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Ode to Black Car

Ode to Black Car

October 11, 2007

My husband’s car is the only car that we have ever purchased brand new. It had 6 miles on it when we drove it off the lot.

The car now has 285,000 miles on it. The car we affectionately call “Black Car” because, you know, it is black.

Little things keep falling apart. The air conditioning went long ago. The blower fan for the heat is gone. You can’t lock the doors because you can’t unlock them from the outside with key (something I discovered the hard way when I had to climb in through the trunk and the little fold down arm rest in the back seat in order to get back into the car)

And most recently the muffler fell off. The car has spots of rust from spending winters where salt and sand coats the ground. It is scratched down both sides where some child thought they would write on the car with rocks from the driveway. The door is dented where another child ran into it headlong on his bicycle. And the dents in the front from crashing into things while attempting to park are not from me, ahem.

It’s been in two car accidents, both the fault of other people.

And yet it just keeps on driving. Did I mention it gets fabulous gas mileage?

It’s end time is drawing near, it starting to sputter and gag and seems to be dreaming of retiring to that great metal landfill in the sky. We are still hopeful that it will reach 300,000 miles.

So last week Rob bought a new car. Another Nissan Altima, only this time with modern things like a CD player and heat, and power operated things.

My great concern right now is that now he will be paranoid and uptight about the children playing near the car. Which is understandable.

Which in turn will make me uptight. So I have come up with two helpful suggestions : a) He park the car away from the house and drive his old car to his new car, in effect making it a commuter car to the commuter car. Or b) I could just grab a hand full of patio pebbles and throw them at the car when he first gets home so the brand newness can get out of the way.

I’m leaving the choice up to him. I’m nice like that.

Posted by Chris @ 10:34 am  

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  1. Holly says:

    Yeah, we just got a new 12 passenger van, and on day 2 of owning said van, our 3 year old decided to push the back door really hard into the open passenger door, thus causing a rather long dent. That hurt, but instead of losing the newness, it just makes me see it every time and cry a little inside. So, I don’t think the pebbles will work. Sorry…

  2. meredith says:

    LOL! I vote for the hand full of pebbles :)

  3. Karen Vogel says:

    Handful of pebbles are the way to go. I don’t think I could bear to buy a new car at this point - the pain of watching it slowly be desecrated would be too much.

  4. Cate says:

    I had an Altima for years. Those things are hard to kill.

  5. The Simple Family says:

    Just write your name on it with your keys.

  6. april says:

    When I was in college, I bought my first car, an old Nissan. I loved it. It needed a new paint job though, not for vanity reasons, but so it wouldn’t rust. A kid I worked with gave me a deal and painted it, it was the closest thing to a new car to me.

    THE DAY AFTER I got it painted, I drove to the library to study. I pulled into a parking spot and just then a huge gust of wind blew the door of the empty car next to me open (I guess they didn’t shut their door all the way?) and into my door. It made a huge dent and scraped the new paint pretty bad. I almost cried, but what are you gonna do? It’s not like you can leave a note on someone else’s car saying, “Excuse you, but when you weren’t around your car attacked mine.”

  7. Ani says:

    I know, leave Black Car in the driveway for kid abuse. Park the new baby much closer to the road, and install underground invisible fence.

    What, putting shock collars on the kids is cruel?? Dang.

  8. carrie says:

    Yup. The first ding, and the uptightness will be gone! But wow - a cd player and power windows, he must be in heaven!

  9. Jen says:

    I vote for a)commuter car to commuter car. That way you can still work on getting Black Car to 300,000 miles.

  10. Jen says:

    p.s. nothing to do with this post but, just wondering if there is anything you don’t like about your new camera… I’ve been looking into getting a Nikon DSLR, all on line reviews point towards the D40x, which I believe I read in a previos post was what you just purchased? Anyway, I’m leaning towards that (or the D80)and am curious if there is anything you dislike about it!

  11. Lilly says:

    I vote for commuting to the car with the old car. At least for the next 10 years… I once bought a new little pickup truck and had to sell it after a few months. I couldn’t use it as a truck because I loved its powder blue perfection too much. So I bought a ratty old Toyota pickup instead.

  12. johana says:

    oh chris, you are so kind and thoughtful…not to mention hilarious.

  13. Katie says:

    Holly, same thing happened to our 12 passenger van! And I swear the kids are always bouncing off the van with their bikes. Can they not see the big black metal box sitting there?

    Congrats on the new car Rob!

  14. Lori says:

    It’s always better if they put the first scratch on it themselves. Way too much weeping and gnashing of teeth of someone else does it! enjoy the newness!

  15. Kellan says:

    Yeah … the pebbles - funny! I can’t wait until I can finally trade in the VAN for something more stylish. Congrats on the new car - so jealous!

  16. Diane says:

    You have me laughing so hard I could barely breathe!!

  17. Jennie says:

    I swear by Nissan Altimas. We just sold ours, but it was good to us for YEARS. Its name was Alty, because we’re original too :)

  18. tanya says:

    Take a picture of your cluncker. We have very fond memories of our first car, an ancient toyota corolla my husband had to push to start. The doors didn’t close that well so I would hang onto mine as we drove…

    Aaah the good old days. It’s funny NOW.

  19. still standing says:

    I remember the time our lovely car got its first initiation scar into our family. It was my husband’s FAVORITE car and he has this bad habit of running over anything in the road. I mean, this man will risk his life in oncoming traffic just to run over trash and then act surprised that it happened??? Anyway, he hit something. Something sharp and metal and it took a chunk of paint off the lower door panel. I guess it was the straw on the camels back that day because he started driving faster and faster. We were going WAY too fast and a cop pulled us over. She rightly told him that a scratch was nothing to risk your life over, and then wrote the man a ticket. Every time he saw that scratch it hurt twice as bad.

