My First Car

March 14, 2005 at 11:24 am (Funny Shit)

You always remember your first car. Most people have fond memories of some slightly old, somewhat beaten, about to break down but always fun once-hot car.

Mine? Mine tried to eat me.

I was 29 and a brand-new mommy. My little bundle of joy needed to get to places and although there was taxi service in Eau Claire, I had finally reached the point where it would be cheaper to drive and maintain a car than it would be to rely on their service. I got lucky on the car-shopping crap, I'd thought. A friend of mine just bought himself a new-to-him Suburban, so his 1982 Ford Granada was about to go on the market. I paid $200 for it–it ran great, burned a little oil and the gentleman knew how badly I needed one. He even volunteered to take me out driving so I could practice for my license. Granted that Fords suck, but it was in relatively good shape and I couldn't beat the price.

Great! I owned a car, I could drive it, and I even had off-street parking. Now, to play under the hood. My little Minkey was sleeping off her afternoon bottle, so now was a great time to make sure the basics were taken care of. I have limited knowlege of the workings of the internal combustion engine. I can, however, in a pinch, change the oil, and I can certainly check same. That was the first thing I needed to do, and I popped the Monster's hood and proceeded to do it.

Ten minutes later, I'd finally found the catch, popped it, and realized that it had to be propped with a bar. To no surprise at all, I find the bitch is low on oil. I ducked out and grabbed the bottle of 10W-30 the nice man had included in the $200 sticker price, ducked back in and fed the oil to the crankcase. As I ducked out to replace the lid, I felt one elbow brush the hood's prop–SHIT!! I ducked and yanked myself out of the way…almost. I got most of me out, but my left arm didn't quite make it. I looked down to see it hanging out of the car's hood, like a scrap of spaghetti dangling from a Mafioso's maw.

All right, this is NOT COOL. My baby's asleep in an upstairs room, it's 2 pm, everyone's at work and this is pre-cell phone days so I'm fucking STUCK. I had one option, one I hate like hell to use. Yelling. So I let loose–and again–again. I wind up yelling my head off, one arm stuck in a damned FORD'S hood, the other too short to reach the front of the car's hood release. It's been about 45 minutes since my daughter lay down for her nap and I'm starting to panic. My arm hurts, much less than I thought it should, but my kid's going to wake up and start screaming, which would be MOST unacceptable!

Finally, after what seemed to be a lifetime of hollering, screaming, swearing and pulling, my neighbor's wife comes out and looks around like she's expecting an alien ship. She sees me–fucking FINALLY! Of course, the silly ditz just HAS to spend a precious five minutes asking the obvious stupid questions:

"Are you all right?"

Hell NO I'M NOT ALL RIGHT YOU DELIVERANCE EXTRA–I'M BEING DEVOURED BY A FORD! "Is your arm stuck in the hood?" NO! I'M A MODEL FOR A RETRO CAR AD! HERE'S YOUR SIGN.

"Where's Minkey?" SHE'S AT THE NAVY RECRUITERS ASKING WHERE TO SWIM OUT TO MEET THE BOYS! WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU THINK SHE IS??? GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE OR CALL SOMEONE WHO WILL!

Finally, she puts the two brain cells left in her head (One's normally waving BUH-bye to the other) together and starts actually looking at the apparatus of my car's hood. Fortunately it's relatively easy to get my arm out–unfortunately it involved pushing the hood down enough to engage the second of two latches. SHIT–OWOWOWOWOWOWOWWWWW–finally, I'm out of the damned hood!

My arm's DENTED, but not broken. There's a clear bite mark, 2 inches wide, impressed into my flesh. It takes two days for just the depression to spring back to normal–the deep bone bruise and rainbow on the stained skin last over a month. But the bone's not broken and it only hurt to move the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

And Minkey-girlie? Still sound asleep when I made the mad dash up the stairs to our apartment. They really are cute when they're asleep.

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