Friday, July 28, 2006

Western Civilization: a Shrine to the Car

It’s looking like I’m going to have to get a new car, but so far this is the only one that I’ve liked.

Cars. How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:
Money-sucking, polluting, space hogging, oil guzzling, isolating, Moving Metal Deathtraps.

But sometimes you just need one – because the car-heads who planned this world made it so. Not everything can be undone. Like the fact that sometimes you have to:

-transport children in bad weather or dangerous conditions
-take your 88 year old pop to the doctor
-relocate a box of books
-be someplace where you have to look classy and elegant
-go somewhere that would take an hour each way on a bike
-travel where anyone on a bike or on foot would be slaughtered instantly

I like the car I have, as much as I can like a car at all. The only problem with it is that is stops running – when you least expect it. Sure, I can coast along for a while till I get it started, but the one other problem is that the steering wheel locks up as soon as the engine kills. So then I can only coast in a straight line, or whichever direction I was pointing in when the motor stopped. It’s so annoying. Fortunately I am a quick draw with the ignition. In case that doesn’t work (which it always does), the brakes are fabulous.

It’s starting to sock me for the equivalent of a car payment every few months. I’ve already spend a thousand bucks on it this year. Who knows how much this fresh new quirk is going to cost me. To hell with it. I hardly ever drive it, since I ride my bike everywhere. When Lindi and I go someplace together that’s too far to bike, we go in her car. We’re planning to become a one-car family. We await the slow death of one of our old cars. Meanwhile, we're researching the possibilities, so that when life does its favorite thing and BOTH our cars kick off in the same week, we'll be ready.


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