Thursday, November 11, 2010

AwesomeCloud's adventures in the Chevy Malibu

Our Prius is in the shop indefinitely. When I called the car rental agency to reserve a car, the agent helpfully dumped doom and gloom on me about how horribly, terribly long it takes for the auto body shop to fix a collided-with car. His portentous warnings may be right, though. Our car has not been touched yet. I already asked twice.

So now we have a Chevy Malibu. My first car was a Chevy Malibu. It was a massive 8-cylinder hunk of steel, sky blue, circa 1981. My great-aunt gave it to me when I was just starting college. I could fit 6 of my college girlfriends in it, and frequently did, because I was the only one in our group who owned a car. (Freshmen were not allowed to keep cars on campus, and I was the only commuter in a clique of dorm residents.)

This Malibu is also a hunk of steel. It amazes me that a car a few inches shorter than my beloved Prius has doors so heavy that I can cramp a shoulder slamming them shut. It's also really, really tiny inside. How tiny? When I push the passenger seat so far forward that my husband is eating his knees, my son can still plant footprints in the upholstery on the back of the seat.

I also really, really miss my GPS. And my reverse camera. And my 6-CD player. (The Malibu plays one CD, and in fact already has a CD in it. Unfortunately, the CD has bad language right in the beginning of the first song, so I haven't been listening to it.)

I miss my light doors that close easily with a nudge. I miss keyless entry. I miss 45.3 miles per gallon. And i miss the shiny bright distinctive blue coloring that made it easy to discern from every other car in the parking lot except for all the identical blue Priuses. (There are a LOT of blue Priuses on the Cape.) The Malibu is dark navy blue, a color that doesn't make it any easier to remember which car is mine.

Why is it that people scoff at Priuses in favor of American-made cars? Scoff all you want, owners of cars with conventional engines. My car may fold up like a cardboard box when hit, but in all other ways, it is a far superior level of awesome.

Also, it is astonishingly easy to fix in spite of its shockingly crumpled-up appearance. The doors and crumple zones may be close to insubstantial, but the frame is where the steel's at. My auto body shop may love me more, because of all the extra work I give them. But I can shut my car's door with my toe while holding three bags of groceries and an antsy toddler and it will shut all the way.

Not to mention: 45.3 miles per gallon. Yo.

Yesterday when I left the gas station, i was practically in tears. How do you non-Prius-owners survive gassing up every week?

Ah, but this post was supposed to be about AwesomeCloud's adventures in the Chevy Malibu, not mine.

Well, he enjoys kicking the back of the passenger seat, which is moved forward as far as it will go and is still kickable.

He has also learned to recognize the car in a parking lot. I'm amazed. And grateful. A parent I was talking to at the library said she thinks her son has OCD because of his attention to detail. Forget that! I'm GLAD my son pays attention to detail! If he develops a lifelong obsession with cars, more power to him! And putting used wrappers in the trash and plates in the sink... great! A toddler wanting order is not a disorder. It's a wonderful thing.

I mean, it's not like he's obsessing about picking up his own blocks. Obviously his attention to detail is selective. I suspect his idea of paradise is a house strewn from stem to stern with blocks and cars and balls, but not a dirty spoon in sight. And i'm kind of similar. I pick up the unsightly blocks and cars and balls, but then i leave my unfinished granny squares and issues of National Geographic lying around.

Boy, I'm just full of tangents tonight.

There's really nothing else to talk about. Our post-accident adventures have mostly been paperchasing and errand running, with occasional stops at BJ's so we can feast on food samples.

He can say 'ham." Which is a big deal because he has not been forthcoming with the M sound so far. And then tonight he said 'poem."

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