Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My First Car: My Glorious Rambler

My Glorious Rambler

     Ask any young spendthrift like myself, "was it easy to save cash to buy that glorious Rambler?, and I would haqve told you that you would have a better chance of heaving a boulder across the Grand Canyon! This young man's priorities in those days were cigarettes, bowling, and babes-Ah, the shortsightedness of youth.
     I worked for the county park system. We all have succumbed to a variety of strange jobs as teens, but I think mine were the strangest. At the county zoo, I hawked stinky smelt, two for ten cents to feed the sea lions. The zoo handlers told me, "Don't give em too big of a fish, or they might choke!" Oh great, now I have to worry about potentially being a sea lion killer if they choke! Then, I moved up the food chain so to speak, and started to work with human beings. So, my episode began as the crusty toe checker for the county park swimming pools. "Ok, spread the toes." "Hmmmmm, ok, move on, you passed.", but what do you check for if a kid doesn't have any feet? Athlete's stump?
     I earned a dollar seventy-five cents and hour for the county parks. I thought, "man, I'm making big money now, not a paltry dollar thirty-five selling women's shoes." Even though I was making "big time money", I am bewildered at how I could have scraped up enough cash to buy my glorious Rambler. I don't remember why Dad didn't go with me to purchase my "bomb", but who should be on hand to impart his used car buying sage wisdom but good, old Uncle Pete. A spendthrift showing a spendthrift how to negotiate a used car deal. It was the blind leading the blind. Uncle Pete and I drove over to a whole-in-the-wall used car lot across from the Paradise movie theater. I think the lot was called, "Sucker's Surprise Used Autos", or at least that was the name on the sign surrounded by bright luminescent lights on each side. There was no negotiation, just look and buy.
     This young man-boy was in a daze. It seemed like a mythical adventure of sorts. There it sat, my steel stallion, my glorious rambler! Color? Beige and a dark, pink top. "Ah, who cares! It has four wheels, a body, and an engine. That's good enough for me." "Wait just a minute!, "You said what?, A three-speed stick on the column?" "I don't know how to drive stick!, Ah, who cares, I'll learn." It took about a million jerks, lurches and stalls to get the glorious Rambler home and into the driveway, but as I stood next to the glorious Rambler, it struck me. It's mine!