, has a lot more to worry about. Not that we rejoice at others’ misfortune, but we rejoice at others’ misfortune.

4. Listen to the bailiff’s instructions

There should be a bailiff in the courtroom who makes an announcement before the judge enters. It will most likely be a butch lesbian. Just keep an eye out for the pixie cut and resting bitch face. She should give general instructions about how the court session will go, including how/in what order the judge will call people up, what to do when the judge calls your name, what to do after you’ve finished speaking with the judge, etc. She will also ask if anyone has any questions—use this opportunity to ask what to do about the fact that they misspelled your name (it’s fucking Alexandra, not -der, do I look like a man?! Don’t answer that.), or any other things you are confused about. You may be embarrassed to ask a question in front of all of your fellow lawbreakers, but trust me, they’re all confused too. This is not 5th grade where your classmates will make fun of you for asking a ‘stupid question’—you are no longer a meek, timid little 10-year old, you are a STRONG, POWERFUL, EQUALLY INTIMIDATED AND AFRAID-OF-LIFE ADULT, but just fuck everyone else, you’re there to look out for yourself.

5. But also make friends

Traffic school is a sad, interesting place. Lots of great people watching—we’re talking better than Disneyland. Make friends with the old man next to you who got a ticket for being on his flip phone 50 feet away from pulling into his garage. When you both get out, he’ll give you a thumbs up, and it’ll be the most validation you’ve gotten since your grandma told you you looked handsome last Christmas. You’re all in this together, so foster that solidarity. It’ll be fascinating and depressing to watch people plea with the judge when they can’t afford the fines, and offer excuse after excuse. But these are your people—the downtrodden, the endearingly pathetic, the struggling—you are them and they are you. Feel for them, be sympathetic. You may even meet your soul mate—never underestimate the courtroom’s ability to be a mating ritual. After all, the bad boys who speed and blow red lights and don’t carry their insurance are the sexiest and most exciting. Like, he may be unstable, but you know he’s good with his tongue.

6. When you’re up to bat, know your options

When the judge calls you up, he’ll tell you what you’re being charged with, and then you get to enter your plea. This is the most important part: know that your only options are not just guilty or not guilty—you can enter NO CONTEST. The judge/bailiff will most likely not tell you this is an option, because if you plead no contest, you are not admitting guilt. You are basically saying, “I’m not contesting the charge because [I don’t have time/resources to go to trial, or whatever the reason may be], but I’m not saying I am guilty either.” The outcome is the same as if you plead guilty, but your formal plea, for the record, will not be guilty. I think this is important as a matter of principle, and should this issue ever come back to haunt you, which is unlikely but possible, you will have your no contest plea on record.

If you plead not guilty, you will then go to trial. This means the judge will give you a separate court date/time to come back and argue your case (so your first appearance in court is not the time to provide evidence or an explanation or reason as to why you’re innocent—if you try to bring anything like that up during your initial appearance, the judge will dismiss it/won’t hear it). The officer will need to be present at this future court date, too. You will be able to represent yourself at that time, or bring a lawyer. You/your lawyer will be able to cross examine the officer. If the officer doesn’t show up, there’s a chance the judge will dismiss your case, which means you won’t face any convictions or consequences. But the judge can also decide to still convict you even if the officer doesn’t show.

If you plead guilty or no contest, you can often have your fines/fees reduced on the spot. This is of course an incentive the courts use to encourage you not take your case to trial, but sometimes it’s worth it. In addition, you can request to do traffic school, which will prevent any points from being added to your license and remove the conviction from your record so your insurance isn’t affected, if whatever you’ve been charged with is a small enough infraction, and if you haven’t done traffic school in the recent past for another conviction (in CA it’s the past 18 months).

I find that a no contest plea, along with a request for reduced fines/fees and traffic school is the most efficient option. Yes, traffic school is a bit more money, but unless you have a solid defense and can spare the time/energy/money to come back and go to trial (and even then, my gut tells me traffic court judges usually rule in favor of the officer because they’re bitter that they couldn’t get a real job and all of them are part of the same corrupt system), it’s your best bet. Otherwise, you can opt to not go to traffic court at all, and just pay the full fines/fees online, or via mail/phone. This way, you can still do traffic school if you were ever eligible for it, but you miss the chance for the reduced fines/fees.

There are always other stipulations—like, if you request traffic school, you have to pay all of your fees/fines upfront, and if you want a payment plan, you can’t do traffic school, and if you pay with a credit card, there’s an extra fee, blah blah blah. More roadblocks and hoops to jump through because it wouldn’t be US government if it weren’t bureaucratic bullshit. So just clean up all those loose ends after you finish with the judge.

7. Fist pump as you walk out

Preferably whilst jumping—GOOD RIDDANCE, THE MAN. We fought you the best we could, and now, we bid you a-fucking-dieu.

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