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Adieu, Cru!

September 3, 2018

Fourteen years ago, I bought my first new car. I’d had good cars in the past, and some great ones, but I’d always bought used. For some reason, this time I stopped into a dealership looking for a Toyota Matrix, but upon test drive, discovered it was gutless. No zip, not acceleration… In Florida, zip is necessary to survive the worst drivers on the planet.

So we stopped into another dealer and they just happened to have a cherry red 2004 PT Cruiser. I’d never had a red car before, and I liked the retro look. When I got it, man! it was so spacious! We drove off with it, feeling apprehensive and elated. Such a nice car need to be garaged, and it was.

A few months later, we moved, and because we were moving in, I parked it in driveway. A neighbor kid who knew use from church pedaled madly down the street, waiving at us, came over the easement, flashed over the sidewalk, lost control in grass and thumped the side of my car, leaving a golfball sized dent. On my precious new car. Fourteen years later, that is still the only dent in the car.

I hid it in the garage after that, away from marauding bicycles, but eventually, I built an office in my garage and the Cruiser had to live under the trees, sick birds, and assault squirrels. The paint began to fade. Newer cars had bluetooth and backup cameras. The Cruiser had manual locks. And the CD player broke. No one else like to drive it (score!).

I’ve had to replace the radiator, brake system, a few things here and there, but overall, it’s been a great car. Recently the check engine light came on. Catalytic Converter issue. The door chime started going off all the time, and a weird rattle came from right side of the car, like something was stuck and vibrating in the speaker. When I stopped the car, water burbled in the engine. There were probably frogs in the engine. They were certainly in the cabin. I started talking to the Cruiser, telling her she was a good girl and not to quit on me now.

Yesterday, we traded her in for a new car. I had to remind myself that cars are objects with no feelings. My jaw stood firm, if gritted.

Our new car has Bluetooth. And a backup camera. And other bells and whistles we discover as we go. It’s not brand new, just new to us. We buy our cars at CarMax now. It’s a dark green Chevy Cruz. Pretty slick. We call it the Jalapeno. My wife drives it. I get the Gerkin, our pickle-colored Kia Soul.

It has Bluetooth.

I’ll my my PT Cruiser and hope her new owner, or owner of her various parts, will treat her well.

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