St. Nicola: Patron Saint of Automobiles

Pro: In the ultimate planning-ahead move of our lives, we bought the Gort a car. For when he gets his driver’s license. In March 2021.

Con: His mother will be driving said car in the meantime.

When we woke up on Thursday morning, the professor announced he was too ill to get out of bed. Which meant we couldn’t get down to the dealer to purchase the Uplander. Which gave me more time to consider the whole car-buying-scenario.

I worried we were going to spend a lot of money buying the wrong car. ‘Let’s just buy a cheap car,’ I told the professor; a sort of stop-gap measure to buy us time until we can give the car-thing more thought.

[In other words, when we’re fifty?]

When we spoke again, six hours later, he’d struck proverbial gold. At least, in his mind. ‘I found a Volvo,’ he announced in a semi-animated voice. ‘A Volvo what?’ I asked. ‘850’. I gave him the ‘you can’t be serious look’. He said, ‘fine, I’ll just go check it out. If it looks good, I’ll drive it over to the house so you can look at it, and if it’s bad I won’t.’

And so he set off for Cougar Ridge. To go check out a very slightly newer version of the much-loved sedan we’d had in Indiana. When we’d had 1.5 children. [The Hen was still an infant.]

Meanwhile, I hit up Kijiji. I found a slightly newer version of our rusty-untrusty Venture. And then I had an idea, my take on the somewhat illegal harvesting of organs: The Harvest Car. We keep our leaky Venture. We buy another Venture. And then, when something goes wrong with the ‘new’ Venture, we harvest parts from the old Venture.

Personally, I thought it was one of the better ideas I’d ever had. Which may speak volumes about the ideas I’ve had in my life. I sent Ivan, the owner of the new Venture an email. He told me I could look at it that evening.

And then the professor pulled up to the curb in his dream-car. He walked through the front door to summon me to give it a once-over. ‘This is the best one so far,’ he crowed, ‘it gets my vote.’

I stared at the Teal! car before me. With the Black! leather interior. I opened the trunk. I opened the passenger doors. And then I walked back inside the house to check its Blue Book value.

‘So, should I tell him we’ll take it?’ the professor inquired-begged. I had visions of car dealers, the professor holding his hand over his nose and mouth whilst rolling down the windows – making up stories about what may have transpired in each used car we test. Or asking me ‘how much money do we spend a month on coffee? I’ll give up coffee.’ Just so he wouldn’t have to drive that used navy blue Dodge Caravan that may or may not have smelled of dog.

I couldn’t fathom doing that again.

I sighed the sigh of the worn-out and beaten-down. The man had served three years on the frontlines in The Battle of the Venture and [he claims] was severely damaged as a result. How could I [not] say no?

So, to severely misquote Peter Cetera: If you see me driving by [in a teal Volvo] and the tears are in my eyes, look away, baby, look away.

Important Postscript: The professor disagrees it is a teal car. I looked up the colors for the volvo 850 of that particular year. ‘Blue-Green’ Metallic is the only plausible option. And then I looked up the definition of teal: ‘a dark greenish-blue color’. I rest my case. (At least we have two car keys now.) 

10 thoughts on “St. Nicola: Patron Saint of Automobiles

  1. photo! By the way – the Harvest Car idea had me in stitches. It’s genius – don’t be fooled! Maybe next time…

  2. Hat spent entirely too much time looking up pictures of your ‘new’ car. I think he fears a minivan in his future and wants to relive his glory days as well….but he drove an Isuzu. When was the last time you saw one of those?

  3. Just realized autocorrect turned “Jay” into ‘hat.’ Autocorrect is so odd. It tries to be so helpful, but I can never get “Jay” correct. If it doesn’t change to hat, it changes to “Kay.” Is “Jay” so uncommon? (Though I just realized that if I type it in quotes it doesn’t automatically change. Though referring to my husband with quotation marks around his name feels very odd. Like he isn’t real.)

  4. I’m sure it’s my subconscious at work, but of all the hundreds of photos I’ve taken in the last week, not one of them was of the professor’s, I mean OUR, ride. I’ll get on that tomorrow. Rachel, I may drive the Volvo to Seattle to hang out with you since you’re the only person supportive of my genius-like ideas.

  5. My uncle lived on your theory of harvesting parts from cars. The problem was once you harvest an essential part you have a broken down car sitting in front of your house and things start to look abit … (for lack of a better word) redneck-ish.


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