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Friday, September 25, 2009

Rhonda the Honda

My husband is gone on a motorcycle run. Baby Girl is at Grandma's, Again. I took Little Man and his best friend to get burgers for dinner tonight. While eating, his bf asked how many car wrecks have I had. I probably should have shaded the truth some, but I didn't. I honestly can't remember the number of wrecks I've had. Dad G gave me a brand new, black Dodge Daytona for my 16th birthday. I guess my first wreck was not long after that. I was on a road, it turned and I didn't. I raced straight through a barbwire fence barely missing sleeping cows. You can only imagine what my car looked like afterwards.

Wanting to spread the love, I wrecked Dad's (G) car too during my first semester in college. It was a beautiful day. I remember, I had the windows down, good music blaring and then BAM, I ate the back end of a vintage Volkswagen Bug. Did I mention, it was my college professor's car, I had just left his class. His whole bumper came off, it wasn't pretty nor was my grade at the end of the semester.

Although not technically a car wreck, I shorted out the electrical system in my Daytona by using the ashtray as a piggy bank. While on the cruise strip with my best friend riding shotgun, the radio would start scanning when we'd hit a bump in the road. To stop it on the desired song, she'd have to open the car door and give it a good slam shut. Yes, she would continually have to open and shut the door every time I hit a bump or if a bad song came on the radio. It's a miracle she never fell out.

When dating my husband in high school, he refused to ride in my car because he couldn't see the floorboard from all the trash, clothes and stuff. I practically had to take my shoes off to ride in his car, a restored Plymouth Duster. It was a nice muscle car and made great background prom pics.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Dad G leased the Daytona. Mom says she'd given anything to have seen the faces of the people at the dealership when he pulled up to turn in my poor car.

My next ride was a Honda Civic, lovingly referred to as Rhonda the Honda. Dad M brought her to me after a few weeks away in college. Rhonda was a repo Dad M bought from the credit union. She was in "like new" condition when I got her but that didn't last long. Although now I don't remember all the mishaps, by the time I was done with her she had been hit from all sides. Okay, I usually was to blame, but there was this one time when it wasn't my fault. I wasn't even in the car. My roommate and I were hanging out one afternoon watching a Stephen Stegal movie when we heard a crash come from the street. Looking out the window, we saw someone had rammed into the back of Rhonda the Honda. She was a young mother who had turned away for a split second to tend to her baby in the backseat. She was so upset, I felt sorry for her. The wreck didn't really bother me. I got fishing wire and tied my bumper back on, good as new, sorta.

Again, not a wreck but after a long night of studying in college, a friend of mine came by my house to check that I was up for class. When I opened the door, he said he didn't think I was home because my car wasn't in the driveway. I argued that it was not knowing how he could have missed her. Rounding the corner, sure enough, she wasn't there. Half dead from studying all night, I wasn't sure what to do. I called Dad G and said, "I think someone has stolen Rhonda the Honda." Between laughs he told me "No one would steal that car and advised me to go check around the neighborhood." What the heck! Is he serious, check the neighborhood! He thinks I left her somewhere and don't remember. Giving up on him, I called my mom. She laughed even harder and said, "No one would want that car!" Finally, I called the police.

I guess, word was spreading around campus because by the time the cop showed, a couple of friends had come over. As I described her to the cop, "She's a gray Honda Civic with a green KD tag on the front. She's got a cracked windshield, has been hit from every side and fishing wire is holding up the back bumper." As I was finishing my detailed description to the cop, my fraternity big brother had arrived for moral support. Being the observant guy that he is, he pointed out a car sitting far off in the distance in the field across from my house. He asked, "Isn't that your car?" Looking at the police report, the cop said matter-of-factly, "Fits the description." Okay, either someone played a really good joke on me (no one ever fessed up) or I left her out of gear, she rolled across the street, steered perfectly between a utility pole and it's grounding wire with only a few inches to spare and came to a rest in the middle of a field across from my house. The cop let me keep the police report as a souvenir.

Intrigued, the boys asked me whatever happened to Rhonda the Honda. I explained the importance of motor oil and what happens when it runs out. Dad G and Mi Mi were with me when she left us on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Dad called a local mechanic who observed smoke and water coming out of the tailpipe as I tried to start the engine. I know it's not funny, but then again it is. The mechanic had a hair lip and while watching smoke and water pour out the back he said, "Tat not uh goot tign!" We still laugh about Rhonda the Honda and the hair lip car mechanic. He was really sweet, good at his job and resurrected my poor Rhonda the Honda.

I eventually sold her for $800.00 to a retired couple who drove a Winnebago. Rhonda the Honda is probably still on the road somewhere between here and Abilene, Texas. Who knows, maybe you've passed her on the highway.

The boys were entertained but I'm not sure it was the best lesson of care and responsibility. Lord help me when they get their driver's license!


Barbara's blog said...

The story may not have been a good lesson in vehicle responsibility but you kept them entertained. Just wait until Little Man has his first "mishap." Guess what he'll remember when his parents give him the business about careless driving?

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