We have our rough times, car. We’ve been through the good and the bad. I know you sometimes believe that I love you only for your “special features,” but what’s a stereo system without a car beneath it? Nothing, darling. Nothing. I would be nowhere without you. Well, probably I’d still be on the bus on my way home, but you get the point. I am willing to allow that your recent outbursts may, in fact, be a cry for more attention. Perhaps you’re feeling unloved and underused. Of course I can commiserate. Driving 2.5 miles a day to work, often in the cold, often without proper warming up, could get the best of us down. But dear, dear Plush Dragon, we’ve seen worse. We’ve lived through parallel parking in Georgetown, flooding in Kansas, three radiators, three timing belts, two alternators, about 7 tires, 3 batteries, bad brakes, loud brakes, new brakes, a rotten pumpkin incident, a partial paint job, a new radio, a complete security and electrical system breakdown, a rusting frame, a leaking windshield, and enough tows to keep AAA in business, and I still love you. All 134,100 miles of you. You were the first car I ever owned that I could really trust — and the first car that ever had any appreciable power. And air-conditioning. And second gear. And (until recently) gas mileage in the 20s. You’re a wonderful little machine, and I’m freaking holding you to our 2008 agreement. I hope you’re getting this bad behavior out of your system, because we are going somewhere this spring. Just you, me, open road, my darling stereo system, and as much Diet Pepsi as can legally be consumed. Oh, and if you’re good: ethanol yummies.
1) Do you drive the speed limit?
Yes, if I’m familiar with the roads.
2) Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Yes, in high school.
3) Whats the fastest you’ve ever driven?
4) Do you listen to music in your car?
Yes. The CD player is the best feature of the whole blasted thing.
5) Would you rather be the driver or the passenger?
Driver! Driver! It is often nice to be shuttled about, but riding in the backseat (particularly in town) tends to give me little bouts of motion sickness.
6) What’s the longest distance you’ve ever driven in one day?
D.C. to St. Louis, but at least five hours of that was my dad driving. Absolutely on my own, D.C. to Terre Haute, IN.
7) Where was the first place you drove when you got your license?
Dillons, with my sister, to get milk.
8) Did you have restrictions on where you could drive when you first got your license?
9) What kind of car do you drive?
1998 Toyota Camry
10) Did you pass your learner’s permit test the first time?
13) Are you nervous about driving over bridges/tunnels?
14) Do you have a lot of junk in your car?
Good lord, yes.
14) Is your car clean?
15) Do you sing while driving?
Yes, but only if I’m alone.
16) Ever driven around without going anywhere?
17) Ever followed somone while driving just to see where they were going?
18) Do you use cruise control?
Yes, on highways.
19) Do you blast your music?
No. If it gets loud, it’s inadvertent.
20) Ever run a red light?
Probably — never intentionally. Very rarely. Yikes!
21) Ever been chased by the cops?
22) Ever been in an accident?
Yes, but never as the driver.
23) Ever have a flat tire?
25) Does your car have a sunroof?
26) Is your transmission automatic or stickshift?
27) Does your car get good gas mileage?
No. 20 and under. Bastard.
28) Ever run out of gas?
29) Places you usually drive your car?
Work and around town mostly; it’s seen the 1-70 route to Wilson and the 1-70/1-135 to Hutchinson route many times.
30) Ever back your car into something/someone?
Yes — a brick wall when trying to parallel park. Sigh.
31) Ever get a parking ticket?
Yes, many many many. I still owe American University some money.
32) Ever driven without a license?
When I was between 6 and 13, driving with Dad on the farm/country roads.
33) Ever race your car?
34) Have a good driver’s ed teacher?
No, he was a bit crazy.
35) Anyone ever throw up in your car?
36) Ever lose your keys?
Not to this car.
37) Ever have a dead battery?
38) Ever leave your lights on?
They turn off automatically — a beautiful feature.
39) Ever drive drunk?
40) Ever come close to getting in an accident but didn’t?
Only on the days when I’m invisible.