  20. Sue says:

    It’s inevitable that something will happen to a new car, he might as well suck it up and get it over with. I drove my brand new Jetta home from the dealer, picked up my husband and daughter and went to lunch. Where a truck parked next to my car and the very thoughtful person opened their door right into my door, leaving a nice scratch.

  21. Tricia says:

    I vote for the pebbles too, but give them to the kids to throw- so you’re not in trouble, right?

  22. Daisy says:

    The pebbles. Or maybe let them polish it with sandpaper. ouch.

  23. fidget says:

    I agree, with gas prices the way they are, the pebbles are the way to go

  24. misty says:

    this made me laugh… that would TOTALLY be my husband. Paranoid to drive it on the freeway, lest a gravel truck come along…

  25. Christine says:

    We have a ‘93 Nissan Sentra. It’s still truckin’. We call ours “the white car.” How racist are WE?

    We bought a new minivan last year. After two weeks, I was filling up the portable basketball goal with water. The wind caught it and turned it - smack on the hood. A month after that, my husband backed into a tree while we were on vacation and smashed/dented up the tail light.

    We like to get the marring out of the way so we can move on with our lives.

  26. jen says:

    I vote that he get to throw the pebbles! Though it does seem a shame to not let black car get to the 300k mark!

    When I ran our van into our car (did I just say that out loud?), all my husband said was, “Well, now on will want to steal it!”

  27. jen says:

    duh - “on” was supposed to be “no one”
    time for bed!

  28. Valeta says:

    I say do the pebbles. And take pictures!

  29. Andi says:

    My father and stepmother drive a Pathfinder and an Altima, and I can tell you that if I threw a handful of pebbles at my father’s Pathfinder, I. . . well, I would be Just Plain Dead :|

    So it’s my grown-up-childhood paranoia that guesses Rob (my father’s name too, btw!) will be commuting to his commuter . . . or you could just turn the kids loose on the car under cover of darkness, and the next morning it would be well broken-in :P

  30. Heather says:

    OMG, you crack me up. I vote for B and puhlease, take pictures!!! LOL… :)

  31. SabrinaT says:

    I vote for the pebbles!! We have a 1990 Toyota MyRoad. When we moved here Popeye’s boss gave it to us for free. How I wish we could ship it home, but you all drive on the wrong side of the road.. We have decided not to buy a new car when we return. We will go for something that is cheap, good gas, and UGLY.. They seem to last forever…. Good Luck with your new car!!

  32. Karen Rani says:

    I dunno Chris. Susan told me you throw like a girl.

  33. Beth F. says:

    You may be the Best Wife Ever!

  34. Bronnie says:

    I vote pebbles!!
    Do you get to drive it too?
    What colour is the new car?
    I love buying new cars, so much fun! I want a VW golf or beetle! Sadly they’re both out of my price range at the moment.

  35. Brigitte says:

    Heh, my husband and I were just saying that if we get a new car, we should bring a baseball bat and just give it its first ding before we even leave the dealer lot, just to get it over with.

  36. Antique Mommy says:

    Which is exactly why I don’t want a new car. Mine is 6 years old and I can park it wherever I want. If I had a new car then I would have to stress out over that first dent and I don’t need any more things to stress over.

  37. jody2ms says:

    Oh, and it has that new car smell. Mmmmm.

    Just have them spill something in it, like, oh, a cup of milk…and not tell anyone…for a week. That will take care of the new feel.

  38. Sueb0b says:

    My brother always goes out and scratches his new car himself. He is brave that way. Me, I let my dog do it.

  39. Gretchen says:

    Our old car is retiring this year too. It is a 94 Ford Escort 5 speed. It still gets almost 40 mpg. We hate to give it up, in spite of the doors that we can’t lock because the locks are rusted, in spite of the body rust, in spite of all the other things that rust has conquered. It has almost 240K miles on it. We were hoping to get to 300 too, but the rust won. We seriously don’t even know where to start looking for another car. We don’t buy new, it saves a lot of money to get a car a few years old, but what to buy? sigh, the search is on. Enjoy your new car!

  40. Mary W says:

    we bought a new car in July - no one has scratched it yet. It’s my first new car EVER. I have put the threat of a slow painful heinous death to my children. They believe me. For now.

  41. Chris says:

    Option B, definately.

  42. cce says:

    LOL…this reminds me of when My Better Half and I drove our first car away from the dealership and rolled down the windows and turned the radio up real loud, reveling in the newness of the thing. The sun was setting on the driver’s side and so My Better Half moved the visor over to block the glare. Five minutes later he rolled the window up on the visor and cracked the pretty new mirror and ripped it right out of the ceiling of the car. I vote for the pebble trick. It’s always nice to get that first bang up over with so everyone can feel less precious about the whole thing.

  43. nan says:

    I am about to sell my french car, and buy a Japanese car. I got so worked up in my comment, that I went and wrote a whole post on french cars instead, over on my blog. Never buy anything but Japanese, people!

  44. Tiffany says:

    I’m on my second Altima as well….third Nissan (I had a Frontier there for awhile) LOVE them.

  45. Multiple Hats says:

    I don’t know if I’m more impressed with your solutions, or the fact that you fit throught the back seat, fold-down, armrest thingie! Either way, great post.

  46. Mom101 says:

    I love that heat is all newfangled and fancy for you.

  47. qtpies7 says:

    Just do it, you know you wanna. Who is going to get the whining when it gets its first ding? You might as well be the cause of it, right?