Well it finally happened, the noble steed and faithful clown car bit the dust. I’m still doing cartwheels and secretly cheered as the little car made it’s final journey to the boneyard of all things living out their prime.
2006 Nissan Versa - 294,000 miles……….. a moment of silence please.
Over the last two months I would grab the keys hanging on the hook next to the coffee pot, sigh heavily and say prayers out the door and all the way to the grocery store or doggy food palace.
It always made it. Unless Mercury was retrograde then all bets were off and I would rather ride a bike, donkey, walk or take the bus. Every time I returned, Butch would laugh and ask; Don’t you just love this car? The shocks were gone, the seat conformed to his butt and not mine, the rubber stuff on the steering wheel was in shreds (from me gripping it so hard while praying), the seats are thread bare (just on his side) but the darn thing kept running and looked great. I needed a jar of grease and crowbar to get out of this car. I drove with my cell phone in hand and my chiropractor on speed dial. He paid $78.00 for new plastic hubcaps every time the beast threw a shoe on a construction site or hit a pot hole. He ran it through the car wash every week and paid for the high gloss wax. The oil was religiously changed every 3,000 miles.
When the heater quit last winter, he drove that car like he was touring the arctic. He would have to undress to get out of the car! Hats, double gloves, double sweaters. In the winter the car had an aroma of hot coffee or chocolate with a hint of donuts and overtones of fish sandwiches. Oh the drive through windows this car had been through. When fall arrived this year he gleefully annouced; I’m getting an electric space heater! I can plug it into the converter and then into the cigarette lighter (yes we are that old). The thought of lighting this car on fire pleased me immensely but then I just looked at him and said the best wife words I could come up with: Are you nuts?!
On the last voyage to (appropriately) Walmart we hit the big speed bump. I can’t even remember why we're going to Walmart…….. fashion trends, Christmas decorations, pallet of toilet paper……. not important. It was early evening and the temperatures were low 50’s after a balmy unseasonably warm day. The fog began to rise and the condensation clouded the windows before we backed out of the driveway. Noticing when we jumped in the car Butch had draped a towel across his lap. I started to say something but my butt bounced off the floor sending shockwaves to my brain. (dammit this car will never die, my inside voice said). And after 34 years of marriage you just learn not to ask about some things. The little clear hole on the windshield was starting to close and my tunnel vision narrowed, this is ridiculous! I leaned over and flipped the defroster on high and noticed a distinct stench of engine coolant. B. Miller leaned over, flipped the switch off, whipped the towel off his lap and furiously started wiping the window……. while driving! I flipped it back on while he wiped and once the stench hit me, I got a fine spray of engine coolant…… through the vents of the car! I don’t know a lot but I know that’s just not right!
Me: Are you really planning on driving this thing all winter?
Him: Yeah, I really have to get 300,000 miles on this car!
Me: Is your insurance paid up?
and then the conversation went south and you know you’re talking to someone who has lost touch with sanity.
Him: I think I’ll put it in storage for the winter, it will be great next summer because the air conditioner still works great. Your truck over heats in the summer so I can drive that this winter.
Me: ……… my truck?
Him: I’m taking it in to the dealer on Wednesday, they can fix it.
and as we turned into Walmart I heard a distinctive clunk from the front end…. What’s that?
Him: Don’t worry it only makes that noise when I turn right, it’s fine when I turn left.
Me:……… You know this car is a death trap.
Him: NO! THIS IS AN EXCELLENT CAR!
Wednesday the dealer called; Mr. Miller, you have a cracked blocked (no kidding!) and the coolant was really low (because I just had a facial!) total to fix it; $7200.00. I drove him to the dealership to pick it up. It was a quiet ride for him, not so much for me. He went in to pick it up and the mechanics all came out to express their condolences on the loss of this great car. OMG, get over it guys, it's a car. And then the service manager whipped the long diagnostic report over the counter so Butch could see all the reasons to put this car out of it's misery. Then the final straw and snapped Butch to his senses. The service manger said. That will be $21.99; we changed the oil for you and washed it. I had to walk away! Butch grabbed the keys and said: You changed the oil? and he paid the $21.99. The final insult to injury.
He donated the car to public radio for the car auction.
Friday morning arrived, he stayed home from work. Kirby was nervous too.
As the tow truck pulled up to the curb on a rainy Friday morning, I thought thank God we live in 2016 and this wasn’t a horse!
So sad the car that he had spent so many miles in was dragged away. How American! They get the money and we get a deduction….. we are waiting to see what this car goes for. That $5.00 deduction will really help this year!