Skip to content

A Short Drive To Crazy

July 9, 2010

My car is starting to drive me crazy. And at this point, it’s a very short drive.  I’ve recently paid it off, and from the moment I sent in that last payment, it’s been celebrating its lurch towards adulthood by thinking up ways to mess with my head.

First, in a gesture that seemed a tad hostile even to me at the time, the battery kicked the bucket in the middle of a raging snowstorm. Oh, I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking, “Deb, that’s bound to happen.  Car batteries have a finite life.”

And you’d be right.  But when I’ve driven uneventfully in a functioning car to my child’s elementary school, the ideal situation as far as I

Inside The Beast

understand it, is to be able to drive home just as uneventfully in a car that — and this is key here — continues to be functional.  Even more ideally, if that’s even a possibility, I should be driving home in the SAME car.  Not in a Triple A tow truck with an overeager mechanic named Larry.  Timing is everything.

So then I’m driving down Mountain Avenue on my way to do battle with Route 22 (my dislike for that particular highway is legendary in my community and is a whole other column altogether) and the “Empty” light flickers to life on my fuel gauge.  I am not worried by this; everyone who has been driving for more than a week knows that most cars have a good day or two of solid driving time in them before the gas tank is really empty, right?  That’s been my experience in every car I’ve ever owned, and that’s always been my experience in this car.

But not that day.  On that day, my car decided to cruise to a complete standstill in late afternoon traffic, which is where Larry found me.  I had the last laugh, of course.  I made it home safely.  In a Triple A tow truck.

Replacing the battery and getting the fuel gauge tweaked at the dealership gave me a false sense of dominance over The Beast, as I’ve now come to call her.  I had shown her, I told myself, that there was no way she could get the better of me short of popping her own hood and deliberately hurling pieces of the engine into the air like confetti.  I was ready for anything she could, theoretically at least, throw at me.

Then my tire gauge went on.  This made me laugh, of course.  What was The Beast planning now, I thought condescendingly.  Hadn’t I shown her that I could handle her?  Figuring that this was a last ditch attempt to yank my chain, I ignored the warning and drove to a neighboring community to meet a friend for lunch.  We had a fabulous time, and even tempted fate by joking around about my tribulations with my car.   That was probably pushing it too far.  In what must be the automotive equivalent of flipping me the bird, I was greeted upon my return to the sight of four pancakes where my tires used to be.

So I’ve given up trying to dominate The Beast, and am now embracing my car insanity.  Every time a new warning light goes on, I giggle nervously like Herbert Lom in “The Pink Panther” movies.  And I’ve put Larry on speed-dial.

(Reprinted with permission from The Springfield Patch, 2010)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kevin permalink
    July 10, 2010 12:14 AM

    Didn’t you pay attention to that most prescient of television shows from our childhood, The Jetson’s? Technology controls every aspect of life, for better or worse. To paraphrase: “Larry, get me off this crazy thing!”

  2. Dana permalink
    July 9, 2010 10:33 PM

    Fabulous, an instant classic. Thanks for the smiles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: