Rusty was the first car I owned. She was a yellow Toyoto Celica with a lot of rust around the edges. Hence, the name, “Rusty.” My parents weren’t rich by any means, but I always wondered how my dad could own two Mercedes Benz, my mom drove a Cadillac, and yet they brought home an old rusty car for me. I didn’t complain. I loved her and immediately talked to her like she was one of the family. “I’m taking Rusty tonight.”
At the time, freshmen in college were not allowed to keep cars at the dorm. You had to have a pretty good excuse and run it by one of the Fairmont State officials to get that approved. I was allowed to bring a car to school because my dad had a heart attack and was scheduled for open heart surgery. A triple by-pass. Since my mom couldn’t keep driving the two hours to pick me up and drive me back done, she petitioned the college and I was allowed to keep my car at school. Which was sooo much fun.
Rusty took us to the armory parking lot where I drank my first sloe gin. I couldn’t say “sloe gin” for weeks after that because I got so sick on it. We weren’t allowed to have alcohol on campus, so what better place than an army parking lot, hiding my car behind a huge army tank. You have to wonder about our intelligence back then.
Rusty was not fond of being left out in the cold, however. I soon learned that I had to unscrew the lid to the carburetor (hard word to spell) and open the choke with a pencil while I started the car. Every cold day I had to do this. I didn’t have a scraper, so I used my driver’s license or gas card to scrape the ice off of her windows so she could see. Poor Rusty was not doing so well.
I didn’t really take care of what the inside of my car looked like. There were books and papers and coke cups lying about. It wasn’t filthy. It just wasn’t immaculate. It all came to a head one hot summer day when I got into the car and moisture or something was dripping all over me. The seats were damp. Brown specks were on the window. Well, brown specks were ALL over the inside of the car. What the hell?
Well, that’s what happens when you leave cans of Coke in a hot car. The cans exploded. I mean EXPLODED. It was a hot, sticky mess. Poor Rusty needed a douche. And that’s exactly what I said. I was so strange to utter outloud that a car needed a douche. It was awful cleaning the inside of that car. I did pull it into the garage so it would be a bit cooler. I sure learned my lesson. I was never going to keep old food or drinks in my car again.
The next week my car mysteriously vanished for a week. My parents gave me no explanation, except that it was at the mechanics. When she came back, she was beautiful. All of her rust was gone. She was extrememly clean on the inside, because I guess my mom said I did a “half-ass” job on the Coke clean-up. She was so pretty. (Not my mom, the car.) I just had to give her a middle name….Bouffant.
Little did I know that they had her all gussied up because they promptly sold her. I don’t know why. I was then given my grandmother’s old ugly car to drive around in. She was put in a nursing home because she was old..and nuts, and Dad let me use the car. I backed that car into a pole one night. Well, the pole was in a concrete barracade or something and I had a car full of girls, and backed right into it. I think we all had whiplash. I blamed it on the car, not my driving.
I had Rusty for almost three years. My parents gave my brother grandma’s car (after it came back from the repair shop), and they bought me a brand new Astre. It had a white interior. What were they thinking? I did try to keep that car clean. One night, during a full moon, some idiot came through an intersection and drove right into the back of my car when it was just sitting there, parked, minding its own business, and then left. It was a complete loss. We followed the oil or gas trail and the police were able to find the person who did it. Seems it was the local AAA owner’s daughter. So much for my new Astre. I bought a Nova with whatever money I had from the insurance and thats what I had when I got married in 1983. We even took our honeymoon in that old car. Such is life.
So, name your car. Love it and take care of it. Don’t leave Coke cans in the backseat on a hot summer day. Don’t mention the word “douche” when talking about a car, because your friends will wonder if they want to be your friend.
Because some day you just may be writing about how much you loved that car…. or why you feel uneasy during a full moon.