My dad recently purchased a 3 year-old GMC Sierra pick-up truck with 35,000 miles on it for less than $10,000. I’m not sure how he finds these deals, nor do I wish to discuss it further. What I do wish to discuss further is the fact that I am now the proud owner of a 2002 Champagne colored Chevy Malibu vis-à-vis the Sierra acquirement. For those of you unfamiliar with a Malibu, it’s exactly like a Camaro or Corvette but only less fast, and with more room for leaking toddlers and groceries.
But this isn’t a story about my Chevrolet Malibu.
This is the story of my 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass and its last ‘up-yours’! Fresh out of school, I landed a job in Northern Ontario. It was a 250 mile trip from my current place of residence, so I needed some wheels, man. My aforementioned Father, who is great at obtaining automobiles for low prices, (possibly theft)(possibly kidding) found me a steal of a deal. I was now the owner of silver Oldsmobile Cutlass. Before you get hard, it was a Ciera -the old people kind of cutlass and not the beautiful, two door shit-kicker that we all know and love. Blasting Journey in my Cutlass just made me look like an asshole.
From August 2011 up until this winter, I really had no problem with the car, other than it smelled of the elderly and that I kept finding dead wasps scattered about the backseat. However, this particular winter in Northern Ontario was the winter from hell.
Which is ironic, I get it.
The snow began to fall in November and by my birthday on November 10th we had a foot, and it kept coming. By mid- December, the drifts on my lawn were as tall as my car. Speaking of my Cutlass, this is about the time it began to become a real dirty prick. The temperatures dropped before Christmas to around -30 at night, but having gone by last year’s lame-o winter I decided against plugging my car in.
One crisp winter's morn, I awoke to a frozen, dead, piece of Grade 'A' Detroit shit.
I found myself asking the French Canadian with a toothpick in his mouth at the mechanic, which battery would fit my cutlass. He responded by mumbling something unintelligible and pointing towards the batteries. I said thanks Lucien and punched him in the throat so hard, the toothpick pierced the back of his uvula.
The rest of December proved uneventful.
Unless you count Christmas which was COMPLETELY eventful. In-laws amirite?
Around the beginning of January, my car stopped starting all together. For a week it was about -25 or so, but warmed up, and, apparently so did my car. It started again, and I ventured to Toronto – a 4 hour drive. One sunny Monday morning as I was driving my wife to work, the car decided that it was tired and needed to lie down. So it did so, in the middle of rush hour traffic, stalling in the centre lane.
So I got out, popped the hood, hit the thingy with a thing, moved a lid for something and checked my dipstick. The car started 2 minutes later and I was able to drop my wife at work just in time. She was very thankful that we pulled up in front of several of her hipster-doofus co-workers.
Mid to late January arrived in the Northern climes, ushering in temperatures not seen in years. -40 stuck around for a week, and guess what else stuck around…my 1992 Cutlass Ciera. The car was literally frozen to the driveway. Have you ever seen the Flintstones? That’s what it’s like up here. Your wheels turn to squares and it’s the greatest thing you’ll ever see. It feels like you’re riding on a horse, a horse whose windshield freezes over forcing you to stick your head out of the window.
The frigid weather left us and my car came back to life, but now having this neat habit of just stopping for no reason. Like an impoverished toddler throwing a tantrum at Wal-mart in front of her 260lb mom, it would just sit in the middle of wherever it decided to stop, and pick its nose. My dad, concerned with this development researched possible problems. The Good people at the GM dealership told him the starter wires hang low near the front wheel wells, and that splash back from the slush is likely short-circuiting them.
So I duct taped the eroded parts of the wheel wells, and drove to Toronto. Duct tape. In, on and around my car.
It gets so much better.
I get home and my dad has a can of foam sealant. My dad sprayed the foam sealant on all the wheel wells. It also sprayed everywhere else because he decided to do it in the wind. It was like spraying poo into the wind. It got on everything, the hood, the fender, the windows; there’s yellow shit stuck to every imaginable area of my car. And it literally looks like the car is leaking cottage cheese out of the wheel wells. It looks like my car snuck into A Chinese buffet and loaded up its pants with fucking chicken balls, and the sweet and sour sauce is leaking out of its pant legs and pockets. Then a Chinese waitress scolded it.
So last Wednesday, I’m on my way downtown to attend to some family business, and literally in almost the exact same spot, the Cutlass reached into its bag of unfunny tricks one last time, and died in the Effing middle of rush hour effing traffic. Again.This time I didn’t even pop the hood. I put on the hazards, and called for a tow. A nice policeman came by and advised that ‘for my safety I should probably move my car’ . We pushed it on to a sidewalk and I waited for the tow. As I sat in my freezing car waiting, a large group of school children no older than 10, who were on their merry way to become future drop-outs, noticed my car. Here are some of the better quotes that I was fortunate to overhear.
He’s stupid, he’s only half way on the road”
“Why’s he parked on the sidewalk?”
“Because he’s too cool…look he has a cell phone, see”
"I bet he’s drunk”
“He’s probably dumb and forgot how to get home”.
Now, please don’t misconstrue this piece as anger towards my Cutlass. This was written out of rage and crippling anger. My Cutlass was a beast. I drove in COUNTLESS snowstorms, and not the Norman Rockwell Christmas card shit. Northern Ontario snowsqualls where the only thing you can see, is the blood and veins in your eyes popping as you struggle to make out road from death. Never once did I end up in the rhubarb or on the front of an 18-wheeler bound for Winnipeg. It always got me where I was going.
But it’s like it sensed it. It knew that I had a kind of shiny, new-er car waiting in the wings. It knew that that day was its last, and instead of being cordial and professional about the whole thing, it decided to bend me over and tell me that it loved me…
Rust In Peace Cutlass you salty bastard.
Mired In The Grey is currently employed in the Creative Field. Whatever that means. Actually he knows what it means. It means he makes no money, and fights stray dogs in alleyways for food and/or money depending on the wager. Also, an avid supporter of PETA