Requiem for an Automobile

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Published on The Doomstead Diner October 14, 2017

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So I am working as my friend Brian's "Property Manager" for the apartments he rents up here, which basically amounts to showing the place to prospective tenants.  Only two of them fortunately in a McHovel he converted to a an upstais/downstairs set of apartments.  Rented out the top one a few months ago, the bottom one has been vacant a few months.  I have shown it to half a dozen prospective tenants, so far no takers.  Brian hasn't kept up on the maintenance and it needs a fair amount of work.

Anyhow, I had an appointment to show it today at 1PM, and I head out to my cars around 12:45.  The place is only around 2 miles away.  I decide I will give the Mazda a little workout to freshen up the battery since I hardly ever drive it.  As usual, she fires up just fine, an amazingly dependable vehicle the entire decade I have owned her.  I am not halfway out of the parking spot when I hear POW! and the car lists to the right.  I figure SHIT, I got a blowout!  So I back the car back into the spot and get out to have a look.  No, it's not a blowout, the tire is fine.  THE FUCKING STRUT GAVE OUT!

It's the Finger of God this happened when & where it did.  If this happened while I was driving at any speed at all, if I could keep control of the vehicle to avoid an accident that also would be Finger of God material.  As it was, it was only a minor inconvenience, after re-parking the car I went over to my Ford Explorer and took that over to the rental apartments to show them.  I wasn't even late for the appointment.  Havng spare carz around comes in handy at times like these.  Usually though, 3 carz is a bit of overkill, 2 is enough.

Now, I can't say I wasn't warned about this.  The last time I brought her in for an oil change (over a year ago), the Mechanic Jockey told me the struts were about rusted through and driving on them was dicey and I should replace them.  However, price tag on that was over $1000 and I only paid $900 for the car to begin with 10 years ago!  So I took a pass on getting the job done, kind of thinking maybe the Mechanic Jockey was just trying to get me to fork over for a big repair job.  Turns out of course here he was telling the truth.

So I get back home after the McHovel showing, and have another look and take the above pics.  It's DECISION time on the Mazda.  Do I have her towed to the Repair Shop or to the Junkyard?

I know it makes CFS to send the Mazda to the Land of Away for many reasons.  First off, the car is a 1989 with plenty of rust on it, I bought it for $900 10 years ago and even fully working I probably could not get more than $500 for it today.  Second, I currently have 3 vehicles in the parking lot, and according to community rules the max you are supposed to have is 2 per unit.  Third, keeping 3 vehicles all battery charged and working through the winter if you don't drive them every day is almost a daily maintenance task once it gets really cold.  Fourth, I only have one spot with a carport, which means when it snows I have to clear the snow off 2 carz to drive them.  This is a pain in the ass even if you are not crippled.

Unfortunately though, I am Emo about the Mazda.  I think of her kind of like the Racehorse John Henry.  He didn't win the Kentucky Derby, but he raced a LONG time and he won a LOT.

His final race record stood at 83 starts, 39 wins, 15 seconds, and 9 thirds with $6,591,860 in earnings. He was twice voted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year in 1981 and 1984, of which his 1981 election is notable in that it was the first in which the victor received all votes cast for that award. That feat has since been matched only by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015.[4]

https://static.americasbestracing.net/s3fs-public/styles/large_hero_16_9/public/article/JohnHenry81%20Million.jpg?94_5rM7JMzGCliZJv1uYgrn05WNnoGPh&itok=Lt_LZ2D7&c=696016bff735ed5f3d02ad74bf8fc72b

The Mazda also raced along the roads of the Eisenhower Interstate a long time, almost 30 years through the Age of Oil, 10 of them with me as the Car Jockey.  She was amazingly dependable through all the Alaskan Winters, the 4WD was necessary on many occasions.  No repairs necessary EVAH except to get new battery and tires.  Still runs great to this day, except of course now she has a Broken Leg. When a horse has a broken leg, the best and most humane thing to do is to put her down, aka KILL her.  But Putting Down the Mazda is hard.  The car gave me 10 excellent years of service up here on the Last Great Frontier. I know how the owners of John Henry must have felt when they had to put him down.

John Henry was euthanized at 7:05 pm EDT (2305 UTC) on October 8, 2007, at the age of 32. He had developed serious kidney problems in August 2007, while Central Kentucky was experiencing a heat wave. On October 6, he stopped responding to veterinary treatment, and the decision was made to put him down. Many who worked with him had the chance to say their goodbyes, including McCarron, who was notified of the decision to euthanize at 4:30 pm, arrived at the park at 5:30, and stayed with him until shortly before the veterinarian arrived.[5]

For now, the Mazda sits in her spot in the parking lot while I empty out more of the flotsam and jetsam of my own life that resides inside her.  I will get the shit out of her the rest of today and tomorrow, assuming we have a break from the constant rain we have been getting up here for the last few weeks.  Monday I will go over to my Mechanic Jockey and see what he will give me for the hulk.  The tires are practically brand new, I bought them 2 years ago but hardly drive the car at all.  The Battery also quite new.  Engine and tranny, both good.  Also has a full tank of gas, I recently filled it.  I at least hope to recoup the towing costs in selling it for junk.

Dust in the Wind.  All we are is Dust in the Wind.  Carz too.

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