In the spring my dear one said that the boring blue car was not worth much. He said the engine didn’t run smoothly. Besides that the kid left a long crease down the side and my dear had backed into it, leaving a dent on the other side. Both of them were quite aggravated that the engine did not run right.
Non-detail person that I am I never could figure out what their problem was.
It was an old clunker. I drove it like I did an old clunker – with my foot on the clutch. It never left me sitting beside the road. I had no complaints. But my dear one and the kid did. They didn’t like the car. They said it wasn’t worth much.
So we talked about getting rid of it. We would have, too, if it weren’t for that dent. It really bugged my dear one. He had put it there and by gum he would take it out.
He spent hours and hours filling and sanding, all down that side of the car. He found all the little pocks left by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as well as the hail storms over the years. Our garage and everything in it was liberally dusted with white powder. He developed a method for filling the long crease so it would look brand new. Non-detail person that I am, I did not appreciate his efforts and work of art. I did appreciate the fact that after all that work, the engine still did not run and we now had a red, white and subdued blue car. It looked so ugly that the kid absolutely refused to drive our patriotic, but worthless, car.
Then my dear one began visiting junk yards. Frequently he took along one grown kid or another. At least one was alarmed as he watched his dad “steal” a piece for the door here, something for the dash there and a bumper to boot. He even found an exact match to replace a torn seat cover. Non-detail person that I am, I only noticed that the seat was no longer torn. Then the red, white and muted blue car was painted. Even non-detail person that I am, I noticed the difference. That thing was electric blue – all over.
Yeah, I noticed that the color change.
My dear one drove it around here, there and everywhere making sure everyone saw how great it looked. It looked so good, he bought matching hub cap covers. “The engine still doesn’t work right,” I dryly reminded him. Yes, it still puttered down the road from point A to point B, but the engine still stalled for everyone but me.
Finally, when the thing looked really great, he took it to machine shops to be repaired. First, they said it needed a simple hose. That didn’t do the trick. Then it needed the block rebuilt, or maybe it was some kind of inexpensive doo-dad. Whatever, the engine is still up for grabs, and it might cost us a lot of money. But hey, it has one great looking body. I still am astonished that it wasn’t sold before my dear one put in hours sanding its bumpy body and roaming junk yards searching for near perfect, if not perfect, parts to transplant.
The one bonus is that a couple more grown-up kids realize there is another way to deal with broken or missing car parts besides buying new ones or doing without. Hey, maybe the old, blue car was worth something after all.