I have had very few cars in my lifetime. This is partly because new cars are so darned expensive, but mostly because I grow attached to my cars. I hope I’m not the only one who personifies cars. If I am, this is going to be rather embarrassing. That’s ok though, I’ve been known to embarrass myself a time or two. There was this one time at Starbucks…oh wait, you didn’t come here to hear about my embarrassing Starbucks event. We’ll leave that for another post, shall we?
Franny was the first car I ever had. She was a 1976 Buick Skylark. I inherited her from my Dad and about that time I was reading Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. The cover of the book was maroon and the car was sort of close in color…ok maybe it wasn’t. But in my mind, it was…at the time. So I named her Franny. I don’t know why I didn’t name her Zooey. Just be patient with me here.
The fact that she was named Franny really has no bearing on the story, but I refer to her by name so it will make it easier for you to keep up. This is why I told you I personified my cars. I might ramble but at least some of my earlier paragraphs lead up to the later ones. Not all of them, though. You don’t know which ones are salient to the story that follows. So you are forced to read through them all if you want a chance of keeping up. This is how I suck you in. I’m tricky that way. At least I’m honest about it. Mostly.
Anyhow, I had Franny for years. At year 11 I had the only accident I’ve ever had. I was driving in slush at the end of April and went off the road and hit a telephone pole. I had a bump here and there, but Franny was tough I wasn’t injured much at all. I was, however, really unhappy because I spilled my coffee. I’m not kidding, I was seriously ticked.
When I got out of the car I saw that Franny was a little dented, but all in all, she looked pretty good. I drove her up to our auto body guy. Yes, he was our auto body guy because we saw him quite often. Did I mention that we keep cars forever?
The auto body guy took a look at the dent, looked under the car and came back to us with a weird expression. He said: “You didn’t drive that here, did you?” I told him I had. He shot back: “How fast were you going?” I told him I was going the speed limit, and that was 55mph. He just shook his head and told me I was lucky to be alive. I gave him a quizzical look. He had this very serious look on his face as he told me that Franny’s frame was held together by a single bolt. The others had all snapped in the accident. I was driving along at 55mph with nothing between me and death except one lone bolt.
I don’t have a problem with living dangerously. You might have read other posts of mine where I’ve described situations that might be considered ill-advised. See? That’s the problem right there. On most of those occasions, I was alone and there was no one there to advise me. So these lapses in judgment all stem from the absence of all of those potential advisors. It’s obviously their fault, whoever they are, wherever they might be. The point here is that I am not to blame. I know what you are thinking and yes I do live in my own little world of denial.
Sorry, before I got caught up in that “it’s not my fault” rant I was about to say that I don’t mind taking risks if I am the one who decides to take them. I do not like risky behavior foisted upon me by slushy roads and one-bolted Frannys.
You might think that would be the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Our auto body guy fixed her dent, bolted her frame back together, and I had her for another two years. The one thing he didn’t do was replace my mug of coffee.