Friday, February 02, 2007

i just got my pickup-fixed. the rotar needed refinishing. now it's as good as new which is sometime in 1994. it runs well, hardly ever has a problem -- apart from the dead battery which left me and ippoc stranded in the parking lot after our cruise -- but really it's a junky little thing. but i come from a long line of junky car owners and it gives me a warm feeling to drive in it because it reminds me of my father, a Scot, who did not care for things flashy or American (though mostly American) and who could give a flying haggis about what type of car he drove (or, i might add, how uncomfortable his four kids were in the back seat) as long as it got him where he wanted to go.

i remember when we moved back from Scotland he went looking for a car for his family of six. i told my friend Julie Schaffer that he was buying a car. Her dad owned a convertible red Fiat that he picked Julie up in some days after school. when i told Julie that my dad was buying a car she was most excited. she wanted to know if it'll be four-door, a hatch-back, will it be a V8, 4-wheel drive -- she'd obviously grown up in a family who paid attention to these kinds of things. "i have no idea," I said but hoped that there would be more room in the back seat and a little heat and maybe handles on the back window unlike our old Volvo that we'd ran into the ground back in Scotland. "i want bloody power steering," my mother had requested. so when my dad tooted the horn outside of Julie's house, and we ran to the front door and threw it open to see a bright yellow Datsun B210 Honeybee, complete with zippy bee decal, i sensed disapproval when Julie said, "a Honeybee?" i thought it looked kinda cute, like a toy car, but when my dad walked up her driveway toward me, i couldn't help but say, "a Honeybee Daddy?"


the six of us would pile into the Honeybee on weekends and drive along Highway 17 to Santa Cruz. my father who cared about other drivers as much as he cared about cars would creep along at 55mph and i would look out the window at the people in other cars flipping us off. perhaps they were flipping us off for going so slow, perhaps it was just the retarded Honeybee itself. i don't know. i think of it now and wonder, was he insane?

after the honeybee, and a divorce my father purchased a shiny silver Toyota Corolla. it wasn't brand new, but it looked it. for a short period of time, say a week, he kept it in mint condition. when the week was over, the usual decay set in, rotting from the inside out. he smoked inside the car and filled up the ashtray with his butts. he then rolled down the window and let the fresh air kick up the ash from the ashtray and coat the interior of the car creating a kind of Pompei effect. Birds shat on the hood, the windshield, the bumper and he left their white splots there to harden like whiteout. an unopened plastic container of orange juice was left inside the car one summer day. thereafter, the front seatbelt was always sticky and tiny tendrils of orange pulp could be seen dangling from the roof of the car. when the car was sideswiped and the driver's door needed replacing we did not go to a dealer; we went to an auto salvage lot and picked up a black one and had it slapped on. but when my father plowed into a post in his parking lot and accordianed the hood, he found that a little rope was all that was needed this time, no trip to the lot necessary.

so when i drive my little piece of shit, i think of him.

13 comments:

lauren said...

that honeybee was rad. i remember them.

we had a pinto. a pea green one.

marscat, your stories are always so perfect. i love reading them.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

he would have loved sputnik.

- - -

marscat post ~ aaaahhhh ... perfect Friday afternoon delite.

X Bunny said...

makes me think of the old vw bug.

great car.

you really stuffed 6 people into that thing???

PAB said...

oops, that was me.

xbun owes me 50 cents.

X Bunny said...

put it on my tab

X Bunny said...

my mother had a lovely omni

'pumpkin' color
with 'spice' interior

there is something wrong if i can't remember what i ate for breakfast but remember that

Ippoc Amic said...

my dad bought me a galaxy once and that was being nice...

Ippoc Amic said...

sputnik would have been excessive...remember he was a scot?

PAB said...

you REALLY put 6 people in that thing??

and it would move???

Velo Bella said...

excellent!

And since we are all reminiscing here...my dad had an old vw bus that was so ragged it had holes in the floorboard. I used to love watching the road pass by under my feet.

X Bunny said...

no wonder you like that vp truck we used for surfcity so much

velogirl said...

Lauren!!! we had a pea green pinto too. my sister bought it for college and then gave it to my mother (who didn't drive). she replaced it with a mustang. it was white with red leather interior. we painted it blue (with paintbrushes).

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

My first car was a '78 Datsun farm truck. It was two shades of yellorange (mustard & apricot), would run without the key in the ignition, could be started with a pocketknife, didn't require a clutch to shift and when it was in one of the extreme gears you could see the road through the cracks near the gearshift. His name was Snert. I loved that damn thing.