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Friday, February 8, 2013

Adventures in Bonneville

Welcome, Snarklings! Today is my first time participating in the February Secret Subject Swap! The way this works is that 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else, and were assigned their own secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today, we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. So without further ado....

My subject is: "You woke up this morning and find that your life is a TV series. What would it be called? Describe what it would be like." This subject was submitted by the amazing and talented The Sadder but Wiser Girl. 

This is a fairly easy subject for me because last week this exact thing happened to me!! Well, almost exactly. It was last Thursday night, a night like any other night. The girls both had basketball games, so husband took one and I took the other. Before I left to go to 13's game, a friend of mine who does body work on cars stopped by. Our plan was, he would take my car (which was in need of a tiny bit of cosmetic work) and he would leave me with his car (Pontiac Bonneville, I'll call her Bonnie) for the night, Friday he'd work on my car and then swap it back out for his Friday evening. It was a win-win! Or closer to a weird-weird. See, after my tank was rear-ended last year, I started driving a sweet 2012 Chevy Equinox. I've grown to love that car. It's got all the bells and whistles and after almost a year, I finally know where everything is. I've actually gotten the hang of driving it.

Here's where the TV series starts. My friend J shows up at the house ready to take my creamy new marshmallow away with him. I explain to him that there's really not much he needs to know about it (who the hell am I kidding? He works with cars, so I'm probably preaching to the choir). He says pretty much the same thing about his car. We swapped keys and off he went into the night. I ran into the house and got my purse and attempted to head to 13's basketball game.  I say attempted because it wasn't a slam dunk. I entered Bonnie from stage left and hoped to hear the director yell "Action!" as I searched for a place to put the key. After a few seconds, and the audience chuckling, I found it and started the car. In a word? WOW. It had been years since I saw a dashboard like that. Lots of lights, lots of gauges. My mom used to drive a '74 Chevy Impala, Old Bess, and this car reminded me of Old Bess.

My first scene involved attempting to buckle my seat belt. New cars have us spoiled, because the place into which you actually CLICK your seat belt usually is pretty stationary. Not in the Bonneville. In Bonnie, the clicky thing moved around, it would not sit still long enough for me to plug in my belt. Light! I needed light! Where would I find a light in Bonneville? Excellent question. Not actually being able to FIND a light switch in the Bonnie, I had to open the door to turn on the light. So I wrestled with the seatbelt with the Bonnie's door open for some light. After being safely buckled in, I decided that it would probably be an excellent idea if my feet actually TOUCHED the gas and brake pedals. In most cases, this is very helpful. The next adventure took a full 7 minutes of searching, opening the door (for light, still couldn't find the interior light switch), feeling around on the seat, looking for a bar or a lever to something to make the seat move forward. Being born with tiny little hobbit legs? Really not helpful in Bonneville, where everyone's legs reach the gas pedal. I must've touched every dial and every knob and every button on the seat until FINALLY I felt the seat move in a forwardly fashion until the soles of my feet came in contact with the gas and brake pedals. Applause could be heard all through the neighborhood!

Awesome, so now I was ready! I had the car on, I had my seatbelt buckled and I could actually reach the pedals! We're cooking with gas now!! Until I noticed that the headlights weren't on. Silly me, in the land of Bonneville, there are no automatic lights, no lighting technicians, no stage hands to light the way. No, in the land of Bonneville, you gotta find those bitches and turn 'em on yourself. Which took another 3 minutes. And if you're wondering, YES I did have to open the door again to turn on the interior lights to look for the knob for the headlights to come on.

Where is my agent?? I'm exhausted and I haven't even put the Bonnie into "D" yet! I'm still sitting in my driveway in "P" which must stand for "Pain in the ass to find the lights". At last, after turning on the windshield wipers 11 times, I finally found the knob for the headlights. When I put those suckers on, the front of the car lit up like a Christmas tree! I heard Whos singing down in Whoville. It was beautiful and it was magical! But I had wasted much precious time getting to know the Bonnie! I still had to get to 13's basketball game before the final buzzer. So I carefully shifted the Bonnie's transmission into "R" for "Really gotta get to 13's game!" and slowly backed out of my driveway. I then shift it to "D" for "Desperate for my new car back" and drove up to the light to turn onto the main road. As I waited at that light, I just happened to look at the odometer. That Bonnie had over 275,000 miles on it. That's a lot of flipping miles!! I was a nervous wreck! God forbid something should happen while I'm starring in my new show? What would happen if a deer ran out in front of me and I couldn't swerve to avoid it? This is just a guess on my part, but this Bonnie, with it's 275K miles and it's spacious interior, and its crushed velvet maroon interior, we could've had the cast and crew of my little show in for the wrap party along with any deer who happened across the road. It was that big. No lie!

