No cash for this clunker, just hard knocks

Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009

My car is dead.

I'm not proud to admit it but I've killed it. Before its untimely demise it was a 1999 Ford Explorer or "Exploder" as my family called it. The more important fact though was that it was mine. I was allowed to borrow it from my Dad last December when I got my license and had never returned it. He hasn't complained and as they say possession is nine tenths of the law. It is perfect for driving my sister, Katie and me back and forth to school and sports practice -- or it was before I unintentionally murdered it.

How do you kill a car you ask? Quite simply. I was attempting to back out of my friend, Nan Misner's, driveway one frosty morning when I ran off the road and high centered it. I threw the car in to drive and did my best to unstick it from the mess of moss and branches that covered the bank. When this didn't help I tried reversing again but only succeeded in spinning the tires. By this time it was thoroughly stuck and Katie and I were late for school. We borrowed Nan's car and drove to school leaving her to pull it out with their truck. Once freed of its prison my car would drive well, at least for a few more days.

It was Sunday so Katie and I were off to church when we were stopped by the horrendous noise the Exploder was making. The sound was like a steal monster being slayed. Like the metal that made up my beloved car was splintering into a thousand shards. I was utterly convinced I had hit something. Horrified, I made Katie get out and check to see what was. The image of an evil combination of dog and lawn mower sprang to my mind. No such dying beast was found but my confidence was by this point completely gone. Unwilling to leave the driveway I called my Dad in for back up. It was then that I learned my Exploder was dying.

This story probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I don't understand cars. Yes, I can drive one reasonably well and put gas in it, but not much else. If I have to do so much as pop the hood I become so befuddled by the twisting pipes and wires that I usually just stare at it in hopes that the problem, and more importantly the solution, will announce itself. I have yet to learn how to change the oil or even when the oil is supposed to be changed. Apparently only doing this once in 10 months is a bad thing.

Currently my beloved Exploder is in pieces in the shop. Dad told me that the problem was something he called the transmission. The purpose of this mysterious object still eludes me but he says it might not have been my fault that it died.

Now I'm just waiting to see if my Exploder can be resurrected long enough for me to learn how to change the oil.

This article is the opinion of Carol Clonan. Clonan is a junior at Skyview High School.

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