Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pride is an Ugly Red Car – or – How to embarrass your children on a budget...


Some people who read my beautiful wife’s blog (http://www.vontinney.blogspot.com/) already know we have had what we are affectionately calling “Financial Challenges.” In private, I often refer to this as “The Budget Massacre of 2007” which is rapidly being followed by the hit 2008 sequel “The Budget Massacre of 2008 – Part Duex

Well anyway… along those lines the family has inherited a new vehicle for secondary transportation purposes such as:

· Quick run to the corner store
· Drop kid at school
· Repair shop
· Repair shop
· Other repair shop until first repair shop is paid up

Actually, I exaggerate (get used to it!). We haven’t really gone to the second repair shop just yet because the first one has an intravenous line hooked into our bank card… just in case. We have affectionately named this 19 year old automobile “Red Thunder,” as a tribute to its color, barring a few ‘minor’ abrasions, and the AC/DC tune “Thunderstruck.” We didn’t actually choose the name after any careful examination of the car or the song lyrics. I, however, in my unstoppable curiosity (meaning: nerdy investigative habit) found the lyrics, which include:

I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (Thunder)
And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder)
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do (Thunder)
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you (Thunder)
Sound of the drums
Beatin' in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You've been – thunderstruck

AND…perhaps more importantly

Said yeah, it's alright
We're doing fine
Yeah, it's alright
We're doing fine
So fine

Like the first part of those lyrics, we’ve been Thunderstruck, financially speaking. Like the chorus, though, we are, indeed, doing fine in our little red car if you don’t count my son. Short of asking his mother to be dropped five miles from school rather than be seen in Thunder, he’s doing just great.

You see, we bought this car for just hundreds of dollars out of someone’s front yard. My son was one of the first to ride in the then unnamed red car. On the way back to the house, my wife tried to reason with him and explain the financial benefits of having a paid for car rather than a car payment, the frugality of this particular approach, and the faith she had in his father’s ability to fix (duct tape) the interior door panels as well as other small (missing pieces, non-working/functional items, and wind noise from various locations not intended to have wind noise) problems (duct tape again). When that failed, she told him he could walk instead. I’m not sure, but riding behind them at 35 mph, I could have sworn his door opened a little.

My son is growing more accustomed to the car. For example, I’ve noticed a few subtle differences showing this, such as him:

1. Actually getting in the car.
2. Complaining quietly enough during rides to not be heard over the wind noise.
3. No longer acting like he doesn’t see my wife in the parking lot waiting after school until everyone else is gone; and
D. Recently calling “the car” by its proper name, Thunder, with some enthusiasm (like the enthusiasm of someone acknowledging taxes or death, but enthusiasm just the same.)

All this aside, Thunder has been a blessing to our family, as well as Tuffy’s Auto Service in town. Hey.. .why not share the love, eh? Remarkably, she only needed some tires, brakes, and a few bulbs to pass inspection. All told, though, our total outlay for this beauty is less than some people’s monthly payments! So, I say to hell with pride! People with no car payments who have those bumper stickers that say “Don’t Laugh, it’s paid for!” UNITE!

Let’s just be careful where we meet… our children might see us.

2 comments:

vontinney said...

Ok...Thunder does NOT look like that...there are two lights on either side... hehe!

rebecca said...

Hey I love your car and you CRACK me up!!!!!!!!!!! I want one of those bumper stickers!