Thursday, December 29, 2005

"A really good car."

I have a really good car.

From God Save the Sweet Potato Queens:

The car I had at the time - its original color being blue - looked like nothing so much as a Dumpster with four wheels and a windshield, one with many cracks.

See, for me, cars are nothing more than something to go in. My car is neither a status symbol nor a love object.

Here is my essential evaluation of cars: If it goes, it is a really good car. If it does not go, it is a really bad car and shold be abandoned by the side of the road.

Anything remotely connected with car care, be it cosmetic or mechanical, constitutes an errand, and you should already know by now how I feel about errands of any kind. That's right. If somebody else doesn't do it, it won't get done.

I drive a 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager, very beat up, many miles on it, and my best birthday present this year: it passed inspection! Now I get 364 days not worrying about that!

It's carried my band and all our equipment, including sometimes a cello and a double bass (sometimes TWO double basses) hundreds and hundreds of miles. Now it has

  • A ripped off bumper.
  • A sound I call "the music of the spheres." Kind of like a glass harmonica.
  • A deafeningly loud rubbery squeak which is thankfully intermittent.
  • Something clunking underneath it when I make a turn; I wonder if it's about to fall off, that whatever-it-is.
  • No shocks (that's ok, a little bumping isn't going to hurt me).
  • Thousands of little tiny scratches on the windshield from when I used something metallic to scrape the ice off.

I had to permanently pull the fuse for the automatic door-lockers because the doors had commenced to lock every 30 seconds or so. That's ok, I can lock the doors with my very own fingers.

I would say that I bought this car new, in 1994, when my marriage ended, but it's not exactly true - because that was a silver Grand Voyager, and the one I have now is dark blue. In 2001, when I was driving up to New Haven to visit Melina, carrying all her birthday presents including her favorite - and only - Victorian black-and-gilt kitten bookends (given to her by her great-grandfather just before he died), that car was stolen away from in front of an Embassy in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon. That's another story.

With my $4,000 insurance settlement I searched for and found another car just like the one that was stolen (well, except that it was dark blue). It turned out to be peachy - except that all the paint on the roof had peeled off, something I couldn't see because I am only 5'6" and it took my 6'4" boyfriend of the time to see there was a problem.

I got the car painted, and here it is, chugging along 4-1/2 years later. And Zed just appeared and sung me "Las MaƱanitas," so it's time to go down and have some breakfast.

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At 1:26 PM, Blogger kenju said...

I drive a '97 Grand Voyager with 105K miles and no major problems that I know of (Thank GOD!). Mine passed inspection too and I was very surprised.

Mine has that "music of the spheres", but only when it is raining or the top of the car is wet.

The only peeling paint is on the driver's side sliding door, where my husband raked it against the side of an I-bar in a parking garage in Georgetown, DC. It left a lovely scratch (5" deep and 3' long, and white paint from the I-bar. Few people belive it was done by husband - but it was!

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Kimberly said...

My '94 Geo Prizm is still 7K away from 100K miles. (One of the joys of living less than 2 miles from my office is that I now drive under 6000 miles a year.) The car has things that don't work, and makes the odd noise or two. No replacement for it, though, until I roll the odometer back to 00000... which is probably more than a year away!

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! Best wishes for another trip around the sun (with your Grand Voyager, natch).

At 11:02 PM, Blogger J said...

Mine wouldn't pass inspection and then decided to overheat every mile, so it has gone to car heaven and now I do drive a status symbol. It's not my status symbol, but I drive it non-the-less.

Michele sent me.


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