“Jon, the car’s smoking.”
Whadda mean, ‘The car’s smoking’?
Yep. Smoking, from the nice puddle of oil that’s leaking out of the hole in the engine block. The hole caused by the rod that was thrown. The rod that was thrown because the oil was too low. The oil that you, as the driver of the car, were supposed to check on a regular basis as your mom and I told you to do.
The next part, I am not, as Dave Barry says, making up.
“So, can you take me out in the truck so I can learn to drive stick and take the truck tonight?”
You have been driving all of two months, and in the course of that two months, you have managed to run a car so far into the ground, we are going to have to file a mining claim. And you want to know if you can take the truck? The truck from which your mother and I have squeezed nearly a quarter-million miles because, rather than spend it on a vehicle that was built after the first Bush administration, we feel obliged to pay for your basketball camp, DVD rentals, car insurance and CD players (the last of which we bought to replace the one you lost that you had borrowed from me).
“So, can I get another car?”
You go right ahead. Please, go and get another car. Let me know how that works out.
“I mean, are you going to buy another car?”
I’m buying you a new pair of shoes. I know as a 16-year-old boy you believe that it is your birthright to have a car to use at your discretion. But you have no such entitlement. You have a right to food, clothing, shelter, love and free and unfettered use of the lawnmower (a right that in my opinion you don’t take advantage of often enough.) You do not have a right to a car.
“How am I supposed to get to school and practice?”
That big yellow vehicle that drives by our house every morning will stop and pick you up, provided you are waiting at the end of the driveway at the appropriate time. And as much as your mother and I delight in interrupting our schedules to drive you one place or the other, we prefer that to picking up a gross of disposable cars at Costco.
OK. With that episode, God, I’d appreciate it if you would consider my Karmic debt for nearly totaling Mom’s car now paid in full.