THE SONIC BOOMER
Mark and I only have three cars for the two of us. Our primary car is a Ford Explorer. We also have a fully restored 1970 MGB convertible that I am afraid to drive lest it get a scratch. I also got a little Honda at auction for $300 that I use when I’m at my Florida antiques store when the Explorer is not.
So, you can see why I wanted another car to keep at my Missouri antiques store.
I needed this car to do two things: 1. Run, and 2. Be spacious enough to hold a dresser. One out of two ain’t bad!
My mother says I work too hard to be driving around in beater cars all the time, but the truth is, I don’t care about cars. I’m too afraid I’d mess up anything nice. What if I come across an antique dresser on the side of the road? I have to be able to shove it in the back in one minute flat.
So this next car is a Toyota minivan. I don’t know how many miles it has on it because there’s a layer of dust across the dashboard covering that up. The only things I can see through that dust are the warning lights, of which there are 10. Nine are lit up. I need to get some black tape to cover those. They are so annoying.
Before I bought the minivan, I took it to a mechanic I know and asked him to put it up on the lift and run his diagnostic tests to see if anything was wrong with it. He did.
“The machine lit up like a Christmas tree,” he said. “Don’t buy this car.”
“But it’s only $1,000!” I argued.
“Don’t buy this car.”
I went back to the seller and gave him the bad news. “But I want to rent it,” I said.
“I want to rent it for $75 a week while I’m deciding.”
“I had to jump the battery to get it over here,” he confessed.
“I’ll buy a new battery for it.”
“It may need an alternator, too,” he added.
Faced with a deal like that, he agreed. Even if I decide not to get the car, it’ll have brand-new replacement parts installed by Mark who, fortunately, is not a complainer.
I’ve been driving it for two days now and I already love the car. I don’t know why. The sliding side doors don’t open. The fold-down rear seats may be permanently folded down. And the front bumper is held on with zip ties and a telephone charger cord. (“Any port in a storm” comes to mind.)
The car had been sitting awhile, hence the dust. And a wide selection of air fresheners weren’t able to mask the smell of marijuana, so I threw those out. I also disposed of several roaches. (Not the disgusting “good” kind that scurry across the floor of your garage, but the illegal “bad” kind that will get you thrown in jail while you’re uselessly stating, over and over, that they’re not yours.)
With its new battery and alternator, the car now hums along nicely. The air conditioner and radio work, so what else do you really need? I’m happy. For now. Besides, I have AAA.