Monday, August 23, 2010

Sweaty Musings

(Not like that, you filthy perverts! Get your minds out of the gutter!)

No, this post is some brain vomit. With my beloved Mira out of commission, and me in limbo until I have found the perfect chariot to pique my interests, I am, regrettably, on foot until further notice.

It figures that I would suddenly find myself prevailing upon the Heel-Toe Express for transportation during the hottest weeks of the year. And, true to my goddess-like status (in my own mind, at least), I have singed the ears of anyone within a half mile radius with my curses, swears, and general wishings of ill will upon the wench that is responsible for my current lack of transportation.

So let's talk about car shopping, shall we? Fine way to pass the time.

Now, bear one thing in mind: I utterly loathe car shopping. I won't be getting enough from the wench's insurance to go to a dealership, so this limits me to private sales with individuals. And the process of haggling prices for the huge mechanical steeds is well... Enough to try the patience of a saint. You can imagine what it does with me.

Now, in the KCMO Criagslist, there are plenty of little rusted out beaters for under two grand I could purchase. But no, you all ought to know by now that I would never lower myself to that. And with a baby less than two years old to carry with me? Never! No, I need something reliable, and with working heat and AC to combat the vicious weather that the midwest offers.

Now. That being said, there are still several cars of that variety for a low price. But I am going to share with you, faithful reader of my snark, the reason why I have such particular standards for my own set of wheels.

Several years ago, when I was 17, I was in a relationship with an older gentleman of a less than savory disposition. He was fond of his illegal vices, and even fonder of having a well-subdued girl a home. Thanks to those illegal vices, we moved quite often in the year and a half I lived with him; he was unable to hold a job for more than a couple weeks at a time.

We also went through several vehicles, starting with a beautiful F150 that was my pride and joy. I loved that truck, loved it more than anything, especially more than the beastly excuse for a man I was with. His mother had signed it over to him, and he was to pay off the remaining balance to the dealership. Needless to say, the truck was repossessed, and I was bitter and heartbroken over the loss of what little joy I had. Then we started to get car after car, each bought for a measely few hundred bucks, never paying more than a thousand for any of them.

First there was the Jimmy, a mid-80s monstrosity with a transmission in such horrid shape it wouldn't get over about 20 mph. It overheated every few miles, thanks to rear-ending a tank of an old Ford truck, which punched a hole in the radiator. The passenger door didn't open and the window didn't roll down either. There was no radio or AC, and it made some of the most god-awful noises. Everything was rusted and twisted with age and improper care, and every day I saw that delapidated excuse for a vehicle, I inwardly wept. My father had taught me to be proud of myself, and it was hard to do in both that relationship, and that Jimmy, limping down the streets and alleyways the way it did.

There were several other cars that followed the Jimmy: a 94 Lumina, a 92 Escort wagon... They were not as bad, when compared to the heap that was charitably called a car, the Jimmy, but they still were bought and sold within two months. The thought of a title for any of them was laughable, and insurance, though legally required, was never purchased.

These were the first vehicles of my youth, when all my peers at school boasted beautiful trucks or sports cars that their doting parents or grandparents had bought them.

Shortly after I turned 18, I bit off the pride my father had instilled in me and moved back into his house, tail tucked between my legs, and was rewarded with the keys to his van. And oh, what a beautiful mistress that big beast was! Green and gold on the outside, with silvery-blue cloth seats and lush carpeting inside. Wood panels and accent lights added to the allure, and a wheelchair lift and automatic doors that swung out at the push of a button on a remote control.

I became my father's driver, for that was one thing I enjoyed above any other: driving. He paid my insurance and kept the gas tank filled, and at a moment's notice would yell for me to start the van, for he needed some fresh air. He taught me to harness the power of that massive thing, and to compensate her shortcomings.

I still saw the friends I had graduated high school with out and about the town, both with my father and on my own. And they would titter at the massive beast I rode, parked next to their little Honda Civics and Nissan... Whatever they were... that responded to the lightest touch and would fly down the pavement.

I was not bitter, though. I consoled myself happily with the knowledge that, while they could turn on a dime and sprint, my big green beast would outlast any of them. And sure enough, she did: a four cylinder engine can only do so much when matched up against the raw power in a V8. And when they would get into an accident, finding themselves with nothing but a totaled heap that used to be a car, my Econoline would take a beating and purr for more.

Now, with a vehicle history such as that to remind me what I left behind, now maybe you can understand why I refuse to settle for nothing less than the best my money can buy, in both looks and performance. I don't want another rusted-out ride as a constant reminder of a dark spot in my youth; nay, I want something that shines in the sun and roars with the challenge of meeting her rider's requests whenever my foot touches the gas pedal.

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