I am a fiberglass body in need of solid struts. I’m held together with Bondo, and a hundred-dollar paint job from Earl Sheib. I cruise around all year long in my winter rims,  and I keep telling myself I can get ten more miles out of my donut-spare if I just blow-off going out to do anything.  My passenger-side mirror is busted, my clock is an hour and eight minutes off, and over the last 5 years I haven’t found a good enough reason to fix my air conditioning.

I shimmy, I stall, I cough & sputter. I’m a squirrelly, roll-over hazard. I might explode if you hit me from behind. They make laws to protect you from me in case I turn out to be a lemon because of all the times I’ve been wrecked.

I’ve got a lot of highway miles, and a few previous owners. I’m sure parts of me need to be rebuilt. I’ve broken down at some inopportune times. And there’s nothing I like better than being parked at home.

A strut is important. A skeleton would be far more vulnerable were it missing a cranium, or a fibula, or a spine. Life is nothing but impacts. If you’re not a metallurgist yourself, you better hope one falls in love with you.

And if you can find a local mechanic you can trust, you’re a lucky mothertrucker.

Of course, I suppose you could always marry into the Riddell family and hope your polymer-plastic life sustains you, but with all those unnatural chemical influences so close to your mind,  how would you be able to tell?

Life is too messy to be babied.

I don’t ride my brakes, I don’t abuse my clutch, and I change my oil every four thousand miles, because… well, it’s the least I can do. If I’ve learned anything about automotive metaphors, it’s that you don’t mess around with oil changes, and you don’t let the tank get below one-third full before you get more fuel.

My problem is rust. Time, oxidation, and the microscopic fractures which stay well-hidden until it’s too late to fix them. I’ve got a sagging front end and a wide back seat, but I don’t look too bad on those rare occasions when I’m all washed, and waxed, and detailed. Most of the time, though, I’m just covered in crumbs & stains, and I smell a little bit funky.

I gotta tell ya, though… man, I can remember a time when candy-apple red really was my color.

Nov 11 2017 - strut.jpg


8 thoughts on “strut

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    1. P.S. I know it’s not the “correct” use of nostalgia but you are taking me back to the feel and smells of when I for 2 months worked at a body shop. 2 years in school for auto body repair and I get the job and I hated it….the allergies to paint didn’t help but I still hated it…haha

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  1. Riiiggggghhhht, I’ll paint any car for 99.95! Did they hire him because Sheib and 99.95 rhyme? What a fiendish advertising scheme. If you can put poetry into stuff, you can can get people to do literally anything – it’s a kind of magic!

    This seems like the most appropriate time to quote a most apt Indiana Jones witticism – “It’s not the years honey, it’s the mileage.” We are certainly getting mileage in spades out of your escapades. Also – a mechanic you can trust? Sounds like an excellent pitch for a Hollywood film. Actually, I think they might have already done it with Jason Statham in ‘The Mechanic’. I mean you can’t get a more honest film title than that. Hold on – hold the phone. I just checked and he isn’t an actual mechanic in it but kills people for a living. So, I guess you can’t trust mechanics, even ones that say they are mechanics but aren’t. The swines. Blimey, you can’t trust anyone these says, what’s the world coming too? Since you have beautifully woven in car metaphors to describe yourself and I’ve donutted my way into here talking about movies, I shall leave with a recommendation for Drive with Ryan Gosling. Very violent but very well acted, one of his best films along with The Nice Guys.

    Oops, this comment just hit a speed bump. Time to go get an oil change and a change of clothes because I feel funky, chunky, monkey.


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