Hold on, new phase alert

Jack on truckA Lamborghini will run a person anywhere from $200k to $4.5 million, which is totally news to me, but not to Jack who seems to have moved on from an obsession with video games, set in post apocalyptic zombie land, to a more expensive, but still fantasy-based hobby.

He’s also a fan of the Corvette and the Ferrari. He says when he starts making money he’ll buy me a Porsche. I tell him I don’t need a Porsche. I’m rockin’ a 2007 Prius with the door ding in the passenger side where Colin hit a cement post once while getting out of the car at school.

When we bought the Prius, I took my shiny, red, Acura with the sunroof to the consignment car lot. I cried a little bit. It just wasn’t a good mommy car.

You know what? Scratch that. It was a GREAT mommy car. It just wasn’t a good Colin car. Probably four times a week Colin, hunkered down in his little back seat where he couldn’t see daylight, would announce “Mommy, I’m hot,” a nanosecond before he barfed.

So I sold my little up-chuck-mobile with the sunroof, and bought a Prius with a back-up camera and great mileage. Sensible.

The way I had been able to talk Mike into the sporty Acura in the first place – the car which made me feel badass even with a couple babies in the backseat – was through multiple recountings of and copious sighs over the years I’d spent driving his parents’ 1973 Suburban.

That behemoth burned a quart of oil every tank. The odometer had stuck somewhere around 190,000 a decade or so earlier. There was a hole in the floorboard under the pedals, so if I opened the window, oily exhaust would be sucked into the cab. I could either roast in my own juices May through September, or make people at the office wonder why it always smelled like burning tires when I was at the front desk.

The suburban was pre-kid, though, and paid for, and allowed us to save a downpayment for our first house. I got all kinds of mileage off that Suburban after I’d finished driving it.

While I was driving the suburban, Mike with his much longer commute, was driving my car. My first car. It was little and cute. Years earlier, my dad had looked the sales guy in the eye and stated a fair price for that car. Sales guy countered with an amount $100 higher.

Sales guy ultimately decided to accept dad’s original offer, but he had to run a little to catch up to us halfway down the block in order to do so. I drove off the lot that night in a red Mazda, the monthly payment for which is less than my cell phone bill today.

Twelve hours later a distracted teenager all but totaled that car with his Ford Bronco.

At the exact same time, the children and staff of St. Joe’s Catholic School were gathered on the sidewalk at the intersection where my car was smashed. Nuns can be great moral support for a young woman whose car was smashed by a teenager. But St. Joe must be the patron saint of the nearsighted, or the self-deluded or something, because the nuns didn’t actually see what they thought they saw. They insisted to the authorities, quite vociferously, that teen had hit me while traveling north, running a red light, while I was traveling east through the same intersection.

As it happened, I did have the right of way, but he was driving west and was turning left. I was going straight and we both gunned it at the yellow light. My car ended up being dragged a half a block down the way he was going.

He wasn’t all that cute, either, but at least he was insured.

My little Mazda spent the better part of a month in a shop waiting for adjusters to debate, and gather conflicting statements from the people involved in the accident, as well as from very well meaning nuns with piss-poor powers of recall, and ultimately decide in my favor.

I did not make any of that up.

Like this, only not as shiny
It’ll be a lot like this, only not as shiny

So Jack is signed up for driver’s ed this summer and Mike’s been contemplating getting him something big and indestructible to park in the street and annoy the neighbors. I’m thinking a Dodge Aires we could affectionately call the birth-control-mobile.

Conversations about our next automobile purchase are likely what’s inspiring Jack’s sudden and intense interest in cars. These days, instead of talking about what kind of Pokemon I’d collect if I collected Pokemon, or what kind of firearm I think would best fend off the zombies of the apocalypse, or whether I’d use a melee weapon or a sword in Skyrim (I do not even know what I just said there, either), we talk about what kinds of cars he’s going to collect when he makes his first millions.

Barely any cardboard needed
Barely any cardboard needed at all.

It’s all good, as long as he concurrently develops an interest in cardboard scrap and its effectiveness at plugging holes in the floorboard of any aging vehicle.


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  1. So funny! My 16 year old never cared about cars until he started driving himself. We got him a beautiful blue \”granny mobile\” but I like birth-control mobile better – may have to rename it. Have a great mother\’s day weekend!