Commute Count: May 7May 7th, 2010 by ed friedrich
Right off the bat, some jerk in a souped-up Civic with a big spoiler passes the guy in front of me on my little country road. Just so he could hit the skids behind a line of cars and then stop at a red light. Might be the first time I’ve seen somebody pass there in 25 years.
Speaking of souped-up Hondas, aren’t they the last cars you would’ve thought kids would be attracted to? It makes some sense, I guess. They’re reliable and good on gas. But when did high school kids ever make sense? Not when I was there.
So now we have all these kids buzzing around in lowered Civics, Preludes and even Accords with goofy-sounding mufflers. That’s exactly why my kid doesn’t want a Honda, because everybody else has one, plus our family has owned nothing but Hondas his whole life. Still, he loves driving my Accord. It’s a 5-speed he can treat like a racecar.
So he got his license last week and has been on Craigslist for months scoping out his first car. I don’t know why he needs one. We’ve got this wonderful 1988 Ford pickup sitting in the driveway. Went out and cleaned off the green layer that had grown during the winter. Now it’s a nice, shiny black, except where there paint is worn off. There are still some little seedlings growing in the cracks, but they’ll die when the weather heats up. One of the speakers and one of the windows even work.
The first car I bought was a 1966 GTO in 1972. My folks co-signed for the $1,400 loan. Don’t tell him that. It was the greatest car ever. Had a 389 in it. Could hit 100 down Berry Lake Road. Don’t tell him that, either. Got rid of it because of the 1973 oil crisis. Gas prices rocketed from 39 cents a gallon to 55 cents, and we had to wait in long lines to get it. One of the dumbest things I ever did was get rid of that car. Could get another one now if I had $40,000 or so.
My kid hopes to save up about $3,000 by the end of summer. He was really depressed this morning, though, because he turned in a bunch of applications two weeks ago and still doesn’t have a job. Teenagers live in their own little worlds. Well, if he does get a job and save $3,000, I’d be pretty proud of him, and he should probably be able to find a halfway decent car. My GTO, by the way, if adjusted for inflation, would cost $7,000 today instead of $1,400.
He’s actually been semi-reasonable in his wants, like a Mazda3 or Nissan Altima. Then there are ones I’m less excited about, like Mitsubishi Eclipse and former police Crown Victoria Interceptors. He actually said he’d give me a thousand bucks for my old Accord. That might be the best way to go, though I’m sure he’ll have second thoughts. Then I’ll have to go out and find a midlife crisis car.
We really need some help here. Got any suggestions?