Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cats and Bugs

It's sad to say goodbye to something you love, even if you're getting something better out of the deal.

This is going to be mostly about cars, and a little about creepy statues. First the cars. Since I was seventeen I've had a 2000 Mercury Cougar, which I always lovingly referred to as "The Coug." A lot of people didn't seem to understand why I called it that, which kind of made me sad, but I was still learning back then that not everyone had brothers as old as mine letting them borrow their old cassette tapes.  Anyway here's The Coug:

Lovely, right?  Well it's gone now.  Over the past few weeks The Coug was acting a little odd, and upon further inspection we discovered a rust problem that would be pretty costly to fix, so my dad decided to trade it in.  Before we left the house the morning we got rid of it, he asked if I would miss my old car.  I said no way!  I didn't even use it during college, and besides, it's just a car!

Fast forward to my actually having to empty it out.  Here's some of what was in there: two umbrellas, price tags from our local grocery store/garage sale Marcs, a JC Penney employee lanyard from my high school job, Winnie the Pooh plush toys my mom put in there to "surprise" me when I left it behind during college, a pink blanket of unknown origins, a Batman kite I bought with my friends one day (senior year of high school, I think) when we decided to go buy kites and fly them on an empty piece of land near our school, an old key chain containing a miniature Russian doll one of my friends brought back from her first trip to Russia and a Hiei from Yuyu Hakusho that I bought back when Hot Topic was the new big thing, and this guy

This gnome has been buckled up in the backseat of my car for almost four years.  My junior year of high school I opened my locker one day to find him peering out at me, and he lived in there until the year ended, at which point I moved him to my car, where he's been until last Monday.  My friends gave him to me for reasons I don't completely recall, but I know it had something to do with the Travelocity roaming gnome.  He was safely fastened until late November of last year, when I slammed on the brakes on my way back to grad school after Thanksgiving break to avoid hitting a dear, and he slid out of the seat onto the floor.  I remember this because it was noisy.  He never got picked up and re-buckled because almost hitting that dear triggered something in me that turned what had up til then been a slow decline into a full downward spiral.


So all of these things sat in my parents garage while we traded in The Coug for something better, and I realized that I was really going to miss my old car.  My dad knew the feeling, as he is very sentimental about vehicles, and talks about all his old cars like they're fine wines or old girlfriends.  He's had about forty-six of them throughout his life (cars, not girlfriends).  Just about every three or four years he gets the itch to look for new ones, making our family perhaps the only example of how leasing can make more sense than buying cars.  According to my mother, there are much worse habits a person can have, and so long as he's not trading wives like he trades cars, she's fine with it.

I doubt I'll ever be like that, but for now here's car number two:

As much as I miss my old car, I definitely love this new one just as much, if not more.  However, due to the fact that the seats in the Volkswagen or, if you have a slight lisp like I do, "Voltzwagen," do not have as deep a dip in them as the seats in the Mercury, they do not hold my little gnome in place.  Now it's sitting in the house and I don't know what to do with it.  It's actually a little bit frightening.

I don't know when it started, but it seems to have some kind of weird weeping statue thing going on.

But back to the car.  It surprised my dad when I picked this one out, but Bugs sort of run in the family.  My grandfather (on my dad's side) owned one from the '70s that lived in his garage until a few years ago when we sold it to a family friend who could restore it.  One of my aunts also had one when she was younger, which she loved very much.  She told me that hers had been named Betsy, and asked if I was going to name mine.

The Coug got its name from a musician, and for now the Beetle is on the same track.  Thanks in part to my mother being a victim of the British Invasion, and to the indie/hipster/whatchamacallits for listening to them continually, I am completely unable to spell the would "beetle" without first typing "beatle" and deleting it.  So more often than not I end up talking about my new VW Beatle.  Does that count as a name?

Either way, I'm excited.  I had a lot of good memories with that old car, but a lot of horrible ones, too.  This new car is just that, new (to me, anyway, it's an '05).  A blank slate of sorts that I have been otherwise unable to obtain.  I'm sure it will fill up with things eventually, but right now it's just empty and clean.  And that's kind of nice.