My husband is a hoarder. There—I said it. He’s not a serious hoarder like those people on TV, but he hangs onto things: tattered T-shirts from the last four companies he’s worked for, those little glass jars that chicken bouillon powder comes in, egg cartons, boxes, broken computers and monitors…
Our house currently has three rooms where we can move freely; the others are stuffed with shelving units covered in boxes, all meticulously labeled, and all searchable with his ever-growing spreadsheet. He’s taken over the garage and the barn, too.
One thing he keeps is cars. His Honda Accord has 365,000 miles on it, and it’s slowly rusting into the landscape. The alternator is dead, and the hood was caved in by an unfortunate deer. But the engine is awesome! So he keeps it, just in case he stumbles across another Honda Accord of the same vintage that has a great body and no engine.
And then there’s the Hyundai with the fuel tank that leaks gas fumes. I call it the Car Bomb, because I see it as an explosion waiting for a lit cigarette, or a spark, or…bad luck. I’ve given up talking him out of driving it. In August it will fail inspection (I’ve had a long-overdue conversation with the local mechanic who doesn’t want to be the bearer of bad news). We’re almost there, and no one has exploded. Yet.
So, back in March, I was the one driving the Car Bomb, and Jim bought me a nice used Honda Fit. I’ve enjoyed driving a safe car. The AC even worked for a couple weeks before it quit. First time in nine years I’ve had AC. Last week, Jim said maybe we ought to get another Fit, since we both like this one and all.
Hey! I got all excited—Jim’s actually interested in letting go of the Car Bomb, ready to drive something safe! Words fail me.
So I go straight to craigslist, and WOW! There’s a Fit for sale right here in Mason, and it’s priced low. Maybe $2000 lower than Fits of similar vintage. So I call…
And there’s someone already scheduled to come and see it in fifteen minutes.
By some miracle, the person ahead of me no-shows. I grab my car-knowledgeable neighbor, zip on over, take the car for a spin, and put down a deposit. SOLD! We brought it home last night.
Now, one would think our Car Bomb days would be coming to an end, but…both mine and the new one have a recent recall notice. Why?
They may burst into flames.
It’s a minor issue, but, yes, they have caused a couple fires. So Honda helpfully suggests that, until the cars are inspected, we park them outdoors, far from any flammable structures.
The Car Bomb aspect of our automotive relationships lives on.