People tend to say, automobiles- they just don’t make them like they used to. Growing up I can remember learning to drive a “stick” shift, and having to memorize the directions. I can even remember the transmission having three forwards, and one reverse. You see, no one ever had the factory issued cover for their shifter. I can remember one shifter that had an 8 ball to move from one direction to another. The elderly gentleman showed it to me and said “straight from the pool table!” Surely he expected us to believe him, as he smiled so bright. Politely we smiled as well.
In this day, there are lift kits to raise trucks up 20-26 inches off of the ground, and the reverse, low riders that have a vehicle sitting a mere 12 inches above the ground. Pretty ironic when you see people barely five feet tall jumping from running boards to the truck seat. And then others close to six-feet tall will shrink to fit into these vehicles. And both will give you the explanation “to look cool!”
Now there are products called window glass paint and window glass tint. The window paint reads, for windows only and can cause damage to the exterior paint of your vehicle. Does anyone see this as a warning? The window tint provides shade to your window. However some people have it so tinted, they cannot see the areas around them. I, having worked in Insurance Claims before, and having realized that both have caused accidents. I have come to understand, safety is not an issue, for the issue is all about style. Style has brought the return of “muscle cars” illuminating colors and addictions to car collectors of the past and the future.
The one thing that hasn’t changed though is the basic structure of vehicles today. Scott and I were driving back from IHOP one evening, when one of my best friends Jessa called. Jessa is known for her car related bumps, bruises and zany adventures. So it was no surprise when she called and said, “Scott, you have got to help me. My friend and I are on our way back from Shreveport, and we broke down right outside the Choudrant exit. Can you come help us?” Most people call Scott in times of emergency as they think he carries a spare cape with him all the time. Especially for any doggone time there is a damsel in distress, so, he charged forward.
As we passed the Choudrant exit, I asked, “I thought you said she was in Choudrant?” “She said she was.” Now Jessa, has been known on occasion to be directionally challenged, even with a GPS. Sure enough less than three miles from Ruston, we spotted the five damsels in distress, and the “broken down vehicle.” It seems during their travels, the “low gas” engine light came on somewhere around Minden, which is approximately 60 miles from where they are, and well, Chevrolet just don’t make them like the used to. Not when it comes to the tests of a truck load of traveling females, especially with my “Jessa” around. If a truck needs gas, it better do more than beep, and make a flashing light. For my Jessa, it better do it simultaneously every five miles until she stops. Otherwise, it will just have to stop on the side of the road. But that’s okay, five gallons of gas later, and all was well. Five damsels in distress were on their way back to West Monroe.
Published December 15, 2011, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.