Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Word From Algernon's Car

What am I, a mule? No one ever treated a mule like this.

Oh, this guy has put me through a lot. I've driven back and forth across the country several times. I've been buried in snow, doused with polluted rains, encased in ice, left in a field for three months while he lived in a monastery, collided with an 18-wheeler on a slick freeway, and we haven't even broached the subject of what it's like to be a stickshift car in the city of Los Angeles.

But this really took the cake.

To begin with, he packed me so heavily I thought my chassis was going to scrape the road with every bump. Coolers, camping equipment, kitchen gear, and huge containers of water. The water was the heaviest of all. Why so much water? Where was he going? I figured, he likes deserts, and he's bringing lots of water - okay, we're going to the desert. In August. Shikata ga nai - whaddya gonna do?

But wait - we drive all the way up through the Sierras PAST Death Valley, up into Reno, and the next day we drive all the way to the Black Rock Desert. Here, I get parked for nine days. He sets his tent up behind me, using me for a windbreak. And his closet.

Oh! And that's not all folks! Check THIS out: he hammers these long metal poles into the ground right next to me, pads them (inadequately!), and uses ME to brace his shade structure! Nice, huh? What am I, a building? A hurricane barrier? No sir, I am a high-quality automobile with excellent consumer ratings. I am not a STRUCTURAL ACCESSORY. Cripes!

There I sit, getting sandblasted in these high winds and all this - well, you know, it's dust. Gritty, alkaline dust. Sitting there, with the sun cooking it into my finish. And when the heavy winds came, I got a fresh dent on the driver's side from one of the damn poles. And did you know this desert is the bed of an ancient lake? Hello?? I'm sitting here for a week covered in PREHISTORIC FISH POOP!?

Sure, he changes my oil, and he pats me on the dashboard and says "Good car" (which I frankly find a bit condescending), but really. One of these days, he's going to be rambling through Lone Pine or one of those other lonely towns, and I might just blow my water pump.

Let's see him deal with it.

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