Slowly but surely, like a little old man out for a Sunday drive, I finally arrived at my destination for the game. I had to make sure I parked in front of something easily identifiable because I knew I'd never remember the license number to the Bonnie. Had it been something cool, like "Bonnie" I'd have remembered it for sure, but no such luck.

Here's where the audience laughs and laughs. After the game, 13 and I headed out to the parking lot, and she had NO idea I had J's car. So when I accidentally hit the "Trunk" button instead of the "unlock" button, she looked at me funny. When I shut the trunk and got into the car, she just stood there staring at me with a very puzzled look on her face. My 13, the perfect TV kid, opened the door and said "Um mom? Whose car is this and why are you in it?? Where's our car??" Again the audience brought forth gales of laughter. So funny! No silly laugh tracks for us! I told her I got rid of the marshmallow in favor of a car whose lights I couldn't turn on, who actually had a cassette player (kids, if you have to ask what that is, you are reading the wrong blog) and who had 15 times the mileage on her. I told her it was a fair trade. She did not believe me. To quote another famous sitcom actor, she almost said "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
I said almost.

We slowly made the trek home in the Bonnie, and parked her safely in the garage. I'd hate if the neighbors saw it and got jealous. The next morning, the Nazicrackho from next door wanted to get some pictures of me and Bonnie, and I was happy to oblige. As you can see, Bonnie and I were a natural fit:

275,000 miles of sexy beast car coming at ya

I'm doing the thumbs up just like Fonzie, quite possibly because this car was built during Happy Days TV reign

Me and Bonnie. No autographs please. I can't find a pen in this car

J came and took his old girl back from me and brought back my big old marshmallow. I've never been happier to see my car, yet had a twinge of sadness. Sadness at the thought that my life as a TV series was over, no more laugh tracks, no more messing with the kids, no more having to open the door to turn on the light. You know what they say: You never forget your first Bonneville.


  1. LOL, what a great story. Call your agent, if you can do that much with a car swap, I bet you've got a bright future ahead of you.

  2. LOL - You are funny. I would TOTALLY watch this show. Nice job with the prompt and welcome to the fun!

  3. I will totally watch your show! Did you have fun participating? Last month was the first time I joined in the fun. I love it!

  4. That is one sexy car! And your nicknames for the PRNDL- perfection...

  5. Lol, I love this... and, I think you & Bonnie are a totally natural fit. ;)

  6. ROFLMBO!!!!! AWESOME job with the subject!! LOVE it!!!

  7. This was great! "Um mom? Whose car is this and why are you in it?? Where's our car??" I can just picture her face, hoping upon hope that you're not going to make her get into the Bonnie!

  8. Very entertaining read -- it is hilarious! Great job!

  9. My mother drove an avocado green '72 Chevy Impala. We called it the Green Latrine. Let's just say I feel your pain.

  10. Awesome job with the prompt! Great read!

  11. I'm telling you, I swear it's the very same car that H2 traded in a few years ago.

    I love this story! It gets funnier every time I read it or even think about it!

  12. "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" Ah!! Thanks for reminding me!!! I'm in the right blog!! :)

  13. I had to drive a BIG old Buick around when I first arrived in Texas. It got like 10 mpg. BUT, when the father-in-law's cast iron gate (which was on a timer) closed on me before I could figure out how to move it out of the way in time, there was barely a scratch on it! They don't build 'em like they used to!!:)

    *sigh. I miss cassettes...

  14. Those pictures are a riot!! Hey, at least your daughter was willing to get INTO the car. Mine would have run for the hills if they saw that thing comin' at 'em!

  15. I love this!!!! What a fun swap! Love the photos!! And that you named her....

  16. haha, reading this was like reading my own thought bubbles. This is exactly how I narrate my "adventures"! :)

  17. Great story of life's little mishaps. I enjoyed reading it so much.


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