December 28th, 2009
The word “classic” means something that exemplifies a particular style, something of lasting worth or with the quality of timelessness.
-Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” is a classic book.
-Coca-Cola Classic claimed fame after the failure New Coke.
-Sophia Loren is a classic beauty.
-The Vintage Ford Mustang is a classic car.
-If a group of stoners responds to your joke, their response will be “classic.”
In the world of classicisms, in my mind’s eye, there is none more classic than my first automobile, an early 70’s navy blue Caprice Classic. This piece of wonder (that could easily fit the state of Rhode Island and a portion of another New England state) was originally given to my brother then passed on to me. My parents figured that we would both destroy and have mishaps during our early driving years so it made sense to bequeath onto us a car that would cause us endless shame and take up two parking spaces. Interestingly enough, the only dent that occurred was when neither of us was in the car. My brother and I went to the grocery store, got out of the car and an elderly woman lost her grip on her grocery cart and it came rolling toward our car, unaffectionately referred to as Big Blue, at an alarmingly slow speed. Interesting note, we had every opportunity to stop the collision but just froze in bewilderment. Crash. Oh well.
Big Blue was equipped with beige faux leather interior, the barely audible reminisce of the last remaining radio speaker, no power steering and a horn that sounded like a barge transporting 1500 tons of cargo. Eventually the rear view mirror became detached and never put back on our “safe” car. In addition, the classic broke up a lot of high school parties because the vehicle was often mistaken for a police car. She truly was a hot little number.
Yet whenever there is chicken shit, I try to find the chicken salad and there were some notable benefits to the eyesore on wheels. When I was the designated driver, I could fit all my friends in the car. I had a lot of friends. At one of my parties, a couple of people hooked up in the backseat of the car in the garage. Teenage hormones tend to overcome the most unfortunate of ambiances.
Once the car had been tainted by sweet high school love, her work was done and mom and dad donated the car to some Russian immigrants that had just moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. I’m sure their introduction to their new mode of transportation resulted with some Russian explicative that would translate to, “You’ve got to be fuckin’ kidding me.”
At the end of the day, I do want to salute Big Blue for being such a pivotal part of my teenage experience. I do feel that she did build more character in me than if I was one of those spoiled kids whose parent gave them a new luxury sports car with a giant red bow wrapped by God on their 16th birthday. I promise you this Caprice of my heart: I will shed a nostalgic tear when I go down to North Carolina and see a bunch of pissed off Russians getting from point A to B in your plus size classic goodness.