Friday, May 29, 2015

Car Stories: The litttle cockroach who could

Dear Gillian,

I think my car may be a cockroach. If Armageddon ever comes, it won’t be the meek who inherit the Earth. It will be all those unkillable cockroaches – driving Geo Trackers.

I fell in love with my 1990 Tracker almost the moment you and I spotted it at the dealership in Pendleton, Oregon. No worries that it was seven years old. It was tiny, it was bright white and it was four-wheel-drive. And best of all, it was a convertible.

Well, I suppose the best of best of all was that it was cheap. We didn’t need a limousine, just a snow car. This one might actually qualify as a snowmobile.

I loved it, but only expected to see it around for a couple of years.

But it didn’t die in the eastern Oregon snow. And when
we moved, the rain in Eugene couldn’t wash the smile off of its grill. (I know, it’s not a smile. But the little thing always looks happy. It was, after all, made in Canada).

Every year since then, I’ve expected it to die. Then I change the spark plugs, get a new battery or have it tuned up.. Away it goes again. Even when Garrett and I used it to tow a trailerful of our lives halfway across the country to Missouri, it didn’t balk.

It’s a cockroach, I swear. You can’t swat it with unabridged dictionary.

That said, it is 25 years old. It still looks sharp in the driveway, with its black knobby tires in contrast with its still-white sides. But it take a minute or two of cranking to fire up the engine in the morning and the broken parking brake cable is unavailable at any price.

So just as I start seriously thinking about trading it in, what do I see?

Cockroaches. Green ones, red ones and familiar white ones. Cecile commented that there seem to be more Geo Tracker’s on the road now than ever. I think its just the immortality factor. It doesn’t matter how insignificant you were when you started, being the last one standing puts you at the top of the heap. Or in this case, heaps.

So who knows, another year for my little cockroach? Maybe a shot of Canadian Club in the tank . . .

-- Dad


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