Friday, May 13, 2011

The Silver Bullet

A few of my readers may have fond memories of my first car, The Silver Bullet. She was a 1990 Volkswagen Fox and I loved her dearly.

Here are the specs:
-standard transmission
-two doors
-one side-view mirror (yeah, having a mirror on the passenger's side was evidently an option)
-a clock - a regular old clock NOT a digital clock
-a/c that never had anything wrong with it, yet never worked
-four seat belts, but easily fit 8 teenage girls
-surprising willingness to handle off-road conditions, extreme weather
-eventually, I broke the lights on the dashboard so my speed at night was always a guess
-for a while, I could only get in through the passenger door or my window because some lame idiot at my college bashed my driver's side door handle in. Jackass.

Thus begins the life & times of The Silver Bullet...

Getting a car was not in the big plan when I turned 16. I knew this.  However, fate intervened and a friend of the family at church was selling her barely used Volkswagen Fox for cheap. Mom had a pretty active lifestyle between church & her sorority and I had an active lifestyle due to all my music & nerdalicious activities at school.  Mom & Dad talked and it was decided that the vehicle was affordable and The Silver Bullet entered my life quickly & unexpectedly.

The previous owner generously taught me how to drive a stick-shift the weekend before The Silver Bullet became mine.  Trust me, that's not enough time to learn how to drive a stick shift.  I had many many many interesting moments - including the first day I attempted to drive to school. It took me about 20 tries to get out of my driveway.  I had her in 3rd, not 1st.  In my defense, the gears in a Volkswagen Fox are fairly close BUT I should have realized my my mistake by the second or third try.  Mom later admitted she was watching me from the living room & laughing.  Thanks for your help, Mom.

A few days later, I blocked up traffic at a busy intersection during "rush hour" (I'm from a small city so I use the term "rush hour" loosely).  To make things better, some of my "friends" from high school were blocked up behind me and taunting me for the THIRTY minutes I was sitting there stalling out my car repeatedly.  Eventually, I got the hang of it and became a bit of a standard transmission pro.  Many of my friends learned to drive a stick on The Silver Bullet, which may have led to her untimely death.

Eventually, I took The Silver Bullet to college where she encountered snow for the first time.  She handled it well. Thankfully, her heater worked like a dream even though the a/c was crap.  She also had a large enough trunk to fit a couple of bodies, which made moving back & forth from college a little easier.

The Silver Bullet became a central figure in the lives of my college buddies & me.  She took us places like Athens, Atlanta, Valdosta, Brunswick, Jacksonville, St. Augustine...wherever we could crash a fun party & annoy everyone there.  I really didn't care who drove The Silver Bullet because I had learned she could handle anything.  My little sister in college, Joanne, was a trooper who would sometimes agree to pick my friends & I up from various establishments (read: bars downtown) as long as she & her best friend, Amanda, could drive my car.  The Silver Bullet was a very responsible car.

After college, I moved to Charleston.  There are no pictures of The Silver Bullet in Charleston because this is where she met her untimely death.  Sadly, after years of abuse, she had more than she could take.  Her transmission had been rigged up twice because the only way to "fix" it was to install a brand new transmission system because every single compatible Fox had the same issues.  A used/junkyard find would not work. A new transmission was worth a couple grand more than The Silver Bullet was worth by monetary standards.

She was priceless to me.

I cried the day she died, well, after I stopped cussing. Later that evening, I called one of my best friends and all I said (while crying) was, "the Fox is dead." Arynn knew who it was from those four words.

I still miss you, foxy lady car.

This post was inspired by 3.) Your first car.

Mama’s Losin’ It
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