I guess it had to happen. Kind of like getting one’s wisdom teeth taken out, just so much better.
You see, I’ve never had a new car before. Growing up with a father with big hands that seemed to work best smothered in car grease from fixing his latest jalopy somehow consigned us all to a life of jalopies. His intentions were perfect, of course, and he did amazing things with metal and very little money. Great to have a mechanic in the family. Very shitty when the jalopy breaks down somewhere far away from that mechanic. Ah, like the time our Golf (fondly known as “Joke”) broke down SEVEN times during what should have been a three and a half hour drive from Swaziland to Jo’burg.
There were some memorable ones:
On the left, “Muesli”, apparently Swiss-German for little mouse (watch out for rodents in your granola). Trucks used to overtake her on the highway. And there’s me, wearing a coat fashioned out of a blanket (I thought I was very cool). Then came “Mr. Benz” in all his diesel glory on the right, with me and his surrogate daddy, Charlie the trusty mechanic in Mowbray. We (Charlie, Mr. Benz and I) saw quite a lot of each other (I had a running tab).
After that – and growing up a little every time – came the white Nissan “Pornmobile”. I thought I was pretty cool in that, except no sound system meant I couldn’t be thumping Snoop Doggy Woof at the traffic light. Neither did I have a furry die hanging from the mirror. So I guess it was just a cool-looking hunk of metal.
“Hannibal” the red Sting was my latest, and by far the most well behaved and trustworthy of the lot.
Now I know I’m cool – and that cars turn out to be remarkable vehicles for telling a life’s story.
Only one thing remains: what should I call her?