Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kicking tires - kissing hubcaps

July 30, 2008 - The auto has changed our world. We go farther, walk less, and continually expand our worlds - and our waistlines, because of the car. In honour of Henry Ford's birth today in 1863, today is Kiss Your Car Day. Cars have changed our air and our pocketbooks, and yet we baby these machines. My neighbour makes a weekly chore out of washing and waxing his car. A good friend is horrified when a bird drops a gift, or a bug commits suicide on her windshield (Hey... what is the last thing to go through a bug's mind when it hits a windshield? It's butt.) Needless to say, she washes her car.

In high school we coveted the cool cars. Everyone wanted a convertible, a Mustang, an import. Me... I had a wood panelled station wagon. It was a Chrysler Town and Country. It was affectionately known as "National Lampoon's Vacation, Party Hardy Chuck Wagon From Hell (NLVPHCWFH)... or Chuck for short. There were ups to having such a beast of a vehicle. You could easily fit 12 friends in it for a quick spin at lunch to avoid the cafeteria. The drive in meant you could back in, open the hatch and stretch out (sorry Mom). And, you could drive around with your chicken suit and have room for the tail. On the way to Falcon Lake one summer, with my grandmother in the car, Chuck's transmission gave out. I would like to blame my uncle for not believing me when I said the transmission was slipping, but I think it was being forced to carry around a gianormous Chicken Suit (I was a mascot).

After the new transmission, and a great holiday, Chuck was retired. Post Chuck was my first 'import'. A Mazda 626 that was loaded with all the features, but no back hatch for the drive-in movies. The sun roof proved to be a great feature on long drives to Winnipeg for football games and shopping. Though the Mazda never got a great name, it was my Mazdarati. I drove that from Ontario, to the Coast of BC and back. It treated me well, and when it retired, it retired to the golf course covered in cages and working the driving range.

Then there was a stream of cars that garnered me the nickname "Crash". Though never my fault, I had a '93, '94, '95, and a '96 in just under three years. There was "Andale! Andale! Yeehaw!", "Sparky", "Prince" (it was a raspberry Baretta), and "The Green Machine". The first three of those cars were domestic (Ford and GM). They lived their very short lives with a target painted on them. "Green" was another Mazda, and lived until she was traded in for yet another Mazda. My current car, "Indy", is also a Mazda. Nothing against Henry Ford, but I have had better luck with those imports. Of course I can't fault domestic cars for safety. In four accidents, I only ever suffered a bruise from a seatbelt, and a broken toe (of course that was because I kicked the truck that hit me - which, as it turns out, the insurance company didn't believe was an injury resulting from the accident).

So, the moral in this story is this... when you head out the door to get in your car to drive where you once might have walked, celebrate the spirit of the day. Don't kick your car.

1 comment:

  1. Loopus was sold. I am now carless, or in NYC, careless. I'm glad that when I have no cars, I still have friends to kick around. Who don't bruise easily.


Add to Technorati Favorites