The other day I wrote a couple paragraphs about how much I loved my car. I never got to post it because my computer got jealous and made it all disappear. And I should have known that it was dangerous to confess that kind of affection for a machine because I’ve had nothing but weirdness from it since, and this morning my auto-mobile became auto-immobile.
It’s internal fixings (not the motor but the thinking part) has been a little suspect for the last two of its twelve years. Most notably, the ignition would not start the car but would produce all kinds of electrical clickings and light flashings on the dash. And before I could take it to be fixed it would revert to normal and hide any evidence of its misbehavior.
This last year it has developed a more frequently occurring, defiant quirk. It has refused to turn all the way off. The engine will stop but the key will turn no further than the accessory position. Radio, lights, annoying ding, ding, alarm, all continue to function as I lock the car and walk away. The keys slip right out in that position, in fact, the keys slip right out when the car is running. IN FACT you can turn the car on without the keys, just turn the switch. But the catch is that it won’t act this way all the time, and I never know when it’s in the mood…
This morning at the usual time to leave for work, it wouldn’t start – lots of flashing lights and the motor turned a couple of times but wouldn’t catch. The husband crawled out of bed to see what was the matter and we instituted the new rule: whoever is up and ready to leave first gets to take whatever vehicle is running. I took his truck. Hopefully a little time out in the dark garage would rejuvenate the bad, bad car.
No, I still love my car. Like me, it’s getting a little worn out and a little crazy. We have to watch out for each other all the more. I love that it’s school bus yellow, that it has carried every kind of cargo I could possibly challenge it with, that it has taken me east, west, north and all over the south for nearly 200,000 miles with no major catastrophes. And I suppose if you count the time I spilled pool chlorine all over the carpet, all the peanuts, cheerios, and taco chips that have had to be vacuumed up, and all the coffee spills and blobs of yogurt in odd places, we are about even. Oh, and the time (times) I backed out of the garage with the hatch back up. Yeah, maybe I should cut my friend a little slack. I’m just sayin’, Aztek, I love you even if you are a little flaky.