Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I hoped would never happen

My car is sitting outside right now, wrapped in packing tape.

I was tempted to go outside and use a permanent marker to write on the tape: "This tape is not holding my car together," but it occurred to me that I would have to write an addendum, "Anymore," underneath the first assertion.

It all started when my car spent three months in the wind, rain, and snow awaiting repair at a mechanic's home. There was no great need to get my car back; I had no where to be (and it's a death trap in the snow) but when I started work, I needed it. That was when I discovered that the car, after having sat in the snow, then the sun, had been forced to swallow copious amounts of water into its poor little engine, which rebelled.

The car would no longer start at all, and the apologetic mechanic claimed complete responsibility and vowed to fix it entirely.

He discovered that the spark plugs had been utterly destroyed. That's fine, he just replaced them. Then he found the true meaning of crappy as he discovered what was really wrong.

My air conditioning has never worked. When Dad first bought The Piece (what Andy named my car after hearing all these stories--it is "a piece--" get it?), he found that he had air conditioning! Thrilled, he decided to drive to annual conference, then found that, as he turned on the air, it failed with a kind of sad noise that usually accompanies spending large quantities of money.

Yes, the air had died, and he spent the money to fix it. Then he discovered that it still didn't work. So he did what we Beutlers do when something non-essential keeps costing us money we would rather use on something else (books, yarn, groceries), he gave up.

He drove across the country in that little car, as it blew hot air at him, even though he had turned off the vent (it still does that).

So when he gave me the car, I promised myself I would never drive when it was above 89 degrees (unless I had work/school) and left it at that.

Unfortunately, no one told the Honda.

It, apparently, has been running the air conditioning non-stop since we got it. Doing this threw the whole engine off in some kind of freaky way, making the AC belt threaten to snap, and all the other parts of my engine wheezily decided to join it in fiery death.

Okay, there might not have been any real fire. But you never know.

Morris pulled out the AC and my car is cured. Except for the fist-sized hole in my muffler's pipe, which is noisy but not dangerous to anyone else.

So, I drove the car and noticed, to my horror, that the seal around my windshield, which has never held well, had failed completely over the driver's seat. I have dealt with this since getting the car, but this was far worse than usual.

I knew this as I sat in my driver's seat, perched upon a heavy piece of cardboard, driving to Pizza Hut so that I could reward myself for the suffering I endured every time I turned the key in my car's ignition.

I sealed the windshield. Again.

And the next day, after the seal had dried, Paul drove the car to school and I picked it up after church. As I turned the key in the lock to open the door, I sensed something wrong with the car. Then I convinced myself that it all looked okay, so I got inside and started driving.

As I turned the corner to drive down 16, something moved out of the corner of my eye.

Yea, verily, the rubber that went around the windshield had given way on the driver's side and threatened to fly off as I drove down the road. So I sighed heavily and unrolled the window, grabbed the rubber piece, and held it down to the side of the car so that it would stay where I wanted it until I got home and resealed the windshield. Again.

After I sealed it, I knew that it would curve away from the window because that is just how life works. I told Mom to get the tape, thinking she would get me duct tape, because that would fully capture the craptitude of my car. But she only had packing tape, which she explained to me apologetically, as if I wanted duct tape.

That would be extra embarrassing.

Instead, I had clear tape around the window.

I decided to drive it this morning, after giving it a few days to drive, because I did put a full tank of gas in it on Friday and I darn well want to use it.

But I didn't take off the tape. I wasn't tempting fate just for the sake of my pride. It is a rainy day today.

So if you come by the library and see a crapped out car held together with tape, you'll know it's mine. Feel free to tuck dollar bills into the door frame to help me pay for repairs. I'm beginning to think it would be cheaper to buy a new car than all of this sealant.


  1. Buy a new car already! Your car beseeches you!

  2. Oh, I'll just cancel all my student loans and pour a year's salary into buying a car. Sounds like fun to me!

    Wow was that sarcastic...kind of mean, too. Sorry!