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Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Car and Welcome to It

I was almost robbed once. The burglar mistook my vehicle for a real car. I would have been embarrassed if I hadn’t been so busy being depressed that he didn’t get away with it.

Although I consider myself fortunate to have a means of transportation that is the same in purpose, if not in scope as that of Britney’s Mercedes, I couldn’t help feeling slighted and somewhat downtrodden. The thief, apparently Smarter Than a Fifth Grader on a Nascar scholarship, abandoned my car, complete with key in the ignition and my old Reese Cup wrappers and empty YooHoo cans in the floorboard at the end of the driveway. My driveway. He only got as far as the mailbox. He didn’t even have the decency to leave a note promising to try harder the next time.

It’s easier to forget that emergency tonsillectomy when you were ten than to forget your first car. The wishy-washy window that wouldn’t make a decision—was it stuck halfway up or halfway down? The gearshift that only shifted with the aid of a handy pair of needlenose pliers. The windshield wiper that didn’t wipe, just sort of meandered across the windshield like the Mississippi River on noncommittal trip to the Gulf.

My first car didn’t actually belong to me, but I had squatter’s rights. It was important to squat just in case one of the minor functions, such as braking or steering, either of which was subject to a moral failure of responsibility, refused to answer to repeatedly hysterical demands and I needed to execute an emergency exit through the small gap where the window used to open.

The Green Demon I called it, and it guzzled gas and followed with an oil chaser like it was whiskey and soda. A chronic gastrointestinal disturbance caused it to spew plumes of white smoke whenever I happened to make a successful start off the line at stoplights.

But because my Daddy had the magic touch to coerce miles out of that malfunctioning motor, that car got me through college and landed me successfully in the right place on graduation day. That crazy car was just the first in a long line of little engines that couldn’t.

But isn't it always the bad relationships that make the best memories? I'll check with Britney on that.


the Bag Lady said...

Hehehehe - I had a car like that once, too.
The "window that wouldn't" actually saved my bacon once - went through a check-stop on my way home from the bar one night, and when the window wouldn't roll down more than an inch I said to the police officer "It must be frozen!" His lips barely moving in the -40 night air, he replied "So am I! Go home!" Which I promptly did.

Elissa J. Hoole said...

You have just described my current car...except my husband has put three gearshifts in it so far and the third seems to work okay for now. That frees up the use of the vise-grips for operating the window, which I sometimes need to open when the windshield gets dirty and I have to squirt it off with the washer fluid from the mustard bottle beside my seat. Also, the radio is stuck to a right-wing talk radio station, and when I say stuck I mean it Which may have something to do with the superglue my husband used to try to reattach the controls for the defroster.

Unknown said...

My DH has always been into CBs, ham radios, etc. One van we had early in our marriage was unforgettable; every time my hubby keyed the mike to talk, the wipers flailed back and forth. He would talk, the wipers would flap uncontrollably, and I couldn't stop laughing. It's a wonder we got anywhere in that thing.

colbymarshall said...

"The Green Demon"- I love it.

My car is getting old and starts to shake when she gets above 60 mph. I think she has Parkinsons. It's so sad :-(