Derby Car Courtesy of Chicago

Three years ago, on my way to Forks from Pittsburgh, I drove through a little known town called Chicago. For those of you who have never been there, do not go. There are potholes the size of Lake Crescent … probably deeper. One such pothole almost swallowed my car whole. Thankfully, we made it out alive, but not without damaging my car.

The damage started out as a small rattle. I didn’t get it checked out immediately because I prescribe to the practice of ignoring car problems until the car blows up. After about a year of driving daily down a gravel road with potholes very similar to the ones found in Chicago, the rattle got much worse. I caved and finally had it checked out.

The diagnosis of the rattle ended up being a stripped rod thingy, which caused a bolt thingy to fall off, which caused a plate thingy to be loose. And yes, those are all the technical, mechanic-ish terms. The parts required to fix this issue would cost me roughly $1.99, but the labor required would cost more than the car is worth … more than my house is worth, too. The good news was that this little rattle was not a serious or urgent problem, just annoying. I could drive another week or two without causing any long term damage.

So I drove it for another two years, getting more and more irritated every day. Then, last week, a Christmas miracle happened; the rattle stopped! My car was silent … well, except the new loud muffler sound. I was OK with this new sound though because it sounded very similar to the fancy exhaust system things that the cool kids put on their cars. I got home and excitedly told my husband the good news.

“Oh man, that’s bad!” he said. “That means your muffler is about to fall off now!” It should be apparent that he sees the glass half empty in most occasions, while I look for the silver lining. The rattle was gone. I was happy as a clam about this … but not a razor clam. They are surprisingly grumpy clams. No, I was as happy as a geoduck clam!

Anyway, my husband asked me to drive the other car to work so that he could attempt to fix mine. Three minutes later, I got into my car and headed to work because my attention span has a limit of only 2.5 minutes.

On the way home that night, I was elated to brag to my husband that despite forgetting to drive the other car, my car did fine. But then, 10 miles from home, the muffler sound suddenly became amplified by about 500 percent. My car went from sounding like it had a cool kid exhaust system thing to sounding like a derby car. Maybe worse.

You might be thinking to yourself that I was terribly embarrassed to drive through Forks with such an obnoxious sounding car that night, but you would be wrong. Derby cars are NEVER out of fashion in Forks. I’m officially still a cool kid … but a cool kid who really needs a new car.

For questions, comments or to buy my car for the derby, please e-mail me at [email protected]