I GOT THEM STEADILY DEPRESSING, LOW DOWN MIND MESSING, MY CAR’S IN THE SHOP AGAIN, BLUES.
This past year has not been the best year for my car. In fact I’m beginning to think it’s the incarnation of the Li’l Abner character with a cloud over his head. Remember him? For those of you who don’t…never mind.
In the midst of our frigid Missouri winter, my Chevy Cruz’s heater went out. So it spent some time in the shop. Due to the lack of a small part that had to be ordered my car was MIA longer than expected.
My joy at being back in my little car was short lived. The day after getting it back it died in the parking lot after work. This time it had to be towed to the dealership but not before I spent an hour in the car keeping warm and bandying words with the dingbat at the dispatch center. It seems she sent the tow truck driver to Lee’s Summit, Missouri when I’d specifically told her I was at 23rd and Lee’s Summit Road in Independence, Missouri.
After another week in the shop, my car was returned in perfect working order. End of story? I wish.
About a month ago, on the way to work, a deer on a suicide mission ran out in front of me. While I was shaken by it, I wasn’t hurt and the car was drivable. Thank God for insurance and a $100 deductible.
A week ago last Thursday we were on our way home from an event when the driver of an SUV decided he needed our lane on the freeway as well as his own. He sideswiped us and barreled down the road not so gently into the rainy night.
Of course, the car’s back in the shop. Because we filed a police report and it’s a clear case of hit and run it won’t count against us on our insurance. I’m also grateful to be here. It could’ve been so much worse.
My story doesn’t end here.
I’m part of a dying breed of people in the United States who prefer a standard transmission as opposed to an automatic.
It wasn’t always so, but circumstances thirty-five years ago dictated.
When Jan taught me to drive a stick he assured me coordinating my left foot and right hand would become second nature. I had my doubts as I popped the clutch and bounced down the street like a rubber ball.
It happened as he said, though not overnight, it happened. Since then every car, I’ve owned has been a standard.
Ever hear of a loaner car with a standard transmission? I shouldn’t complain, right? It could be worse. At least I have a car.
An automatic requires intense concentration. When coming to a stop, my left foot trembles and my right hand wanders aimlessly. More than once I’ve slammed both feet on the brake and nearly catapulted myself through the windshield.
Tonight, I hope, my car’s coming back home, with luck, slightly worse for wear and virtually unwrinkled. I might take her for drive to experience the sheer joy of downshifting to a stop.
I hope my brake lights work.