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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


New Year’s Resolution, for a Dodge Dynasty

The new year is upon us and there’s a few things I’d like to reserve myself to in 2009 in hopes of salvaging the tattered remains of my automotive love life: a 1991 Dodgy Dynasty by the name of Claire.

To quote an old-timey song: “Ain’t no woman gonna waste her time, waiting for a poor boy to drop the dime.” 

And it’s true; the Dynasty has been letting me know in not so subtle ways lately that she’s not satisfied with the amount of coin I threw her way in 2008. She’s been letting herself go as the months are growing colder and darker towards the turn of January 1. You can see it in her headlights; their radiant beams have dimmed to murky pools of despondency capable of navigating the roadways no better than an elderly person’s milky eyes. 

When night falls, it’s hard for me to distinguish between a stop sign and the reflective glow of a small child’s jacket. But even if I did decide to slow down it feels as though Claire might very well belch out her brake fluid in an attempt to send the mysterious glowing entity over the hood. 

Were those wood chips or mittens? Either way, Claire would expect the damage to be permanent as I would sooner blog about her deformities than fix them. 

Like her missing hub cap on the right front; the exposed black wheel is the equivalent to a gaping black hole in a toothy grin, but I’ve neglected to buy her a shiny replacement or pick up the old one from the side of highway 12. I try to explain that it would only bring back the bad memories of the German girl that caused the lack of sleep, which in turn caused the fender bender, but Claire doesn’t like to hear of my past relationships. In fact, she’s made a habit of throwing temper tantrums with her fan belt in crowded parking lots, just so I’ll pay her some attention every so often.

I guess I do enjoy making her jealous with my affairs. One young lovely actually scrawled a “momma” heart mockingly into the quarter inch of dust on Claire’s dashboard where it’s remained since May, a haughty reminder to Little Miss Dodge that there’s plenty of action for me out there that doesn’t ask I drop $30 bucks on them at a Shell station. Usually, several dollar menu items and a chilled bottle of Night Train will suffice just fine. 

And yet, Claire isn’t like other girls; I mean to say, I’m attached to her. Other women will come and go, but Claire has VIN tags welded into her frame, which means I can’t leave her on the side of the road.

So, this year is the year I’m going to take the first baby steps towards showing Claire I care, and truly admit to myself that she’s become an important part of my life. Yes, I’m going to wipe every last grain of dust from her interior. 

Into a zip loc baggy. And sell it to a drunk guy at a party. 

“One whiff and it really get’s you movin’ man,” I’ll say, and said buyer will only hesitate slightly before purchasing my over-priced placebo effect for a tidy sum.

Do I want to do a line with him? He’ll ask, “No” I’ll respond, “My lady doesn’t like the stuff, that’s why I had to get rid of it. Thanks though.”

Back out at the car, I won't tell Claire where I got the money to buy her the new hub-cap, but I can bet that even with a freshly cleaned dash she’ll still have the nerve to bother me for an oil change, a new fan belt, new plugs. Yap yap yap, seems like the older she gets the more noise she makes. It’s a good thing I love her enough to keep her around…this year.


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