A few years back I bought a mid-life crisis car. You know. The sports car you get when you start losing your hair and gaining your paunch. The idea, I guess, is that the shiny fast cool car will make up for the sex appeal you have lost over the years.
In my case it was too little and way too late. I have always had the paunch. What marginal sex appeal I ever had got up and went long before I acquired my four wheel status symbol. And the hair? We won’t go there.
About that symbol? It’s a 1974 MGB. An underpowered, rusty, bucket of bolts. But it’s great fun to cruise around with top down and the wind in my receding hair. When it actually runs. And that is my problem today. The car has it in for me.
It’s been reliable to a degree for the years I have owned it. The engine blew up once, fogging most of Pittston in the process with oily grey smoke. I laughed it off. At least this was a problem that could be diagnosed and fixed with the application of enough cash.
But it always started. Up until a few weeks ago.
The English car must have been reading about the revolutionary war and decided that the battle would continue. With me. It just won’t start. I have had cars that were as reluctant as my first wife to turn over on a cold night. This little example of automotive revenge turns over fine. It just refuses to do anything else.
That’s not exactly true. It will start fine when I have it towed to its friend, Ted. Ted is my MGB mechanic. He calls me each time it is delivered and tells me gently that it starts fine. I am beginning to think that the car likes Ted. It wants to spend time with him.
The tow truck company charges an arm or a leg to bring my little heartbreaker to Ted.
I am now working on my last leg. And so is the car. I turned to my long suffering wife and told her if it started for Ted this time that I was going to sell obstinate thing. To my surprise she said “Go ahead.”
You know what happened. Ted called me up and reported that it started as soon as they unloaded it. He did replace a small part but I am certain this was a placebo. For me. Not for the car.
I am torn about what to do. I am going to have a long talk with the car on my way back from Ted’s. Maybe drive it past a used car lot.
Or a car crusher.