1.10.2011

Maybe It Heard Us?

Ever since Kat and I got together one thing has never changed: Kat's undying hatred of our car. I bought the Camaro in 2004 after my last car literally caught fire, lost its brakes, and hit one of those little boxes you put 75 cents in to get a newspaper.

And at the time, being 23, it was awesome. I had a sports car! With T-TOPS! Sure, the first week I had it I spun it around in the snow on the highway, but that was a very minor and temporary, albeit terrifying, setback. For eight months out of the year it was awesome.

But when Kat and I started living together it quickly became apparent it wasn't the most practical vehicle. The doors are roughly eight feet long and heavy, making getting in and out of parking spaces in LA and Seattle damn near impossible (oddly, we didn't have much trouble with it in St. Louis). The back seats are tiny and uncomfortable for taking anyone else along, not to mention inaccessible without help. And then there's the whole "a slight misting of rain turns it into an uncontrollable mass of steel hurling sideways down the road" thing.

So she's been pushing for a new car pretty much from Day 1, and now that we're two years into this marriage we might have our finances together to entertain such an idea. Kat dove into researching, we test drove a few things, and we felt ready to make a move.

Then we talked ourselves out of it.

With the holidays come "UNBELIEVABLE ONCE-A-YEAR SALES!" and we wanted to take advantage. Unfortunately, with our holiday travels and my own hemming and hawing over whether or not we were ready to buy a car, we had one day to actually pull the trigger. We decided to wait rather than rush into such a huge financial commitment.

The car, apparently, had other ideas.

When we got back from St. Louis I started the car to defrost it. As water started to fall on my head I suddenly realized that every window on the car was frozen over. On the inside. How the hell does that even happen? Kat and I drove home constantly wiping frost and water off the inside of the windshield so I could see. I suspected it might have had something to do with the driver side window being broken; we'd paid about $300 to get the motor fixed and it still wasn't working, but it seemed to be rolled up all the way.

I was taking Kat to the airport the day after the sales ended when she noted, "There's a lot of frost on the hill this morning." As if on cue, the back wheel on her side lost traction and we immediately veered towards oncoming traffic. I screamed, but not my normal "Oh god we're going to die" kind of scream. It came out more like an annoyed yell. Not "AUUUUUUUUUUGHH," but more like "Aaaaaaeeeehhhh."

I pumped the brakes, steered into the skid, and managed to convert a powerslide towards a minivan into a severe U-turn, putting us in the suicide lane in the center of the road. Except now we were facing downhill.

Kat thought I did it on purpose.

I guess the combination of the timing with her frost comment, my half-hearted scream, and the fact that it wound up looking somewhat harmless led her to believe I thought that'd be a great joke. The weird thing was while it was happening, I wasn't that scared. I have semi-regular dreams where I'll be doing something mundane like driving to work or taking the trash out and something horrible happens and I'm killed. So as soon as the skid started my mind actually clicked over to, "I guess I'm dreaming. This'll take care of itself." It wasn't until afterwards that I started freaking out about just how badly it could've gone.

"Okay, maybe we need to reconsider the new car thing."

Flash forward a week and Kat and I were headed out to grab a bite to eat. Kat stopped and stared with her door open. "Uh, what the hell is this?"

"What?"

"There's a pond in our car."

And she was right. Behind the passenger seat was a small pool of standing water. No idea where it came from. There wasn't a water bottle under the seat, the window was up (and the car was in the garage), and I don't think enough water was left on the windows from the inner freeze to do that. Besides if it had, wouldn't it have been wet all over? It was only behind her seat.

So I sopped that up with some towels, cleaned off the windows, and tonight I'll head home to see if maybe some kind of interdimensional portal has opened up in my trunk and spawned a Cthulhu or something.