A long time ago, for my 18th birthday, and a slightly shorter time ago for my 21st, my parents promised me that they’d go halvies with me in a car. There was talk of fuel economy and the absence of a clutch pedal and all manner of pie in the sky model numbers being thrown around. It was a wondrous time, so full of hope and wonder.
Last week, it finally happened.
I finally have my first car.
Scratch that, let me rephrase. I finally have access to a car that is owned by my mother until the rego runs out. In reality it is probably my second car, but I can’t seem to make my mind take that step. A second car should be an accomplishment, the pinnacle of all things automotive in one’s life to date. It should be a comfy, reliable replacement for the rattly old bomb of a first car that barely managed the basics of A to B travel.
I seem to be suffering from a severe case of automotive regression.
Deathtrap is the ultimate in P-plating first car comfort. Gone are the days of the shiny black paintjob and sitting unassumingly at a red and leaping off the line like a bat out of hell. The poor old dear is now a rather dreary two tone matte grey and has about as much chance of coming out on top of a drag as she does towing an unladen trailer. The ceiling is starting to get that perished foam sag and before you can even get your backside on the seat, the unmistakable odour of mouldy socks leaps out of the door and assaults your nostrils. All that aside, on mechanics alone, she is more than a bit frightening.
But nobody believed me.
“It’s a car. Deal with it.”
“You’ll get used to it”
“It’s a bit different driving a V6 than your little toy car”
Somehow, word has gotten around that I am a bad driver who can’t handle her cars. This is, of course, utter nonsense however when someone with such a reputation starts banging on about how utterly scary her new ride is, there is understandably some rather blatant scepticism.
And so I proved it.
Enter Sin. Sin fancies herself quite a good driver and routinely drives an older model car that scares the willies out of me. Sin also has no qualms about telling me that I’m being a total crybaby and so, on a bit of a whim, she found herself with keys in hand.
After the initial surprise and disgust at the powerful odour emanating from the interior, we climbed in and started her up and waited for an empty road.
It was around the time that we were inching along the street with her foot planted on the accelerator that she began to realise that I might not actually be the driving wimp that she suspected me to be.
“Oh. My. God. My foot is on the floor. What are we doing, like 4kph? This is so wrong!”
I think it was close to the time that we hit the 70 zone and fairly vital bits of engine lost contact with other fairly vital bits of engine and just spun merrily by themselves that her faith in being able to show me I was whining about a perfectly good car began to waver.
“Shit, does it always do that? What IS that?”
As I came back from running errands to find her standing near the bonnet, it appeared that she’d figured out that glorious eau de sock fragrance was a bit more than just an inconvenience.
“Dude! I’m allergic to your car! My lips are tingling!”
Thankfully it was well after establishing that she could still do hill starts in a manual that all hope for Deathtrap’s redemption was lost and support for my position was gained. I’d guess it was around the time that I pointed out that we’d stalled in an 80 zone.
“But we are still driving, and I don’t sta… Oh my god, we’ve stalled! What is with your car??”
I think stalling two more times before we reached home kind of cemented the thought.
“You are not an ungrateful bitch, this car is bloody scary!”
Buuut, as first cars tend to, it is growing on me. Ok, so it is certainly an A to B vehicle, but seeing as I’ve never had unlimited access to a vehicle of any kind before, this is a fairly big selling point. And sure, first gear is gutless and 2nd gear may once have gripped enough to move engine things, but 3rd is pretty sweet and 5th is just cruisy. And really, if I park on high ground only very tall people can see the peeling paint, and matte black is fairly fashionable.
But I suppose, most importantly of all, I live at point A and need to get to point B.
*sigh* I guess it is time to get that roadside assistance membership.