Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cars And Carbon Footprints.

I found one of Dad's mixed tapes today. It's got songs from way-back-when - think Shangri La's, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and The Supremes.

When I was a kid, Dad had hundred of cars. Because I only seen him spasmodically, it was always a different car.
He had this old, bronze Fairlane with a cream roof and cream leather interior. It was one that lasted longer than the other ones, so as the ever seven-year-old daddy's-girl does, I named it.
I dubbed the car Louise.

For the period that dad owned Louise, he had two cassette tapes on constant circulation - Foreigner and Carly Simon.
When Carly Simon was chewed to little brown shreds by the ancient cassette player, Foreigner was our life soundtrack.
Within a month, when Dad was making constant appearances, I had learnt very word to every Foreigner song on the tape - I thought I was insanely cool.
I always wanted to be one of those cool-as Rocker Chicks, who rolled through town in her awesome car, playing awesome loud tunes, whilst everyone in the street stopped and thought "Holy Shit, She's so fucking cool!".
When I was seven, I thought I was the show-stopper, and I absolutely hated people stealing my thunder. And of course, at the age of seven, my musical library did not extend past Creedence Clearwater, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and, then, Foreigner.
Mum took me to an opp-shop once, and I insisted of her buying this faux-leather jacket with disgusting tan leather trim. I tried it on; it came down to my thighs, and the sleeves were huge and did not add to the overall hideousness of the jacket.
It cost $7.50.
It was my car jacket.
I think Mum and Dad sided on the idea that they needed to sabotage the jacket, in order for their daughter to remain a relatively normal child, and not the aspiring rocker chick that I was, at the tender age of seven.
I turned the entire house upside-down and inside out, in search for my car jacket. Mum said I might have left it somewhere with Dad, and of course I believed her.
Looking back now, I realised that Mum has sabotaged many of my outfits and accessories, such as a pair of mutilated pale blue, stone wash jeans that I had taken to with a blunt pocketknife. They didnt even have a real zip or button: they had an elastic waist.
Mum was absolutely mortified when I took them to a family dinner and proudly wore them with a red singlet top with "TRASH CO" printed on the front. The saddest thing about this outfit, was that I was ten, and proudly supporting a singlet that implied I was trash.

Dad also used to have an old red Dodge D5, similar to this one. However, she never looked like this. She was rusted, chipped and dented. It never got a name, but my big sister nic-named it Old Unreliable.
On the way to my cousins funeral, with my sister and my cousin in the car, it broke down in the middle of the busy funeral procession.
Kate and Liz were horrified, and sank very deep into the bench seat, whilst Dad copped road-rage and other anger from passing cars.

Whenever I went driving with dad in the dodge, He would drive and I would be told to change the gears. My first driving lesson took place at age five, in Old Unreliable, along an old gravel road, placed comfortably in Dad's lap. I couldn't see over the steering wheel, so I just peered on through the gaps. I learnt how to steer something that felt like you were trying to turn a brickwall.

But now, I am glad to say Dad drives a much nicer 4x4, and I'm soon to inherit it once I get the little card to say I can "legally" drive. Her name is Matilda, and we're discussing what colour we are to paint her. I want a nice cherry red, or pristine white. Dad, wants a putrid school-bus-yellow.
"Lets paint her yellow!" Dad exclaimed in the driveway.
I surveyed her muddiness, and considered the yellow-brown combination.
"Aboslutely fucking no," I replied. "She's not a fucking school bus. She's a stylish power-house, with a woman driver who plans to use her backseat and tray as a house when road-tripping."
"No," Dad argued. "She's not a shaggin-wagon, Amy. I"m taking the canopy off, and you cn have a convertible ute."
"No, no, no," I snapped, trying to enstile some creditable sense into my dad. "I'm going to look like a red-neck as it is, Dad. I dont need a redneck convertible."

Currently, Matilda is painted Gun Metal grey with a disgusting orange stripe down the driver's side. We're going to peel that off, and my Uncle Shane is going to paint her for me, with special family rates.
I love Matilda more than any car in the universe. She's just a slut to parallel park because she's an abnormally long four-wheel drive.
I'm going to take out the cassette player at first possible notice and replace her with a better sound-system. The bass is terrible. Its "bass-bass-rattle-rattle-treble-bass-rattle-rattle."
And get the seatbelts and back seats fixed. Dad's ripped the seat belts out, to use them as ties and cinches for his saddles when his girths go missing.

My dads a very innovative man.