The little red car died today at the age of 15. My '98 Ford Escort.
I'd like to say she served me well, but she didn't. She is in competition for my most expensive ride ever.
I thought I had a real bargaiin when I got this car. And there was an interesting back story. The couple who sold it to me had given it to their niece who had won a full scholarship to a good school.
But then, her aunt told me, she went off to college and quickly got pregnant and flunked out. "I went up there and repossessed this car," the aunt added.
"Where is she now?" I asked.
"Bojangles," the aunt said.
She can't have been very happy, this girl who landed pregnant and carless at Bojangles.
I have a theory that before she let it go, she ran it through a shallow fast-moving river . Because pretty soon I learned that there was mud in the air conditioner — it kept dumping pints of ice water onto the floor of the passenger seat — and dirt in other remote locations under the hood.
It wasn't mud, though, that ended her years of service. The brakes were about to give up and the two front tires were on the verge of falling off….for a start. I was told not to drive it another inch. This was the second opinion I got. The first mechanic said that the brakes should be okay until day after tomorrow at least. Seriously. Should be fine until Thursday.
So I got a 3-day rental, a car so updated that it had no key and I didn't know how to start it and then had to call back to the rental office for more operating instruction before I was 3 miles down the road.
It must mean something that the little red car dies the same week that Cobalt Blue is officially published, but I'm not sure what — other than a very busy few days.. The SISINDIA license plate you see in the picture, flaunting previous novel Sister India, is soon to become history; the COBLTBLU replacement has been ordered, but may take a couple of months to get to me. (I don't know what people are doing with their time over at that prison.)
Anyway, this post is really an ad in disguise. Anybody want to buy a little red car? The engine still runs pretty well.