Crappy Old Cavalier

There are times in your life, when things are going great, but you’re in a transition, and resources are scarce. I am currently in that situation, and look forward to the future. There was has been other times in my life when the future was bright, but the moment was poor. The one that come to mind most often was my old buddy Jeff’s wedding.

My semi tuck was free and clear, that alone was $30,000 on paper. In my pocket was a pilot’s license, and a scuba certification. I owned two pilot headsets, and my own scuba gear. My head was full of plans, and my debt was zero. However, my bank account registered a lowly $10.00, and I probably had even less in my wallet. On top of all that, I lived in my dad’s house, and didn’t own a car.

Why was I so cash poor? Well, without a truck payment to drive me, and not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up. That payment was the single biggest force driving me out onto the highways and byways for six years. Now, the only thing to drive me was money. Anyone that knows me, knows that if I have no financial responsibilities, then money by itself is not a very big motivator.

That, and I was fed up with driving truck.

My last trip out east resulted in me rear-ending a refrigerated pickup truck. He suffered no damage, but I marred my discolored, but still flawless hood. To fund my habits, I was hauling Polaris four wheelers and watercraft to Texas. That dried up for the season, and I had no desire to venture into the unknown.

During this time of unproductivity, my old buddy Jeff was getting married in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and I was in the wedding party. No big worries financially speaking. I paid for the tuxedo before my self-induced poverty, and my brother was in Washington doing some sort of church camp counseling. He remained behind after our scuba vacation in the Puget Sound. That left me his car to make the trip to Eau Claire and back.

His crappy old Chevy Cavalier.

This car was a peach. I think when it comes to base models for Chevy cars this car was a step below. Even the color offered no pizazz, battleship gray. The only power accessories was the starter. The only thing automatic about the transmission was that it didn’t take any thought at all to shift. I drove ten speeds for a living, something as simplistic as a five speed with synchronizers was a cinch. It was old, was high in miles, and the clutch slipped if you were not crisp with your shifts.

Or stepped into the throttle with anything more than the intention of keeping up with the old lady in the land going ocean liner heading to breakfast after Sunday morning church.

I hated driving it, but it was available, and I still was not ready to commit to buying my own vehicle.

Plus…that would require me to actually work.

I needed a little cash for the wedding, so I took a short trip to Chicago and back so that the finance department would afford me an advance. By now, they figured out my motivation was seriously lacking. No trip, no cash. I talked her out of $100.00. I would need $20.00 for tolls. The rest, for my trip to Eau Claire in my brother’s crappy car.

Did I mention this beasts only air conditioning was 65 – four? Four windows open, at sixty-five miles per hour. The trip out to Eau Claire was hot, and I was miserable. Having super long, thick hair makes for a tangled mess when cruising along at sixty-five mile per hour, and all four windows open. This was before texting and driving, but I guarantee you, I was no less distracted.

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