When I mentioned that RJ and I were involved in a couple of minor accidents while we were married, I didn’t tell you the half of it. We were about as lucky with cars as [insert tasteless NASCAR joke here].
The car that got the worst of it was my very first car, a red ’92 Geo Prizm that we dubbed “Prizma” after the dub name of one of the villains in Sailor Moon R because otaku.
The poor car went through a lot. I think the beginning of the end was when when we took the car to Mexico (a Poor Life Choice if ever there was one). I didn’t want to drive because it’s Mexico and I was a new driver, the kind you can smell a mile away. We let our friend D (Who is Now A) drive instead and he performed admirably until we got into the line at the border to leave. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but I think we were teasing him about a guy (my shining moment: “Enrique Iglesias? You couldn’t get Julio Iglesias!”) and the next thing we knew we were all up in some guy’s bumper. Kind of like what we were teasing him about, but I digress.
The guy was super-nice about it, even going so far as to suggest that if we gave him $50 he would forget all about it. Since we didn’t have fifty bucks and there was literally no damage to either car, D (Who is Now A) gave him a fake name and number, a border guard laughed at us, and we went home. We never spoke of it again but it’s been about thirteen years so I think we can break our silence now.
After that, Prizma made my 21st birthday a memorable one when we went to get in her so I could get blitzed and he could get jealous. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, my car decided to catch herself on fire. I called The Dad on my brick of a cell phone – I was fancy – and he said to knock the cables off the battery with a stick so it wouldn’t explode. That was his advice. Somehow the Priz survived and lived to drive another few months. But only a few.
We were on our way to see his parents in South South Texas, driving along a dark and lonely highway when something leaped out in front of our car. RJ swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the massive deer but it chickened out and decided to try and go back the way it came, meaning that we hit the thing full-on. It spun around and its terrifying horns almost broke my passenger-side window, then fell into the road while Prizma hobbled to the side and sat there leaking something.
No fewer than three state troopers sped past us while we were sitting there, an injustice that rankles to this day. Maybe if they’d hit the deer themselves, they would have stopped but that wasn’t possible because the damn thing got up and walked away. Yes, my car was totaled and the deer didn’t even have the good manners to lay down and die. I was screaming in the middle of the road at it until RJ pulled me away, saying that if I didn’t move I was going to be the one who was food for the coyotes.
RJ’s dad came down in his truck, looked at the damage and helped us to their house where I laid down with horrible shoulder pain and they took a lot of pictures before trying to patch Prizma up so we could drive home. We and the car limped back up to Lamesville and we called the insurance company, who laughed out loud at us when we asked about the Blue Book value (this was 2000 and she was 8 years old) but did give us enough money to ride the bus for a few weeks until we got a new car.
She disappeared one morning, along with our Golden Snitch keychain, when the tow truck dude for the insurance guys came while we were asleep and took her away. We didn’t get to say goodbye, but we did have a lot of fun running around the parking lot screaming and thinking she had been stolen.
So I’m giving one final bit of love to the much-abused car who once had “FAGET” written in her dust while we were at the movies because of our rainbow sticker.
We love you, Prizma. Right down to the last ska-boom.