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Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Driving a Jet Plane OR Baby, How Stuff Has Changed

I was driving today, as I do, and while I was sitting at a stoplight, considering whether to flip the man off next to me for trying to cut me off or whether I should just look the other way in case he turns out to be a closet serial killer, it dawned on me that I drive a jet plane now.

Think about it.  I learned how to drive in a 1969 VW Beetle.  (My parents bought the car new for $1995 and doesn't that make you wince.  A few years later, I can vividly remember my mother complaining vehemently about the price of gas being an astounding .69 cents!  Horrors!)  Anyway, at the time I learned how to drive I was fourteen (This was legal in Oregon at the time because there were a lot of farmers who needed their children to drive and become free slave labor.  Fortunately I wasn't the daughter of a farmer and got to freeload off the law.) and things were pretty simple.

The interior of a VW Beetle.
Isn't it complicated?
Doesn't it look like years of training would
be required?  No, you wind up this sucker
like a rubber band plane and then let it rip.
This could be the longest caption ever.
While actually driving you could steer, honk, turn on the turn signal or turn it off, or you could shift gears and brake.  This car certainly wasn't confusing.  You pretty much could go or you could stop.  There wasn't an option for automatic.  Probably learning how to drive a manual clutch was the hardest part.  But I've never forgotten and I can go between my automatic car which I've driven for 10 years and HIM's New Beetle, which has a five speed, without even thinking about it.

But obviously cars evolved.  And so has everything else.  (When I go back and read books I wrote years ago, I laugh because I mention certain technology in them.  I remember one of my characters in a book being so amazed at a cellular phone that was about the size of a toaster.  Haha.  Lesson 56 in writing: Don't date yourself in books unless it's absolutely vital to the plot.  That way if it doesn't get published you can haul it out years later and epublish it.  Epublishing and free enterprise rock!)  (Lesson 13 in writing: For God's sake, read it RELIGIOUSLY for typos because there are people out there who will tear out your throat for even one solitary typo.  And never, ever misuse a word either.  I think there's a secret society of people out there who never forgive me for using Camero instead of Camaro.  Please forgive me.)

Back to cars.  So I'm looking at my car now and thinking there are buttons on this car that I don't know what they're for.  And it's a TEN YEAR OLD Ford Explorer.  (It's practically an antique.  And now I'm smiling at all the people who are thinking, 'Why is an author driving a ten year old Ford Explorer instead of a brand new Ferrari?' Hahaha.  Author is just another word for starving artist.  I'm lucky I have a car that works and a spouse who makes a much better living that I do.)  The auto makers had to make all the cars automatic because if they hadn't people would be killing themselves while trying to shift gears and push buttons at the same time.

Okay, here's the interior view of the 2002 Ford Explorer.

I look at this and make grunting sounds.  Fat Woman drive car.
Good.  Grunt.  Snort.  Snoggle.
You know, it occurs to me that one day I'm going to press a button and it's going to be a seat ejection unit.  I'm going to be launched out, just like Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2.  Oh, wait, I've been inspired to do an illustration for effect.
Man, it's eerie how much I resemble Bruce Willis flying
into the air after pressing an ejector button to
escape an exploding airplane.
So anyway, what I really want is a Dodge Charger.  It's sporty but not too sporty.  BC (that's Before Cressy for you neophytes.  Cressy being my 7 year old daughter.) I drove a 1975 Datsun 280Z.  Now that was a car.  One day I stopped at a light and some kid in a car pulled up beside me.  He looked over at the sporty car and then looked at me and I didn't need to be a psychic to read his mind.  He was thinking, 'Hot car.  Hopefully there's a hot babe driving.'

The moment before utter despair set in in a teenage boy's
heart.  Poor kid.
There was not a hot babe driving it.  There was a short, middle aged Fat Woman driving it.  His little teenage heart was immediately broken.  You could see it in his face.  He was well and truly crestfallen.  This was the moment in time when I realized that I shouldn't be driving an antique sports car anymore.  (That and the fact that every time it broke it needed a minimum of $100 to fix it.)

Does this look like the epitome of abject disappointment?
Why, yes, yes it does.

So I want that Charger next.  I drool over them every time someone drives by.  Screw economical gas mileage.  I want the cool car.  I want to rumble down the street.
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.
Anyway, so I found an interior shot of the Dodge Charger.

Well, that wasn't the interior of a Dodge Charger.  WTFWIT?
This is just a typical night at the Bevill residence.
Zombies, witches, and the like.
Okay, here's the real interior of a Dodge Charger:

All right, it isn't really the interior shot of a Dodge Charger.
Can't fool you, can I?
Here it is.  Really.  With sarcastic comments attached even.

Maybe I need to go test drive it before I buy it?

Ya think?

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