Sunday, October 31, 2010

Car Hazing: Little Fella's Initiation to The City

Quote of the blog:

Gaby: I don't think we're taking that drive today, my radiator is missing.


Next April will mark my fifth year in New York City. My current roommate Gaby moved here just two weeks after I did. Even though we had never met before she moved the city Gaby knew my brother from college and we had a few other mutual friends that lived here. We hit it off as soon as we met. She had driven cross-country with her friend Brenda in her ’93 red Honda Civic, affectionately named Little Fella.

The weekend after she moved here the four of us, Gaby, Ty, Brenda and myself took a drive to Target in the Bronx to run some errands. It’s only a 20-minute drive but it was a nice drive, the afternoon was sunny and bright. There isn’t a Target on Manhattan (yet), so for now this is still the closest one to us. Little Fella was parked in the upper parking lot and we ran our errands. We were in Target for less than an hour but as we walked back to the car we saw something - someone had keyed the hood of Gaby’s car! In the middle of the day! We got closer, and what would have been exclamations of, “I can’t believe someone keyed your car!” Came out as “I can’t believe that someo---whaaa?” when we saw what was written.

In what started out as 4” letters that got smaller and smaller was the phrase FAF you. Huh? FAF you? What the what? We puzzled over it. What could it stand for? Did they misspell...? Was it a keyed typo? It seemed unlikely it was a random misspelling when they took the time to key out the word you. Hmmm. We were so curious. We pondered possible acronyms, misspellings, and slang options. When we got home we searched Google, looked on (search with caution!) and asked friends – and found…nothing. Note: there is an entry for FAF now but it wasn’t there four years ago and the definition doesn’t seem a likely fit. We were puzzled - although we did have fun giving it different connotations via tone and inflection.

That wasn’t the only City-car-hazing Little Fella went through: it was broken into multiple times (until Gaby moved it to a garage), was outrageously overcharged by a convincing mechanic, and perhaps worst of all, a homeless man peed on the passenger window– while Gaby was in the driver’s seat!

These experience could be viewed as a car’s rite of passage into city life. Sometimes we’ll see new cars: no dings, scratches, bumper guards, etc. and think, “it won’t look like that for long in the city.” And while we still don’t know the meaning of FAF you Little Fella became a City Car that day at Target (although he was henceforth known by some as Little FAF or Little FAF you).


  1. Actually I'm going to be the first to point out that the Marble Hill Target *is* in Manhattan because Manhattanites refuse to be limited by geography.

    Great post, and it sounds like the zip car is a much better fit.

  2. oh man thanks for bringing back those memories..... lol... I am still mad someone stole my radiator the day before thanksgiving!

    Also little fella was a Honda Civic... just want to pay proper tribute to my dear old friend... ;)

  3. Wow, that's crazy. I had no idea people did that in NY! I feel like a country bumpkin now.