By Sean Pearson
I find it hard to believe that I have actually driven a car more than 200,000 miles without wrecking it.
That being said, watch out for me on the road for the next few weeks, as I have no doubt I will soon suffer the ill effects of bragging about my remarkably stellar driving record. You just can’t tempt fate.
My car and I have been through a lot together. If I was one of those weird people who actually give their cars names, I would probably name my car Jack. (I’m saying IF I was one of them. It was a purely hypothetical question.)
I think Jack is a good name. It’s short, to the point and has a strong, utilitarian ring to it. I know a lot of good people named Jack. I have a dog named Jack. He’s a good dog. Sometimes, when Jack (the dog) comes along for a ride in Jack (the car), our conversations can get a little confusing.
Not that I actually carry on conversations with my dog.
Or my car.
Let’s just stick with the whole car theme for now, if you don’t mind.
The only connection my dog has with my car is whatever DNA he left on the seat when he puked up some critter that didn’t agree with his sensitive dog tummy.
That’s another thing I’d like for someone to explain to me. Why do I need to spend $50 for a bag of Eukanuba “Sensitive Stomach” dog food, when my dog eats some of the most vile and disgusting things off the side of the road? (I know that kinda implies actually walking the dog, but I figure, if you can use your imagination picturing it, so can I.)
Does it really matter if Jack’s Eukanuba Prebiotics formula is made with ingredients like “rice and natural chicken that are gentle on the stomach and digestive system,” when he’s licking roadkill?
Hmmm. Maybe we don’t really think about things in the same way.
My car actually has just over 225,000 miles on it. We took a picture of the odometer a few weeks back in honor of the 222,222 mark. Perhaps some of you witnessed the photographic evidence of our accomplishment via my Facebook page.
Or not. Regardless, it was quite a touching moment for us.
(When I say “us,” I am referring merely to myself and the voice inside my head. I am in no way implicating any members of my family. They actually HAVE lives. I just pretend.)
I’ve been getting a bit worried about Jack (the car’s) health lately. He’s pushing 11 years now, and I notice he’s kinda letting himself go a bit.
A rip in a seat here. Moldy raisins there. The dull and lifeless factory-installed clock that slowly and quietly faded away into the black hole of the time and space continuum. (They hang out there with blinking VCR clocks and those stupid, little oven range clocks. Heck, I bet all the socks that escaped the dryer are probably in there, too.)
And, as of last count, we’ve accumulated some 12 rock chips in the windshield, as well as three large cracks. That’s gotta be some kind of record, right?
So, in honor of our 200,000-plus miles accomplishment, I spent $14.99 for a fancy combination clock/compass/thermometer. Unfortunately, one of three things happened: Either, (a) I purchased a defective compass; (b) Whatever weird phenomenon occurring around me that breaks watches, scrambles PDAs and erases hard drives, made its way up onto the dashboard and infiltrated said compass; (c) The laws of nature and physics cease to exist within the confines of my auto, thereby allowing chaos to reign.
(OK. Maybe that last one was a little overstated.)
Regardless of the cause, the effect is a feeling of pervasive doom as I am apparently perpetually heading south in my car at all times. This wouldn’t bother me so much if I happened to turn up one morning in Mazatlan. Alas, I continue to find myself in something of a virtual “Groundhog Day” experience every time I enter my car. (The movie. Not the actual holiday.) No matter which way I turn, I’m always going south. Now, if that’s not based on the physical plane, where am I really headed? And just how many more planes are there? Should I really be flying?
I bet my plane would have a working compass.
And a clock.
I’ve never actually named a plane before. Jack sounds like a good, strong choice, though. Doesn’t it?
OK. So, maybe in light of national security, I should focus on keeping all four wheels on the ground for now. Who knows what kinds of damage I could do in the sky! Still, riding in a car with me can be a pretty exciting adventure. Wanna go for a ride? (Don’t worry. I’ll show you which seat Jack threw up on before you get in.)
No really … I will.
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