Happy birthday, Lesle, you old fart!
Random song that I'm super-digging at the moment
"Clark Gable" by the Postal Service.
Random ruminations on my history with cars
I've owned three cars in my lifetime...
1. The Beast
My first car was a wagon--this was one of those 1980's piece of craps, and I adored it. It lasted me through a year or two in high school. I used to cart around 3 different people to and from school every morning in it.
Weird wagon events:
The wagon sent up monstrous smoke screens after it had been idling for a minute or two at the light. This was not a good thing when one Sunday morning my dad and I were stopped at a light on Memphis road on the way to the fleamarket. Of course there just happened to be a cop across the intersection from us. And of course he just happened to be on a motorcycle. When the light turned green, my dad just started swearing and trying to ever so slowly idle the car through the intersection. To no avail. Once the cop was able to see again through the enormous cloud of smoke, we'd gotten a ticket.
If my memory is accurate, neither of the front doors of this wagon opened from the outside. So one icy-cold day after I'd stayed late at school, I was scrambling into the backseat to open the driver's side door from the inside so I could get in. As I tugged on the inner door-handle, the handle cracked off in my hand like a brittle icicle. After that, I was unable to open the driver's side door from the outside OR the inside.
The gas gauge on this car was inaccurate, so one day after dropping off one of my friends on my way home from school, I headed with three other friends over to the gas station to get gas. My car ran out of gas about 6 feet away from the pump. So all three of my friends, in skirts (we had dressed up for some reason that day), had to get out of the car and push it to the pump. My friend Becky who thought she was the foremost expert on cars concluded that the car had run out of, not gas, but oil. Panicked, I called up my dad and explained the situation. He drove all the way out to the gas station, only to realize that the car was out of gas. All I remember is standing outside the car, my dad inside it behind the wheel obviously swearing up a storm though we could hear nothing because the car was all closed up. Needless to say, I got my ass kicked for that one.
2. I know I named this car, but I have no recollection of what it was.
This was my pontiac sunbird. I loved this car. It was a great little car and lasted me through senior year of high school and through all of college and grad school. It had its typical problems, but never anything major. I finally realized I had to get rid of it when I found out the repairs it would need cost more than the car was actually worth. In its last days, when I went to open the hood, the thing you pull on in the car came off in my hands. I was no longer able to open the hood unless I crawled underneath the car and finagled it with a screwdriver. Long live my sunbird.
3. The Great Purple Murple (aka Morrison).
Apparently when you give a car a name that is lengthy and begins with "The Great" or "Lord Master" or "King," you're bound to get attitude. And I've gotten it in buckets. This car is a piece of crap, a lemon, a driving heap of metal. It's a Ford Escort and it's a cool purple color. But that's where its coolness ends. Beyond its color, it is pretty much the Damien of cars.
Great Purple Murple incidents:
I have had this car less than two years I think. In this short period of time, I've had two (maybe three?) flat tires. One flat tire was exactly this time last year on my birthday. I woke up in the morning, waded through the snow to head off to work only to find that I had a flat. Things I learned from this experience--fix-a-flat does NOT work in cold weather (it took me two separate cans to learn this) and it is near impossible to change a flat tire when the car is marooned in waves of snow. The second flat was on my way home from Beachwood (thankfully) and occured shortly after I got on the freeway. It was of course POURING buckets that day, but since it was my day off (a Friday), I wasn't really all that upset. I figured, fuck it, i'll just walk home and call someone to pick the car up. I pulled off my shoes and started walking down the side of the freeway towards the Mayfield exit. Lesson I learned from THIS experience--guys are relatively useless. Only ONE person stopped to see if I needed help, and this was after at least FIVE separate cars with guys in them shouted catcalls at me out their window or beeped at me and gawked while they were driving by. Thank you to the couple who finally stopped and gave me a lift.
My super-traumatic freeway breakdown: I decided one Saturday afternoon a few months ago that I was gonna make the long trek out to the Southpark mall to buy my sister's b-day present. As I jumped onto 480, I realized the traffic was backed up forever b/c they had all but two lanes closed so that they could fill the chuckholes in the other lanes. So the traffic was stop and go for a good mile. I had been having no prior trouble with my car, mind you. My car was in the far left lane. The lane to the right of mine was the only other lane open. As I'm sitting there idling, my car just suddenly, completely outta the blue, stops running. Had I been moving, I woulda just coasted it off onto the shoulder. Problem was that I was at a dead stop. And the car wouldn't start again. Surrounded by ever-so-kind drivers (fuckers!), the people behind me noticed my distress and decided that once the traffic started moving, they were just going to go around me on the shoulder. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I was pretty much trapped in my car in the middle of the freeway. I couldn't get out because traffic had finally started to move and people were flying around my car ON BOTH SIDES. I desperately stared at my rearview mirror, hoping and praying for a cop to appear in it. And finally, after 20 minutes, one did. And commenced to drive right by my car without ever stopping. This pissed me off to no end because I was holding up a WHOLE LANE of freeway traffic, and yet the cop didn't even stop to help move me out of the lane. Finally, a car full of high school kids went cruising by on the shoulder and pulled up and stopped further up the freeway. The driver came running out of his car down the shoulder where a huge line of traffic was STILL barreling by at high speed. I was afraid this fella was gonna get himself killed, but he somehow managed to stop the traffic. (STOP THE TRAFFIC!) After he had, his friends came running over after him and pushed me (FINALLY!) off onto the shoulder and out of the heavy traffic. The kindly high schoolers lent me their cell phone and when this was no help, managed to flag down a tow truck that happened to be driving by. In the chaos of the moment, I only managed to give them a distracted, half-hearted thank you. But damn folks, these fellas were lifesavers. And I send them a big fucking kiss for being so goddamn lovely.
And that's the history of my cars. There is of course currently YET ANOTHER problem with my current car. But I am ignoring it in the hopes that perhaps someone will hit this one again in a parking lot and I'll end up with $800 of free cash like I did with my Sunbird once. THEN and only then (or perhaps if it conks out on the freeway again) will I waste any more money on this piece of shit.
I am again running out of blog ideas, so feel free to suggest potential topics in my comment section again and whenever you see fit from here on out.