The death of my car: a strange and smoky affair

Katie Mcclurg

“Back in the day it was a nice car,” my dad often insists. And, yes, maybe my 1998 Acura Legend was nice 10 years ago when it was new, but with a few accidents (by my sister), fender-benders, numerous bumps, and minor collisions with garage doors and curbs, it would certainly no longer be considered a luxury car.

I have come to realize that I may not be the best driver and tend to get distracted very easily when I drive, so I accepted my parents’ deal,that I would have to drive this car for one year and if I didn’t have any accidents, I would get a new one.

But just as a guarantee that I would get a new car, I have been “accidentally” running over curbs and bumping into fences, trees, and snowbanks occasionally over the past year. Sometimes it actually was an accident, but often it could have been easily avoided or prevented.

For example, the sophomore year glow stick incident probably could have been easily avoided. But Monique and I had thought it was a good idea to cut open glow sticks and spray them on ourselves in the car before the Blackout Dance last year.

We realized this wasn’t such a good idea when we came out from the dance and the chemicals had eaten away some of the numbers on the stereo.

Also, there have been a few incidents where I was distracted by friends and may have turned on the wrong side of the median and had to run over a curb or two to escape death. But nothing too major.

On one Wednesday morning this January, all of my efforts finally paid off: as I was listening to some Jack Johnson on my way to school, all of a sudden I heard this loud thud. It sounded like I had just run over a small bike.

The noise caught my attention and I looked up and noticed that smoke was coming out of the hood of my car.

I panicked because I thought I hit something, and then my year void of accidents would have to restart. But I was relieved when I saw no evidence of an accident.

My first reaction was to start crying, and then I started yelling at my brother to hurry and call my dad: if I don’t even fill my car up with gas, how was I supposed to know what was going on with the engine?
Finally, after I had been sufficiently mortified by the angry people honking from behind me, I got my car to the side street and made a friend come pick me up.

Now that I was no longer afraid of being blown up, I started rejoicing because my plan had finally worked. So now as I comfortably drive my new car around, all my hard work seems worth it––except maybe the glow stick incident.