On October 16, 1793 Marie Antoinette found herself on the business end of the guillotine. You can look it up. Just about 173 years later Via Corona’s one and only garage door was installed. This week, some 223 years after the Queen lost her head, Marie the Garage Door slipped the mortal coil as it were.
Having turned 50 back in March, I share the sadness of similarity with the deceased. Marie, like many our age, has seen better days. Creakier and heavier than you’d expect and, if I may be so indelicate, it takes at least two people to get it up.
Marie was old school. By conservative estimate she weighed in at a sturdy 7 tons. A broken spring in April put her on the Physically Unable to Perform list, alongside Via Corona’s fireplace and Jaime Garcia. In recent weeks she’d adopted the temperament of today’s stereotypical college sophomore. Raised carefully and with great effort, she was entitled, petulant and demanding. And because we never knew when a whisper, an errant breeze or the simple force of gravity would cause her to come unhinged; crashing back to Earth with guillotine force, any and all immediate surroundings were declared safe spaces.
A brief scan of the Interwebs left us with two replacement options. Local Mom & Pop garage door shops and the faceless multi-national corporate titan known as BIG GARAGE DOOR. Hoping to add to Torrance’s local economy, we first opted for Mom & Pop. Unfortunately, that experience was eerily similar to this scene from Hell or High Water (which is a very enjoyable, highly recommended movie incidentally).
Alas Mom & Pop offered only the T-bone steak and a baked potato (read: crummy basic garage doors without windows). Wanting a bit more variety and pizazz, we were pushed into the clammy grips of BIG GARAGE DOOR.
Unlike the Johnny One Note’s at Mom & Pop’s location, the Glory Boys over at BIG GARAGE DOOR came to the house in a sports car with multitudes of catalogs under their blue blazers . For a price, they can make even your wildest dreams come true. Provided you dream of garage doors.
After giving Marie the once-over they declared her a relic. A “danger to herself and others” they sniffed. “It’s high time we trade her in on a younger model.” they said.
After a brief fling with the first catalog available, we settled on the model you see below. As expected, she’s younger, sleeker and sexier than her predecessor. Constructed overseas, she understands only basic commands, but fully comprehends where her bread is buttered. Unlike Marie, she offers no resistance, operating with the vacuous efficiency of a Stepford Wife . . . wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow, smile, turn, smile.
We’re calling her Melania.
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