Thursday, September 3, 2009

Which Car?

I am selling my car here in North Carolina. This is a very sad thing, for I have gone many places in my car, which has served me well from Kansas City to Chicago to North Carolina. It is a 2001 Honda Accord, which has become the official "Car-which-Conscientious-Fathers-buy-their-daughters" and (I might add) a car for which daughters soon thank their fathers heartily. My Accord has never broken down on a road-trip (more than I can say for Thomas More's VW Jetta), it has great gas mileage. It's held its value. Wise father it was who bought this car for me in days of yore...

So we posted the Accord on Craigslist and Lo! less than 24 hours later I received a call from (we shall call him) Garry Wise. I soon learned that Garry is--can you guess?--a Conscientous Father, looking for Solid, Safe transportation for his Dear Daughter, who is only just 16. Mr. and Miss Wise took the car for a spin as I waited, feeling sad and fond of the old thing...

If Mr. Wise buys my Accord for Miss Wise I will be in possession of enough $ to purchase another car for myself (in Scotland!). Now, despite his fears to the contrary, I am, in the end, my father's child. It is true that, in my natural habitat, I gravitate towards the impracticle, the aesthetically pleasing and the expensive. But give me Grace, I plead! I am a poet!! an Artiste!--and if one is a poet and an Artiste, one cannot be purely practical from one's foundation up! I do not claim this lack of practicality/propriety/responsibility as a virtue. I endeavor to be a better person--I do!--without loosing whatever it is that allows me to write weird poem-things.

Thus, I am still my engineer father's child. And as my father's child, I recognize the wisdom of the Honda Accord school of thought (i.e. Safe, Solid, Economical, etc). So the other day, with this wisdom firmly fixed in my mind, I accordingly (ha!) scoured Auto Trader UK in search of an Accord-esque vehicle for under 3,000 pounds. Here are some of my finds:
(Look! It even LOOKS like an Accord!)

2001 Vauxhall Omega (subsidiary of GM)
68,000 Miles
1,750 pounds

Or this:

2001 Vauxhall Astra
68,000 miles
2,995 pounds
(and it's "Flame" Red!)

I was very proud of finding these rational cars which were oh-so affordable and dependable and having-of-four-doors and under 100,000 miles. Blithely I tripped up to my dear Thomas More to show him my reasonable finds! "Look Husband!" I said, "though I am a Poet and an Artiste, and though I am dragging you and the dog thousands and thousands of miles away from family and jobs in order to pursue (????) my Artistic Fate, my True Vocation, my Literary Destiny (!!!)....despite these things--I can still be practical and rational! Look! I have found Accord-esque vehicles in the Kingdom of Fife!"

I said these things to my Best Beloved. Yet he was strangely unmoved! "Why, all of a sudden" he said, "do you want to be Practical and Rational in this small matter (car), when this whole Scottish Adventure, this "Interesting Experience" is so fundamentally, irredeemably unpractical, irrational??" He paused for dramatic effect. "What else is on Auto Trader?" At which he left the room stared at the computer for half an hour.

He returned with an alternative to the "School of Accord." I will call it "The Wild Clan of Romance":

1989 Jaguar XJ XJRS V12 Engine!
78,000 miles
Only 1,050 Pounds!!! (That's like, less than $2000!)

This is what my husband brought to me. "Go forth, wife, and buy me a Jag-yew-ah!" But...but...Thomas More! It will guzzle petrol like Grendel guzzles Geats!! "I care not! It will also devour the road and ride the wind!!" But Thomas More, it will break down in the Highlands in winter in the snow and we will have to walk 20 miles to the nearest town and get it towed... "I care not! What is this Journey but an Adventure, an "Interesting Experience"! Why deny ourselves this supposed jaunt through the Highlands in winter? this romp through the fens and the spinnies?? AREN'T YOU A POET? AN ARTISTE?? DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT BEAUTY??"

So I submit this quadry to my readers, be ye few.... to which school do YOU subscribe?? (Honda...Jaguar...Honda...Jaguar...)


  1. While price is an issue, so is the intention.

  2. I had a Jag, a 1967 420...and she was sooooo beautiful! She was primrose yellow and I had a dress to match. And her electrical wiring had been done in a cave in the Dordogne around 2000 BC...alas. My dog ate out the whole back of the leather front seat. Her electrical system died halfway between our house and downtown, one morning when I was on the way to work.

  3. You were raised in a Volvo. I think it is part of your genetic makeup.