Crayola, my 1998 Ford Escort, starting giving me some grief when I pushed it a few months ago. By “pushed it” I mean going over 60mph or at an incline. Since the speed limits around here are rarely above 60mph, I could live with that. The problem was that there are two ways home, one of which is blocked off due to construction and the other involves a pretty steep incline. Plus, nobody likes driving a car that throws periodic temper tantrums in the course of daily use.

So for a little while I swapped cars with my wife since she works a mile away, walks most days, and avoids the inclines or interstate other days. I was actually somewhat excited by the prospect because I almost always drive the worse car in the family. As the youngest son, I was the last in the hand-me-down chain. Then I married Clancy and though her car is slightly older than mine, Toyotas seem to age better than do Escorts. So for once I was going to get to drive the nice car. The very first day I had the car, though, I opened it and the handle snapped off the door. As much as her car is nicer than mine, being able to get in the driver’s door negates all of the other advantages (sans temper tantrums). So while I was driving the better car at the time, my upgrade had in the first day become a downgrade over Crayola’s usual state of being.

This isn’t the first time that I have been unable to get into the driver’s side. Sandstorm, the gold 98 Escort I drove before swapping it out with my father for Crayola after Storm hit 200,000 miles. Sandstorm had a broken lock on the driver’s side, so you had to unlock it from the passenger’s side and reach across to unlock it. Once you were reaching across to unlock it, it was actually easier to just get in from the passenger’s side than to get back out and walk around. So I learned how to spin across and land in the passenger’s bucket. Kind of a hassle, but kind of cool. Unfortunately, I had a tougher time spinning in Clancy’s car despite it’s larger size. My foot kept bumping into the wheel. I later learned that the best thing to do was put the seat in recline and if I did that, I could spin around like in the old days with Sandstorm.

The cool has become less significant than the hassle.

I kept looking for an opening to take Crayola into the shop, but never quite found it. What I had forgotten was Clancy was about to start a new rotation about 20 miles away and she would not be able to use my car. So necessity required my taking Crayola in the first day of that month.

To be continued


Category: Road

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One Response to The Upgrade That Wasn’t

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    I have never, ever had a car door handle break or heard of someone to whom that happened. Until now, Banana-hands.

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