Thursday, August 4, 2011

Everything I needed to know about small town living, I learned from my car.

I tend to drive cars with personality…as in cars with lots of dents, dings and odometers in the six figures. Not surprisingly I often have car issues….they just don’t tend to be the kind of car issues you would expect! I thought I might share some of the things I’ve learned by small town driving.

1.      When you first get your driver’s license, look both ways at the 3-way stop before pulling out. Otherwise, you might run into your principal’s son. Awkward.
2.      Scrape your windows. Otherwise, you might back into a school bus in your own driveway and all the kids will know about it before the bell rings for first period.
3.      Pay for your gas. Otherwise, the gas station owner will recognize you by the cashier’s description of a woman driving a red mini-van with a baby seat and find your husband on his cell, who will tease you mercilessly.
4.      Check your purse for money. Otherwise, you will have to go borrow money from your friend on Main Street and then go back and pay while the cashiers giggle.
5.      Do use local service stations. I once took my car in for an oil change. The owner refused to give me my car back with the tires that were on it. They were worn beyond belief and he was concerned for my safety. He put on a pair of loaners and ordered me some new tires. A month later I got a bill for the new tires. I called the service station, ready to accuse them of billing me without putting on the new tires. Come to find out, they had come up to work, taken my car and put the new tires on two weeks ago.
6.      Do not drive up big icy hills with 2-wheel drive. Otherwise you will have to call your boss to rescue you with a chain and a pickup while you stand watching…embarrassed.
7.      Do have quarters laying around. Washing the bugs off in the summer, the salt in the winter, the sap in the summer and the “good luck at districts” paint can be a full-time job.
8.      Do give your cars nicknames. If you own a catering business, expect to have the local youth call your car a baked bean mobile for the interesting aroma that develops after 5 years of spillage.
9.      Do drive vehicles with many seats. Otherwise, your kids’ friends, their toys, six Happy Meals, all the supplies you need for the baseball game, swimming pool and bible school and your dog won’t fit.
10.   Do get a bumper sticker that says where you are from….cause you know you can leave your keys in the car, get 9 warnings before a ticket, have bald tires, get stuck on an icy road and forget to pay for gas and they still love you anyway!

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