The Story of My First Car
As a stupid kid my parents decided to reward my hard work in school and general good behavior (what they knew of it) by giving me a car of my own. I know, spoiled rotten. The concept was that I’d gas it and repair it myself and learn about budgeting and planning for known expenses and such.
Before you imagine any more spoilage to my young ass, consider the evil genius of my Dad, who looked around carefully and showed me the car-selection process. Used cars, mind you. So eventually of all the used cars around us at the time, I was provided with a 1974 Impala. This land boat had four doors and was probably larger than some counties in New England. I swear you could have installed a golf course and pool somewhere between the back seat and trunk, and it was an appealing (irony goes here) shade of brown. This car was probably the anti-chick-magnet mobile, but it was all mine, baby.
To date, this car was the single automobile that I have owned for the least amount of time. Oh, you didn’t see this coming, did you? Right. Anyway the ultimate demise of the Impalanator was a palm tree. SoCal, right? How fucking poetic does it get? The story goes like this:
I was taking an AP Biology course my Junior year, and one project we had was to find twenty or so individual species of native California plants and then use this huge reference book to detail the complete taxonomy of each one. Keep in mind here that most of the shit growing in folks’ backyards anywhere in the country is not native to the location in question. Anyway, this was a lot of running around and prep work. I nearly had my project complete as the deadline neared.
Coming home after school, I had the near-complete project on the passenger seat. At a stop I almost didn’t see in time, my extreme braking caused the cards and box to slide onto the floor of the car. I let the cross traffic pass, and then leaned over to grab the box as I eased onto the gas. Predictably, the steering wheel followed me, and five seconds later, the Impala was dead.
Palm trees are remarkably tough plants (and the one I hit was not native, by the way). I was luckily unharmed, and so was my Biology project. The Impala, however, died of a bent frame in that instant. My pride took one in the pants too. Needless to say, Dad was somewhat less than amused by this, but he did mention years later that he was impressed that I decided to break the news to him myself.
Now, in case you’re wondering where the humor in this story is, you’ve waited long enough. I destroyed my first car not in some stupid intoxicated wreck, stoned and crashed, or even something cool like a stuck pedal due to a girlfriend’s underwear jamming it up. No, folks, yours truly wrecked his first car by being a nerd.