We didn’t have a ton of money when I was growing up, but my parents worked their asses off and literally bent over backwards trying to give me as much as they possibly could. So, when I turned sixteen, they cashed in an insurance policy and bought me a very used little silver Datsun that they had totally spruced up and pimped out. I was beyond excited to have my own wheels to drive myself to and from work and school. Little did I know at the time, though, that this particular ride had a whacked-out/cracked-out mind of its own.
I may have mentioned before that I am a tardy person by nature, and back in high school, this was certainly no exception. So when I was finally ready to race out the door and hop in my car, I needed some serious cooperation on its part to zoom me off to school in a quick flash. However, this demonic car of mine had very different plans for me. One morning when my mom very nicely offered to go out and warm the car up for me, she realized that even though the key went in, it wouldn’t come back out. It was seriously just plain stuck. Since my dad often traveled for business through the week, my mom and I were left to our own inventive problem solving abilities. We tried like mad to get the key to come out, but it was just not happening. We even attempted to use liquid dish detergent to serve as a lubricant (I know your minds all immediately drifted to thoughts of sex there with the mention of the word LUBRICANT). That didn’t work either, so we just ended up turning the car off, leaving the friggin’ key in the ignition, and having my mom drop me off at school that day and the remainder of that week until my dad got home from his trip. And so began the tale of my psychotic little devil of a Datsun.
I can’t remember exactly how my dad managed to get the key out of the ignition, but somehow he did. However, that was only the beginning of the problems with that unreliable piece of crap car. One day when I drove it to school, I couldn’t get it to shut off. The key came out, but the engine just kept on running. I tried over and over again to get it turn to turn off, but it was bound and determined to keep on going. Naturally, I was already late, so I had to just leave it running, lock the doors and race into school. Since this was back before the convenience of cell phones, I had to go to the school office to call my mom at work. She couldn’t get away from work, so I just had to leave the stupid thing running in the parking lot for the entire school day. Can you even imagine how humiliating that was to try to walk out amongst my peers with my held high and climb into a possessed shitbox on wheels? The one nice thing was that it was already nice and toasty for me when the school day finally ended. Somehow, by the time I got home that day, the little demon decided to give its engine a rest and eventually shut off for the night. (Hell, maybe it had even run out of gas by that point.)
Unfortunately, though, the problem did not go away. It actually got to the point where I’d drive it to my job at the mall on the weekends, pull into the parking lot, take the key out, lock the door, and just walk away, even though it was still puttering away like the Energizer Bunny. My dad would come to the rescue with his Midas touch, since he was the only one who could get it to finally turn off. He always said he’d laugh hysterically when he’d see that little silver beast just humming right alongside all the other parked cars in the lot. Eventually, he ended up installing a push button starter on the crazy thing so that it would actually turn off when it was supposed to.
We were all so glad when we finally got rid of that abominable heap of metal. It was extremely hard to keep a straight face when we sold it to some poor unknowing sap of a buyer. She had no idea that she was about to learn the true meaning of hell on wheels. Regardless of how much of a pain in the ass that little car was, it’s just one of the many examples of how much my parents were always willing to sacrifice for my happiness. I completely understand and appreciate that way more now than I should have back then.