When TTW (Tow Truck Wayne) called me, I was excited. He’d found me an old Honda CRV.
When TTW calls, there is no rapport building. No questions about how the family is doing, certainly no compliments.
“Hey, I’ve got a junk Honda over here. I know you like them. The owner died, and the folks who inherited it don’t want to put any money into it. Come over and look at it, or I am going to buy it for the catalytic converter and crush the rest of it.”
Anything that I want to buy is always “junk” to TTW.
“Is it rusty?” I said.
“Nick says it’s clean underneath. We naturally thought of you. It’s junk, though. Just what you like. I wouldn’t drive this thing. Have Doctor McGillicuddy fix it up for you. He’ll like it too.
Dr. McGillicuddy is TTW’s name for my buddy, Sammy. Sammy wears a long faded blue frock when he works on cars. He balances reading glasses on his nose; he does look a bit like a scientist. TTW calls him “The Doctor.”
Sammy is a master Honda tech. He keeps things running around Chez Timmaay. He dislikes my Ford pickup; TTW loves it. To my two mechanically inclined friends, I am a conundrum. I love Honda’s reliability. I need the towing power of an F-250. I don’t want to drive an F-250 every day; it sucks fuel.
I paid more than I wanted to pay, and I put a reasonable amount of money into the old ’99. I called it the Green Glider. It hauled me all over the state. On a trip into the cabin a couple of winters ago, the passengers feared we wouldn’t get out. The snow was up the middle of the driver’s side door. Honestly? I thought we wouldn’t get out either. We did. That little going-to-town rig went anywhere.
People questioned why I didn’t take the truck on that trip. My answer was that if I got stuck in that beast, I’d never get out. I also feared that I’d have to call TTW to come to Washington County to pull me out. I’d never have lived it down. He would have charged me double. I surmised that I’d get it out using a come-along if the Honda were stuck. Maybe some light shoveling would have been necessary.
I drove the CRV over twenty-seven thousand miles over the last couple of years. I’ve driven my truck about fifteen thousand miles in the same period. The CRV sips half the fuel that the Ford does.
I installed one set of new tires, two anti-lock brake sensors, two tie-rod ends, a couple of sway bar bushings, a washer fluid reservoir, two wipers, and did five Mobil 1 oil changes. I had it detailed once, washed it myself four times, vacuumed it three times, and paid to have the exhaust welded back together twice; once, the other day, when I decided to sell it. The muffler fell off to indicate its displeasure with my decision.
It seems my Significant One determined that it was time. I agreed. We needed something a little newer, maybe more comfortable, to drive the distances to northern and eastern Maine.
Retirement is pending, and I will probably be driving long distances to visit with the S.O. Getting stuck in the woods near the cabin bothers me not one tiny bit. I’m a resilient bugger. Breaking down on a superhighway in another state in a car that has served me so well doesn’t seem fair. It was time.
I told the new owners about all the flaws inherent to the Green Glider. I sold it reasonably, and I made no promises. The fact that I would get in it to go anywhere cannot be a promise that makes others feel more secure. I’ll go anywhere in almost anything. Adventures— are most often— seasoned with problems. Rust-free adventures are hard to buy in this state. I had people calling me to buy the little beauty.
Last Friday, before the big storm, I backed the old girl into a tight space between an icy snowbank and the new Honda. In my haste to back up, the front wheels slipped, pushing me sideways at a perfect angle to smash the rear quarter panel on the new car.
I stood, almost silently, while buffeted by wet snowflakes. I assessed the damage while picking up the pieces of the Green Glider’s plastic mirror cover. As I stared into my distorted image reflecting from the dent in the new car, I could sense the short-lived shiny newness being sucked away by a thirty-knot gust of wind. It was as if Hulk’s fist had punched the new girl out of anger.
The Green Glider merely needs another mirror. She sacrificed it in a nasty goodbye. It was then that I recalled the Green Glider was originally from New Jersey.
Roll in peace, GG. I know you’ve got miles to go before you need to sleep. You know those Jersey girls.
From the Jagged Edge, with a newly dented car, I remain,
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