I have a theory that we buy cars today not so much for their capacity to haul us around, but for their potential for personal expression. Sure, says the prospective car buyer, that station wagon has plenty of room for my daughter's hockey equipment, but this little number has more room on the back for that "give me coffee and no one gets hurt" bumper sticker! And he buys the smaller car, and the now-resentful daughter gives up hockey entirely and there go America's hopes of fielding a serious challenge to the Russians in the 2020 Winter Games.
It's a far cry from the days in which you could buy a Model T in "any color as long as it's black" - or "sleek onyx" as I think carmakers call the color now. And it briefly convinced me that people should refrain from putting bumper stickers or any other decorations on their cars. I even tried to go without license plates, until a state trooper reminded me that prison is even worse for personal expression than properly registering one's car.
But even as I now comply fully with the motor vehicle code, I'm still leery of humans expressing themselves through their cars. That said, I'm totally fine with cars expressing themselves - cars can talk, they can play music, "low riders" can even dance a little. My car is a writer, and as an Insider exclusive, we now present excerpts from the short story he's been working on, "Driveway of Despair."
Rain. Again. I see clouds roll in, I see the drops start to fall. I see my windows are down. What I don't see is my human. He's inside, safe, warm and dry.
I see the other cars in the neighborhood parked in garages. My human bought a house without a garage. Because "he'd never use it." I'd use it! But then, I don't have a say. I never do.
Wow, this is much more bitter than I expected. The car told me it was about a "magical car that helps a ragtag bunch of kids solve a mystery."
Now my seats are soaked. Another day of this and I'll pick up some mold. And the worst part is, having him drive me somewhere dry would be worse. I'd have to listen to that one Scorpions song, over and over. "Wind of Change?" "Wind of Repetition" is more like it.
Hey, I like that song! The car clearly doesn't understand the global context in which "Wind of Change" was written. Read up on the Cold War, car!
I had such high hopes when I came to this driveway. But I realize now I've given 130,000 miles of my life and gotten nothing in return.
That is completely false! Oil changes, tune-ups, brake pads, the works! You should be THANKING me instead of writing this whiny story.
And now I see him eyeing the newer models as they go down the street. He thinks I don't see, but I know one day I'll be sitting in the driveway and he'll pull up in a fancy ride with a GPS and climate control, and that will be that. Goodbye, driveway of despair, hello scrapyard of sadness.
Okay, I've had enough of this. You won't have to worry about me bringing home another car, because I'm riding a bike from now on. One without a horn or a bell - I'm not taking any chances.