Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Any color but blue, please."

by Wendy Burke

Favorite song – don’t really have one.
Favorite food – uh, nothin’ there either.
Favorite movie – I can narrow that down some, anything with Russell Crowe or Denzel Washington in it, or both. (Which leaves me with ‘Virtuosity’ and ‘American Gangster’.) Okay, separately works well, too.
Favorite beer – Spotted Cow.

Favorite baseball player – well, duh, anyone who knows me, knows it’s Brad Ausmus.

Favorite car color – ANY COLOR BUT BLUE! (Yes, I know I’m yelling and there’s a reason for that.)

Oh, let’s go back to 2003 – the lease on my cute little white Sebring was up and it was time for a new one. My dear huz sure knows how to pick cars, so he surprises me in July with another Sebring, in a gorgeous metallic ice blue color. I had complete strangers coming up to me asking me the name of the car’s color. I just called it ‘metallic ice blue,’ because to be honest it most likely had some pretentious, ‘look-at-me-I’m-the-guy-who-invented- the color’ name.
I loved that car—it was comfortable, got great gas mileage and had an up-and-at’em cajone of an engine.
That love began to dissipate two months later in September.
I’ll warn you ahead of time, this is kind of a sad beginning to the story, but I’m sure that person is ROFL near the pearly gates, while completely rolling her eyes at her lone daughter.
My mother had been ill and was quickly losing her battle with liver disease. I got a call early on a Monday morning that I might want to ‘get home right away.’ Well, ‘getting home right away’ for me is a six hour drive – I live in Ohio, she was in Wisconsin.
So, I hop in the car, try not to worry, accept the fact that I will soon be sans parents and brace myself for the minutia that comes with dealing with a funeral. I was in a pretty good mood actually – I was prepared for this.
She passed while I was zipping by Great America (now Six Flags) in Gurnee, Illinois, just outside Chicago.
As I get to Wisconsin, is where the story gets interesting. As a preface, I have the world’s smallest bladder – and of course, I was guzzling 32 ounce pops and coffee all the way there.
I’m ten blocks from my childhood home and I’m dancing in my seat – no way is that little receptacle going to hold out another mile or so. I pull in to the nearest McDonald’s and trot to the facilities.
I’m two steps back into the parking lot when a young man calls my way ‘Ma’am (ooo, I can’t tell you how I despise that!) is this your blue car?’
“Ah, yeah.”
“Well, I kind of hit it,’ he said, leaning against a huge loaded box truck.
‘Kind of hit’ is relative. If my metallic ice blue, two month old Chrysler Sebring had been a full size Hummer, yes, ‘kind of hit’ would have worked, but because I didn’t…the front driver’s side quarter panel was gone, the cowl was in pieces and my hood was badly crimped. The car was a mess and would not be Interstate worthy.
As I sat down in the car and started pulling out insurance info, I laughed, yes, laughed. This incident was a tiny pebble in my shoe compared to the magnitude of reason I was in Wisconsin to begin with.
He apologizes and we begin exchanging information.
“Oh, and you’re from out of town,” he says.
“Yes, I’m here to bury my mother.”
I thought he was going to pass out. He mumbled, he stumbled, he couldn’t figure out why I thought this was so funny. He apologizes over and over. I assure him it’s all right and we finish our business.
Then, I call my husband, who is still in Ohio.
“What did you do?!” was the first thing out of his mouth.
“I was peeing!
“What do you mean you were ‘peeing’?”
“My pants were around my ankles and I was in the McDonald’s bathroom peeing!” Why do husbands always seem to think automotive trouble is due to their wife’s operator error!?
“Well, get a police report, for the insurance.”
So, that’s taken care of. I eventually get the Sebring cable-tied and strapping-taped back together well enough to make her Interstate worthy again.
I bury my mom and head home.
That was just the first incident with the metallic ice blue Sebring.
A summer later, my metallic ice blue friggin' cursed Sebring is parked in the parking garage at work.
I get a call at my desk from building security, “Do you have a blue Sebring?”
Dear Lord, now what?! “Yes, I do.”
“Could you come to the office, some one hit it.”
I’m seriously thinking I’m beginning to hate this---BLUE--- car.
So, I wander downstairs, first to my car, which has an enormous dent in its back passenger side bumper.
It’s explained to me by the man who owns the brand new, convertible, racy Fiat roadster that, “My car must have jumped out of gear, rolled down the garage ramp and…”
“…Was stopped by the back end of my car.” I interrupt.
“Well, someone could have been run over,” he snipes.
“Yeah, but thankfully my car prevented that,” I smile back.
“Uh, this usually doesn’t happen. This is my summer car.”
WTF?! “Oh, good for you, this is my only car!”
He pulls out a check book, “How ‘bout I write you a check right now, we’ll be done with this.”
“How about you cough up your insurance information and we’ll be done with this.”
“Oh, that’s not really necessary.”
“Oh yes… yes it is.”
Did I mention he worked for one of the largest legal firms in the city?!
I’m really beginning to hate this ---BLUE --- car.
I t was fairly quiet for about two years. (Yes, to top it off it was a SIXTY month lease –never again)
Until Christmas of 2007.
My brother was in town from Wisconsin and had a flight back home. We have breakfast and head out to the airport where he has a hopper to Detroit connecting to Milwaukee. It had been foggy and rainy. The ticket agent mentioned the connector up to Detroit was running ninety minutes late, which would put him in DTW after the flight to Milwaukee left. Two other people were at the counter in the same predicament.
“C’mon, it’ll be faster if I just drive you to Detroit Metro.” (…in the metallic ice blue cursed Sebring.)
“Are you going to Metro?” I’m asked.
“Sure, wanna ride?”
So, off we go – my brother, two strangers and more luggage than has ever been in the car.
Three miles later, WHUBBA WHUBBA WHUBBA…
C’mon, you want to guess! FLAT TIRE!
So, there I am, on the side of the road, in the rain. I had to unpack the trunk to get to the donut wheel. You know what, I’m pretty darn good at changing tires! So, after the change and praying that I got the lug nuts on tight enough, off we went.
The remainder of the ride to Detroit Metro was uneventful, thankfully! And, we arrived with enough time for my brother and the two stranger-passengers to make their connections.
I’m parked at the curb, unloading luggage again when the vehicle parked in front of me, a pickup with the giant cab on the back decides to back up without looking.
$1,700 hole in my front grille.
You know what, I laughed!
I bid adieu to my brother and passengers, exchange information with the offending driver and hit the road back to Ohio.
I call my husband, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?”
“Don’t tell me,” he says, “…you were peeing.”
And, that’s why any car I ever have again will be any color but blue!


