Manly Men talk about their first car as if it were their first girlfriend. While the memories of our first girlfriend are safely locked away in our vault of memory, our adventures with our first cars are the stuff that can make any manly man smile. Our first car (just like our first love interest) is far from perfect, but remembering her brings about a flood of very pleasant memories.
When I was sixteen my father ATTEMPTED to give me my own car. Well it was an owner jeep. Yep, the one with stainless fenders and painted all black. It has a black tapalodo that you roll down when the rain would come. I avoided it like the plague. My father insisted that I drive it to the prom. Imagine me in my 1980’s Miami Vice-Don Johnson inspired outfit driving an ummmm…a stainless black owner jeep.
“Boss…miyembro ka ba ng WPD..mwehehehe”.
Ohhh.. the many images that kept propping in my head: Rez Cortez, Max Alvarado, Joaquin Fajardo, Jess Lapid, Lito Lapid.My father probably got the hint that the owner jeep was going nowhere and that if I were to continue propagating our genetic line, he had to get me a real car.
Enter my first car. A VW beatle, 1969 model. Red colored. It used to be owned by my dad, who sold it to my uncle, who sold it back to my dad. It had no air-conditioning, the leather smelled like some synthetic ooze. But it was comfortable enough to seat five, seven in a pinch. Once, I was driving the VW in Ateneo and we carried eight guys—well, ok, the door was partly open and one guy had his torso sticking out one window.
One morning I was driving along Commonwealth Avenue. Back in the 80’s you can cruise an eighty along Commonwealth and the weirdest accident happened to me. The steering bar broke and I found myself holding on to a detached steering wheel, just like in some Dick Dastardly cartoon.
I pressed on the brakes. Wrong move as the car spun like a record on a turntable. I’m just glad that I did not hit anyone. I ended up on the side road and I hit a sign which ironically said “BRAKE REPAIRS”.
Not long after, my father got me another car. My uncle ended up getting back the car. Several years later, one of my cousins would be driving the VW as his first car. One day, he was driving with some friends and the VW caught fire (yep, VWs are known to do that). In a moment of panic, he drove the car to a gasoline station. Luckily, the car or the station did not explode. The owner of the station almost killed him.
Fast forward to several years in the future. The same VW who used to be my dad’s car, then my uncles’, then my car, then my cousins car is nothing but scrap metal.
“Thank you for being a friend, travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant”…Sleep well old friend. Thanks for the memories.