Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Incident on the Ice #atozchallenge

Not my girl but the same year and color.  Miss.

 She was a 1972 Chevy Caprice Classic.  She was a huge boat of a car with a giant engine, factory air and a thirst for 87 octane.  And she was all mine.  I didn't know how to drive when I got her so  I spent a lot of time with her in the back alley cleaning the interior, adjusting the mirrors and starting the ignition.  My father worried that I'd wrap her around a column or drive her through a storefront.  My mother thought I'd challenge the ice cream man to drag race.  

Tip: Always challenge the ice cream man to a drag race.  Just when the truck gets up to speed he has to slam on the brakes for some kid waving a dollar.  You always win and you get to look in your rear view and see 5000 ice pops hit his windshield from the inside.  
After I got my license I was on parental probation.  I had to prove I was responsible.  That meant not running out of gas on the highway (which only happened twice), not banging into something (which happened daily) and most important, not telling them when any of these happened.   When you're surrounded by 40,000 cubic feet of car you forget the car has sides and a top.  I also wanted to impress super-cool girlfriend who thought my car was amazing (funny what seventeen year olds find amazing) and I wanted to be super-cool wheel-man.  

That summer, my father and I tuned her up, jacked up the rear end and he sprang for a brand new exhaust system, $300.00, which I didn't have to pay back.  The summer wore on; the car, the beach, the music and then came the cool girlfriend.  Then came Autumn and school.  Then came Winter and snow and ice. 

Note: Big old cars that stick to the curves in the summer heat don't exactly behave that way on winter icy streets. 

Everything was fine until the snow came.  Three feet of it.  The streets were navigable but parking lot at school wasn't plowed.  No problem, I was super cool wheel-man intent on showing super cool passenger girlfriend that I was a master of the road.  I revved her up, threw her in drive and plowed right into the parking lot - and into a snow bank.  Stranded.    Then there was now  a deep rumbling under the car.  I knew I broke something.  

There was no way I could go home with that.  I didn't even know what "that" was.  I took it to a garage and my fear was confirmed; I blew the exhaust system.  The brand new $300.00 exhaust system I didn't have to pay for and still couldn't.  I got a roll of tape to wrap around the pipes to muffle the sound.  My father heard me pull up because the tape had melted through and came outside with that look on his face.  The look that said, "I know you did something stupid".  I had to say something.  I stood tall, squared my shoulders ready to confess and said,  "I have no clue, I just started sounding like that".   

He didn't buy it.

One look under the car, the melted tape, the bent pipes, the hole in the muffler and the entire thing hanging by one bolt told him all he needed to know.  I did something stupid. "Did you drive into a snow bank or something?"  He saw my face.  "You did, didn't you?  Keys."  Just like that my super cool disappeared. 

 Several days later the car appeared out front.  It hummed in near silence.  He stepped out and has he passed me he dropped the keys in my hands and said, "Now we're not gonna hurt each other, are we?"  

"No, Sir." 
"And you know that $300.00 is coming outta you."

"Yes, sir."

Before he went inside he assumed the air of regal wise philosopher. He looked up, as if to pull a nugget of importance from the heavens and said, Remember, A BOTTOM as well as sides and a top".   
There were no further plans to drive into anything. At least not intentionally... 

*Thank you for visiting.  I answer all comments so please subscribe to be part of the chaos here and never miss a post!  If you'd like something light and cheery, please visit my kid's picture book blog about an adventurous five-legged spider and the mischief he gets himself into at Ollie Bug's Blog , also part of the A to Z Challenge.  You can also find me on Facebook,  Instagram  Twitter


  1. Oh the things that sons do with their cars and hope that their fathers are not wise enough to figure it out :) Have many a story of what son has done with his cars over the years and how he could never fool hubby with his stories he tried to make up :)


    1. Betty,
      I got better as time went on. I tried space aliens and pirates but that didn't work. So I had to get more clever. Which also never worked.

  2. Enjoyed this, and also the spider, came here after here! Our first car (it came a little later than yours, OH was about 23) was a tomato red Renault. We saw it as we walked home - it was a wreck. Confident in how sensible my new husband was, I said, ok, go and look at it, I'll go home to start dinner. Half an hour later a terrine noise could be heard drawing up outside, he'd bought it for £50. The first journey, the exhaust dropped off - it was a Ford exhaust. It used 3 cans of oil on that journey. I have chosen every car since. ~Liz

    1. Liz,
      If I'm not mistaken Ford and Renault shared parts. 3 cans of oil on one little trip. He made a wise decision deferring to you!