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R.I.P. "Tink Tink"Posted Monday, March 29, 2010, at 1:03 PM
After 18 years of living in Kennett, four and a half years in Starkville, Mississippi and another long ten months in Kennett, I finally made my way to Dallas. That's when everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Within the first week here, my car tuckered out and quit. My decade old black Pontiac Grand Prix GTP coughed, gasped, sighed and died. Imagine my astonishment when I tried to begin my bright, city-lit future only to figure out that Tink Tink (the great-grandmama of Pontiacs) caught a cancer on the eight hour drive here and was nearing her final breath. Tink Tink has travelled to eight different states multiple times (I like road trips) and has even been off-roading a few times due to my impatience for slow drivers combined with my ability to jump sidewalks while passing. Tink Tink had spoiled me. For almost ten years she was a beast. I drove her like a four-wheel drive farm truck. I always believed Tink Tink was the product of God's gift to mechanics with a touch of "Herbie: Fully Loaded." I have to admit, I knew things were getting bad when my horn would randomly blow on it's own. My car honked itself four separate times before I was able to admit that Tink Tink was screaming for help. In my naive selfishness, I ignored her. Now, all in one eight hour trip, gadgets have blown, caps are missing, liquids are leaking and electronics are failing. Gas mileage is a thing of the past. Air conditioning that actually cools is a big slap in the face to Tink Tink. It's all she can do to promise power steering. Driving at night is out of the question because that pesky "check engine" light is so bright that sunglasses are required just to see how fast I'm going.
When Mr. Mobile Mechanic showed up at my doorstep, he asked which car was mine. I gently patted Tink Tink. He laughed. Aloud. Mobile Mechanic told me I was an idiot for thinking a ten year old car was worth repair. At that, a single alligator tear rolled down my cheek. I calmly asked him not to use that tone of voice around Tink Tink. Even though she was senile and was probably too old to run him over, she was still a vehicle capable of transportation and anti-lock braking. He just needed a little faith. I must admit, however, a part of me had already begun to sing "Go Rest High On that Mountain" and plan her final resting place. I had to refrain from saying "I told you so" when he tried to jumpstart the engine and it caught on fire. In his face. I felt bad that she singed his eyebrow, but Tink Tink is testy like that. If you try to make her do something she doesn't want to do (like start) then she'll spit fire in your face. I don't blame her one bit. There have been plenty of times I wished I could spit fire at people.
When I finally moved into my apartment, I noticed a lot of them had garages. I wondered how much extra it was going to cost me to snag one for Tink Tink. Granted, they were built for quanitity and not so much quality, so I wasn't sure if Tink Tink would even fit in one. She's the length of a yacht, sits lower than a weiner dog and is the genetic outcome of Pontiac's "Wider is Better" theme. This wouldn't be easy. I would need practice parking said yacht in a shoe box before I could conquer this. Although they were out of garages, they promised me covered parking for my pride and joy. I tried to be grateful, but I wasn't sure a tin awning would be enough to keep Tink Tink sheltered from the weather. They didn't offer an oxygen tank or a crutch with the covered parking, so I knew if it got too cold or too hot outside, Tink Tink may not be very mobile. I prayed for twelve months of spring.
As my luck would have it, it snowed. Although the covered parking did keep the snow off my car, it created a huge snow drift behind it. Back in her glory days, we would have picked a gear (either one, two or three; I never knew what any of them were for) and jumped it. This day, Tink Tink was defeated before I even got the heater working. So I had to don my rainboots and push the compacted snow out of the way before Tink Tink would even start. I didn't particularly like digging snow out from behind my car in the freezing temperatures, but you do what you have to do for the ones you love. I'm a martyr for all things materialistic.
I've always said I would never get rid of Tink Tink, that I would drive her until the wheels fell off, and even then I'd duct tape them back on and keep hauling. Four years ago I attempted to assemble a hitch to the tail end of her. I believed that with a trailor hitch, she'd be the epitome of what every car owner needed: a vehicle with the speed of light, the strength of an eighteen wheeler, the color of onyx and the ability to haul a trailor. Now she's just got the speed of smell, the strength of a toothpick, the color...well, the color differs depending on what light she's in and which scratches are showing. As for her ability to haul a trailor? The only thing Tink Tink is hauling is the bug guts on the windshield. No matter what, I feel the need to keep her. Mainly because even when I tried to sell her to my brother, he decided a 2010 Dodge truck was a better investment. I finally realized that in order to get rid of Tink Tink, I'd have to pay a car lot to take her off my hands, and that just seems sad. Besides, I think there's a life lesson in poor little Tink Tink: when you get old, your junk falls apart. I think she's a token of remembrance to take each day as it comes. Live life to the fullest. And get a tune-up once in a while.
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Follow the events of a young, single female who just graduated college and is looking for the next chapter to begin. The Fabulous Chronicles of an Average Bombshell looks at what life is like for a young woman in her 20's, living in a small town, who has nothing in common with her friends: she's not interested in marriage, she wants a taste of the city life, and dating is for fun not so much for finding The One.