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 wonâ€™t go there.
About that symbol? Itâ€™s a 1974 MGB. An underpowered, rusty, bucket of bolts. But itâ€™s great fun to cruise around with top down and the wind in my receding hair. When it actually runs. Â And that is my problem today. The car has it in for me.
Itâ€™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 wonâ€™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.
Thatâ€™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 â€œGo ahead.â€
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 Tedâ€™s. Maybe drive it past a used car lot.
Or a car crusher.