Thursday, March 15, 2007

adieu, Rat! hello new iPod!

Miracles happen! I just sold my 15-year-old car! As is! For 500 whole dollars! After full, open, almost inappropriately enthusiastic disclosure of how crappy it was! Including sending these pictures to the purchaser of my wheel wells, which have been clearly gnawed on, savagely and unrelentingly, by the Winter Roadsalt Monster and his little friend Gross Neglect:

And the crack in the windshield! Which has always struck even the most stout-hearted passenger with twinges of uneasiness, or more commonly, terror:

It's sort of hard to see there, but really, that thing always looks like it's about to shatter into long shards and puncture a lung if I brake too hard. It's almost two feet long.


Dear Red Rat,

I used to call you the Red Rocket (unimaginative, I know), and then the Red Rooster (a little better), but most of my friends know you as The Rat. Once a cute 1992 Honda Civic hatchback, you aged poorly, going from being like a cuddly panda calmly munching on bamboo shoots in a verdant eastern forest to being like a mangy, flea-bitten, beady-eyed scavenger of the seediest, filthiest urban gutter. Skittery and unpredictable, you were a car people would approach with disgust and enter with revulsion. You made people uncomfortable no matter how short or long the drive.

Oh, it's easy to rhapsodize. I never really knew when, say, an axle would snap, like that one time, with three friends in the car, and your front driver side suddenly collapsed on itself, just as we were about to pull onto the high-speed boulevard. I appreciated the timing though. Thanks for letting us live.

I'll be frank. I won't miss the way you always have a wet floor on the driver's side, even on hot, dry days, so I've had to roll up my pants when I drive you no matter what. I won't miss the way you would momentarily silence the stereo every time I shifted gears in very cold weather. I won't miss the way your headlights sometimes just stay on for a while when I've turned them OFF and removed the key from the ignition.

What I will miss is how you could carry an entire futon, or a Christmas tree, or, for that matter -- about 10 crates of books, 2 rolled-up carpets, a microwave, and a huge backpack full of camping gear when I was moving by myself and couldn't afford a truck. I doubt I'll ever have such an ambitious little car again.

Fare thee well, Rat! Let's hope your new owner soups you up and makes you look like this, the car you always dreamed of being:

(Forget the boring utility of helping a girl move apartments. Let some young man with mad skilz in auto body work take you cruising for chicks up and down the main street with dazzling new tinted windows and "ground effects".)



At March 16, 2007 7:58 a.m., Blogger sgazzetti said...

I just realized that The Rat (or, slightly more prosodically, Tha Rattt) is identical in make, model, color, and charm to a car once owned by a roommate of mine and which my dog, Old Mr. B, ate the driver's seat out of one hungry Maine winter.

At March 16, 2007 10:12 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Mike here. It brings to mind the story of how a friend and myself rented a Cougar from Rent-a-Wreck (ca. 1986), used it's interior to host major weekend parties for three days, the final hurrah being fifteen or so people sitting on its roof and hood, and then returning the car on Monday, completely wrecked (we had to hotwire it to get it running, the ignition was smashed), and demanding a full refund. And getting it! Oh, it was a beautiful moment.

At March 16, 2007 12:01 p.m., Anonymous blackbeltbarrister said...

Ah the Red Rat, how could I forget a magical night of handbrake turns in freshly fallen snow through the backstreets of your hometown? The husband and I will never forget the free-wheelin', seat-slidin' frosty terror! Or we may have be been over the bridge in Quebec, in which case, the free-wheelin', seat-slidin' frosty terroir!

At March 16, 2007 1:36 p.m., Blogger The Dude said...

You know, Ratt would make a good name for a band too... maybe with a couple of banjos?

Ok, here's your new car, Roo:

At March 16, 2007 2:11 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 'the dude', 'Ratt' was the name of an 80s cheesball glam metal band. Hey Roo, I think you should now post a picture of Ratt, taken from Wikipedia. It is something to behold. (

Perhaps a Ratt revival amongst friends?

At March 16, 2007 4:52 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

That crack in the windshield is nothing compared to my front glass -- the puzzlework of fragments are miraculously held together like an igloo. But that's the norm in the Yukon, where none of the roads are paved and our cars are still pulled by horses and sasquatches.

At March 23, 2007 8:52 a.m., Anonymous Melissa said...

So can I get banjo tab for Ratt songs? Intriguing...


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