Have you ever accepted a ride from someone and regretted being so amicable? I once had a rather posh event to attend in Portland. It was going to be a late night so I booked a room in a hotel and a friend that lived in town offered to pick me up. I wasn’t all that familiar with Portland at that time so finding the place of the event and a somewhere to park would have been a problematic stressor. I thankfully agreed to her offer of transport.
I wore a suit and looked rather dapper when I was standing outside the hotel awaiting her arrival when this car pulled up that looked a lot a lot like the Belvedere that the chickens that try to pass themselves off as Foster Farm chickens drive in the commercial. It was a dirty white tank with piles of bird shit on the roof and windows. There was a mirror dangling and an non-existent muffler.
I hesitantly got in and found a place for my feet amongst soda cans, newspapers and other refuse. I could smell exhaust fumes and gasoline. As I closed my door she took off like a shot. It took me four blocks before I could find my seat belt. There were sounds of groaning coming from the alternator and the power steering unit as she drove. I was reminded of the music of the minimalist composer, La Monte Young.
When we arrived her tank took up two parking spaces, and thankfully the walk from the parking garage was sufficient enough to air the fumes from my suit. Thankfully no one at the event saw what I had arrived in. I was fortunate enough to snag a ride with someone else to the after party and at the end of the night I took a cab back to the hotel.
I think back fondly upon that night whenever I offer someone a ride in my truck. My truck isn’t quite as bad, but I’m well on my way to matching Mary’s white tank.