Deanna Wadsworth said...

Lol, I can so see your hubby saying that, Wen!!
And Spotted Cow? I only have four left in my beer fridge! Oh the humanity!!!! Guess I'm sending you back to WI with some cash next visit! :)

Redameter said...

This is hilarious. I can just see it all in my mind. I've had a husband like that once, they have no idea what it's all about.

I got hit once by two old people and the cop was more worried about them than me, and I was hurt. Thank God I had a witness that they hit me without looking where they were going.

I never liked cars much...they seem to get you into trouble.

I understand completely how you feel. But metalic ice blue does sound nice....
Love and blessings

JM said...

Ha! I've always wanted a blue car, but you're making me rethink that.

Anonymous said...

OMG, I can totally relate. My Black Nissan Altima was hit 4 times in 4 months. 3 of those times right on the street in front of my house. During the same time frame, my husband's black Mustang convertible was totally side scraped and dented by some gigantic idiot in a big old car who wasn't watching and pulled out in front of a new red F-150 and got hit by them, then hit our parked car. And, of course, he didn't have insurance the the damages to either car. Then Mustang got hit by someone backing up. Yes, 6 car incidents in 8mos with 2 newer black cars.

We've not had a black car since.

Thanks, Wendy. That was fun to read. Kind of!

Maureen said...

Food for thought...what had that blue car done in a former life to deserve getting continually smacked about by other cars? Was it a getaway car for nefarious villains? Took part in numerous kidnappings?

Makes one think! ;-)

Wendy Burke said...

Thanks for all the comments! You know, 'truth IS stranger than fiction' and silliness like what is found in these little stories, you just CAN'T make up! True stuff! Sad, isn't it? :)

Constance Phillips said...

Wendy...To someone without your sense of humor this would be a rather depressing story. I, too, had a cursed car once. It was white, 2 accidents in five weeks. the second one week after getting the damage repaired for the first.

Thankfully, in my case, second accident totaled it and I was done with that mess!

Kathleen said...

I think that little blue car is possessed. I feel like I shouldn't laugh, but as I read your story I could imagine the car being the bad seed on the car lot.

When I'm at work, everytime I pee the secretary puts through a call, and I feel like flushing the phone down the toilet.