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SMALL TALK
as reported by Paul Hillis

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time and phone number.

Eddie and I have just arrived at the Eatemup. We came together because my Celica wouldnít start so Eddie came by and picked me up. I get a lot of hassle about my old Celica. The guys seem to think I should get rid of it and get something a bit newer. I donít understand their thinking; Celica is only 17 years old.

I got my Celica the same year that I graduated from college, got my first teaching job and turned half a century old. Megan thought I should have something special and she came up with the idea it should be a new car. Not just any new car but a special new car. A new car that was just for me and not the whole family. We already had a family car. I thought it was a good idea.

After looking at almost every automobile in existence, I decided on a Celica. Not just any Celica but one that was special. It had to be a two-door hatchback. It had to have the rear window shadow box. And it had to have a sway bar; just in case I got wild and reckless and began driving too fast and racing around corners. You never know when you might get a brain tumor and do things you wouldnít normally do. Hey, it happens.

Actually, I had a great time looking and deciding which car to purchase. Sometimes Megan would go with me. Sometimes my son Tim would try to lead me to a vehicle he thought I should have so he could borrow it. And sometimes it was a friend who was more knowledgeable about cars than I was. Which is not hard because Iím as ignorant about cars as I am the genetic make up of the Asian Migrating Worm.

Itís still amazes me that Iíve had this car for so long and that I even got it in the first place. Let me rephrase that. That Megan ever got it for me in the first place. I would have tolerated driving an old clunker to school. Not because I am particularly fond of old clunkers but Iím, ahh, too thrifty to buy a car just for myself. Megan says Iím just too darn cheap. And I resent her saying that. I donít deny it; I just resent her saying it.

It was Megan that did the dirty work of car buying. She arranged the loan, ran back and forth getting papers signed, and made arrangement for a time and date to pick up my new car at the dealers. I just hopped around and wagged my tail in anticipation, sorta. You know how dogs get so excited when they think youíre going to give them a treat. Well, this was a treat like I had never been offered before. And if wagging my tail helped I was going to be the best tail wagger you ever saw.

Youíve probably seen little old men running around in their spiffy sport cars. Yep, that was me. I thought I was the oldest stud muffin that ever lived. Itís too bad I was more muffin that stud. But I did love that little car. I never saw one just like it. Some had the window shadow box but no sway bar. Some had the sway bar but no shadow box. We were special being one of a kind.

Megan and I traveled all over the country in that little Celica. East and north of course. In 1990, we went west. That was a wonderful trip. Megan had wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and we decided this was the year. She made all the reservations for lodging, mule riding, horseback riding, and white water rafting on the Colorado River at Moab, Utah. We still think of this as our favorite vacation and a big part of our enjoyment was riding in the Celica.

But the Celica is much like myself. Itís getting older. Where I used to flop in and hop out, I now hold on and ease myself in. And, of course, thereís the inevitable grunt as I get out. The tape player quit playing a year or so ago and the radio doesnít always come on when I want it to.

But Iím still not getting rid of my Celica. Half my kids and several grandchildren have suggested I get rid of it. And it seems I should always get rid of it by giving it to them. What in the world are they thinking? Peace.


To talk to Eddie, Tiny, or LeRoy E-mail: pchillis@academicplanet.com 


 
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   Last Update:  February 19, 2003