Monday, January 25, 2010

A Street [Driving] Cheetah With A Heart Full of Napalm

My mother, kind soul that she is, offered to pick up my car at my office this afternoon and drive it to her mechanic in order to have the headlights replaced and oil changed before the shop closed at six o'clock this evening.  She left behind her vehicle for my transportation in the interim.

After work, when I got into my mother's early '90's Pontiac and started her up, she whined and growled something fierce.  The faux leather covering on the steering wheel had all but disintegrated under my finger tips, leaving not much more than the sticky brackish cushion below.  With a light touch to the gas, the car lurched forward--nothing but "raw power."  I giggled to myself, not having driven a genuine hooptie in quite some time.  As I gamely pulled the car out onto the roadway, I swear it began to sway in its frame. 

Things got progressively worse as I traveled down Forest Park Parkway, picked up speed, and entered onto Highway 170.  When I veered onto Interstate 40, I knew things were truly not right with this vehicle--what with the thumping vibrations and low moan it gave upon accelerating to proper highway speed.  So I got off at the next exit and coaxed it as gently as possible along the side streets of South St. Louis. 

At the intersection of Arsenal and Kingshighway, an economy car bearing a community support bumper sticker attempted to pass me on the right.  I slowed to let the car circumvent me and the driver enthusiastically flicked me off repeatedly as she did so.  Not very neighborly of her, but this is the way people respond to POS cars of my mother's caliber.  Look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology!

Shortly thereafter, I arrived at my parent's where my father greeted me on the porch and asked how I liked driving Mom's car.  I replied, "That thing is a death trap."  I then warned my mother that she should not take it on the highway ever again, as it sounded like it had lost an engine mount or two.  She laughed and confirmed that it had indeed lost an engine mount some time back.  I suggested that the next time she drives her car, she might want to wear her seat belt and bring along a bowie knife, so that she will be able to cut herself free from the wreckage.  Still she laughed.  Unfortunately, I was dead serious.  That car of hers is the one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

Iggy would be proud.