[Another Older One from My Queue. Enjoy… OR ELSE]
The Mazda: My first job was seventy-seven hours a week in 100 plus degree heat, so I guess as far as employment goes, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool. I pretty much saved every cent until I was able to afford a used Mazda. It lasted for a year.
WHAT I LEARNED: Oil is important to a car’s engine. That oil light is not advertising oil but letting you know that you really really need oil. The grinding noise should’ve tipped me off…
The Jeep Cherokee: I had bought my first car, which helped my parents relax over what they thought were independence issues; so, after the Mazda’s engine exploded, they let me use their Jeep and their expense account at a local gas station.
WHAT I LEARNED: I learned that four-wheel drive will not take you everywhere you need to go and my parents learned never to give me a blank check for gas when I had a girlfriend living two towns away.
Buick LeSabre: You know that cliché about some idiot who buys a used car from a “little old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays”? Hi! I’m that idiot. I didn’t realize it until my starters began cracking about every other week.
WHAT I LEARNED: Sometimes, when you are replacing a starter, the car falls off the jack and the cinder blocks, they do nothing; also, NEVER TRUST LITTLE OLD LADIES…
Toyota Pickup: This one was just an engine, a steering wheel and a seat. There was literally nothing extra in this model. Nothing wrong with this vehicle and sometimes I wish I’d kept it.
WHAT I LEARNED: If you get rid of a perfectly good vehicle, that is the signal for your wife to drive her car into a light-post.
Chevrolet Cavalier. With a degree in engineering and a good professional job, my father felt I should buy a new car, so he could live vicariously through me. So, I bought a beauty with a moon-roof and nice trim. Almost immediately, it started shedding parts and leaking after it rained.
WHAT I LEARNED: DON’T LISTEN TO DAD!
Toyota Corolla: Well, the wife and in-laws decided that I should give up my first new car to drive a car my sister in law was getting rid of… partly because they were getting another car and partly because they wanted a car with brakes. Ever step down on the brakes and have them go to the floor? It happened to me so much I barely thought about it when I applied the manual hand-brake. I added brake fluid as often as I added gas.
WHAT I LEARNED: My wife and in-laws wanted me dead…
Ford Taurus: My second new car. Less than a week into owning it, I tore a gash into it in a DC parking garage. Later, it sustained body damage because I was having issues perceiving widths. Ultimately, only two of the four doors opened. Actually, it might’ve been three doors but one would’ve fallen off.
WHAT I LEARNED: I learned that, if you take a friend to a strip-club in D.C. to celebrate his green card… park on the street.
Ford Taurus, Part Two: I tried again with a different used Taurus. It was a swell car but its transmission took an early retirement… far earlier than the rest of the car did. This was the same year my wife left me, my sister died, my house was foreclosed on and I lost my job… nice to get all of that out of the way at once, eh?
WHAT I LEARNED: I learned that I didn’t really need a car and that transmissions cost more than a car does, which is one of the great paradoxes of our time.
Dodge Pickup: But, nature fills a vacuum, whether the vacuum wants it to or not. My dad was in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and was taking the pickup truck out at night, sometimes. My mom persuaded him that I desperately needed a vehicle and my father agreed immediately, although he had to be reminded every five or so minutes as to why his oldest was driving off in his truck; however, in actuality, I needed a truck like I needed an overnight stay in Carthage, Missouri… which I got because the truck died a third of the way between West Texas and Northern Virginia…
WHAT I LEARNED: Carthage, Missouri has a great frozen custard shop near the motel…