Fiction: Phil

Lance Manion

Eight collections of humorous/odd short stories, have been published in more than fifty literary publications. LAnce has contributed stories to a dozen anthologies

Phil hates the left side of his car.
He demonstrates this by showing bias towards the right side. Every two years he replaces two tires; the front right tire and the back right tire. Does he rotate the old ones to the left? No. Those are still the original tires. They are bald and you can see steel threads poking out.
He keeps the right side of his car immaculate. The left side? Not so much. When he goes to the get the right side of his car washed he will carefully vacuum, creating a line of demarcation of sorts between the clean and the dirty.
Deep down he believes the car is aware of his hatred of the left side. If he were to ever truly internalize the fact that his car was just made up of steel, aluminum, copper, rubber and glass and held no opinion whatsoever on his feelings towards either side, being completely non-sentient, he would be bummed out.
He doesn’t use the left side mirror and he taped over the left half of his rear view mirror.
He has never replaced the left windshield wiper. When it rains he’s forced to lean over to look out of the right side. This makes braking difficult. At least the roads aren’t slippery. Oh wait, they are.
He resents that he is forced to sit on the left side of his car to drive. He is envious of those countries where the steering wheel is on the right.
And the air vents on the left side of his car? Do I really have to tell you he keeps them closed? Are you even paying attention at this point? I’m guessing not.
F**king oblivious.
You probably think this is come cleverly disguised commentary on political polarization. It’s not. I’m trying to tell you about a crazy person named Phil.
He never signals when he is turning left.
But I do appreciate you trying to make this story into something a bit more interesting. It’s not.
He disconnected the speakers on the left side of his car because AM radio is fine. He still gets to hear Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) now and then.
I realize my track record with metaphors and such but I swear, this is just a simple tale of someone who is slightly off.
He has gotten fourteen tickets over the years for having his front left headlight out.
I can almost see you, sitting there trying to figure out what else there is in a car I can possibly mention. Hoping to outwit me, get a smug look on your face and say to yourself “I saw that one coming.”
The terrible truth is that his gas tank is on the left side of the car so he would slam the nozzle from the pump into the fueling receptacle quite roughly but eventually gave that up as it was becoming somewhat erotic in nature and so now he just slides it in gently. He’s starting to struggle with that as well.
Didn’t see that one coming did you?
Waiting for some ‘Phil her up’ pun? Keep waiting.
He had half a sun roof installed. Guess which side?
Phil hates the left side of his car.

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