Oh and it is a beast. But sometimes I have to drive it.
Do you know what it feels like when you’re alone and you catch yourself smiling at something? You kinda feel weird, but good at the same time? Well I caught myself laughing the other day, and it’s a pretty good feeling.
I don’t like driving the beast much. To start with, it’s The Kings’ pride and joy, (besides me that is). Just imagine what would happen if I damaged it. Oh imagine.. no really, don’t.
Well, it’s kinda old and not very comfy, you hear and feel every bump, and if you have looked at the roads around here lately, even the NEW roads, they are lumpy and bumpy and washed away in many spots so there are potholes to negotiate. I don’t like negotiating potholes, but I tell ya, the old Monaro doesn’t like them. It’s no rally car that’s for sure. CLUNK, you hear every panel groaning. Poor old car.
The other thing is that it’s big. Yeah I know, the van’s kinda big too, but not wide like this. I feel like I am squishing through when I roar past the competition pass someone in the left lane.
So, it’s big, it’s old, it groans under pressure. Sounding a little like someone I know.
It’s dirty too.
Then there’s the attention. I swear, people look all the time. It’s embarrassing. You see guys heads swivelling on their shoulders, and people driving up alongside and slowing down with their windows down to listen to the motor. Even pedestrians. I know this, people don’t look at me in my van. They don’t. But in the Monaro it gets attention. I was even asked if I would sell it and I only had it for 2 afternoons. Andrew gets people waiting in the carpark for him to see if he will sell it. He has seen people taking photos of it, one guy even followed him home.
So, I guess when a young bloke gives you the thumbs up and say “Hey dude.. cool car” I suppose it’s not all bad. Ok. I guess.
And he’s turned it back to a ‘manual’ instead of an ‘automatic’, and I am lazy.
The thing I find the hardest to deal with is the NOISE. OMG, it’s so loud, and even in the cockpit. I feel like lining it with egg cartons, or wearing ear plugs, or turning the radio up even louder. But then that makes the attention thing worse.
So, I drove it home the other day. I like adjusting my seat. He’s put seats from a “new Monaro” into it. This thing is such a mongrel, it’s got bits from all over. It’s retro, his way. How he wants it. So, the seat… it’s automatic. I press #3 and I get “Tania’s favourite position”. Which is quite different to “Andrew’s favourite position”. He is so far back he’s almost laying down, I like to actually reach the pedals, and I am shorter so I like to sit higher. I think it must annoy him when he tries to get in when it’s in “Tania’s favourite position” because he wouldn’t be able to get his legs in. Hee hee. It’s the small things that amuse me.
I am trying hard to keep the revs low, so not to be so noisy, therefore hopefully – less attention. I am just doing my thing, thinking “do not crash, do not crash, do not crash” my senses in overload navigating the traffic and potholes, not crashing, not running anyone over.. you know, all the things you do when you are driving someone elses car.
So this guy in a station-wagon is in the left lane and I passed him as he slowed for someone in front who was turning. No big deal. I come to the stop light and I gently stop. This guy, he is leaning out of his window ( I don’t know how he was reaching his pedals) as he came up alongside me. He was checking the whole car from the back, the wheels, the side of thecar, then he looks up at the driver. I was watching him, I thought maybe something was wrong, like I had something hanging out of the back tyre or something and looked at him in case he was going to say something.
He looked up at me and CRACKED UP. He laughed and sat back in his seat. Somehow I don’t think he was expecting an old lady driver. It was terribly funny. Me with my pink nailpolish. I didn’t get laughed at when I was 18 driving an old Black Monaro, but maybe because back then – well, maybe because I was not an old Mother of four, I was a young blonde thing. And I dragged all the boys at the lights… and won!
I didn’t look back again at this guy. His car was inching forward like he wanted a race. Silly boy. I’ll give him funny! I waited for the green light, and didn’t take off. That’ll fix him, let him race himself. A second later I thought “What the hell” and put my foot down, the noisy beast took off, and flogged him. I got to about 40kms, and stopped accelerating. “That’ll do little piggy, that’ll do”. (from Babe).
Then he roars past me.
This is where I found myself just cracking up. How funny. I was laughing out loud.