Last week, I featured a story about one of my childhood cars that would make 21st century parents clutch their children and scream in horror. Now, the Friday Haha’s will not turn into Car Talk, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also share the story of *my* first car. The story ends with me hysterical crying and an old lady in a track suit flipping me off, so trust me when I say, buckle up and enjoy the tale.
I had no interest in driving as a teenager. I was good with catching rides with friends, hopping on the bus, grabbing a cab, and jumping on a train. This was early aughts in Dallas, so this was a time consuming cluster, but it kept me from behind the wheel, so I was fine with the arrangement.
My mom finally convinced me to get a license once I had my oldest. “What if there’s an emergency and you need to get to the hospital?” Fair point. I got my license a day or two before my 19th birthday. Still, I needed a car. I took everything from my Teenage Parent Budget and sorted out buying a car for a cool $250 from my older brother.
I have no clue what kind of car it was, except gold and Chrysler-looking. The steering wheel looked like it was better suited for a go-cart, and you had to drive it the way people “drive” in old movies – shaking back and forth at 10 and 2.
I don’t remember this, but my mom is pretty sure that I had to hit the starter with a hammer to get the car going. It could be true, because I *do* remember finding a mechanic who worked on my car quite often for the low low cost of a six pack and some smokes. It was a beautiful arrangement.
I’ve gotta hand it to my Ma, this did make going to school and work *much* easier. In fact, I ended up getting a job much further away than I ever would have without this beast. After school, I would drive from Coit and 635 towards Irving and make it to work in about 25min. Breezy. However, driving back into Dallas took much longer, especially on Fridays. I usually left an hour early, sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and did my homework.
One particular rush hour, I was sitting there, probably doing some Comp II assignment, and started hearing someone honking. There was literally no movement on the road, so this was irritating at best. They did not let up. Other cars started honking back and finally the screaming started. “EFF YOU!!” “MOTHERBLEEPER!!” “KNOCK IT OFF A-HOLE!!!” And really, it was all called for because who the hell honks NON STOP in a traffic jam….I do. It was me.
You know those moments that cameras zoom in on a face in horror/realization? Yeah, that was me as I looked up and saw people screaming at ME. I turned down the radio, and I heard it. It was The Beast. The car had gone full-on Christine on me and started honking….and honking…and honking….I think it wanted me to die in a road rage accident. I’m sure of it.
There’s no where I could go. I tried turning off the car, and it kept honking. I finally threw my hands up in the air so that people could see that I was NOT doing this and hopefully, spare my life from disgruntled commuters. I wasn’t quite at i-35 yet. Folks, I sludged down 635 like this for nearly an hour. I couldn’t pull over because I had to get Phoenix from the babysitter. Every minute I was late, was a $1. By the time I got to my exit, I was hysterical crying, hands in the air, and managing to drive mostly with my knees. When I pulled into the babysitter’s neighborhood, an old lady power-walking in her track suit smiled and waved. I responded by aggressively honking and tearing down the street. She flipped me off – I forgave her immediately.
I threw money at the babysitter, who was having none of this Horn Excuse, loaded up Phoenix, and drove to his dad’s apartment. It took him all of a minute to disconnect the horn. “Eff that car, I’m never getting in it again!” I declared.
And I didn’t. I straight abandoned that car in his apartment parking lot where we watched it sit for a year. Sometimes, I would walk by and kick it or spit on it. Every time I looked at it, I began cussing as if I were speaking in tongues to Jesus Christ himself. I don’t remember why I didn’t sell it or really whatever happened to it in general, but I know for a fact, I never, ever, stepped foot in it again.
I knew I was not meant to drive.
How does your first car compare? Do you have a crappy car story? Sound off in the comments!