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Goodbye Old Friend - Dont get swallowed by...THE BLOG!
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Goodbye Old Friend
Screw lj-cuts. Long entries are the new one-liner entries.

My 1987 Honda Civic-Wagon is dead. No, please. There is no need to shed tears over her. She died peacefully, in the night. It was last friday night. One week ago.

Dave, Jon, Becca, and Colleen had come home for Thanksgiving and we decided to hang out that Friday. I had work, and when I got off they met me there. Colleen and Becca went to my house. Dave and Jon drove to where I parked my car and gave me a jump.

They didn't believe that the car was on its last legs. I barely believed it myself. This was the Civic I drove to Binghamton and back twice. This car had gone 177K plus miles. It was older than my little sister. The battery was dieing, but I figured we could just replace it. Surely it would hit 200K! But it was not meant to be. The signs were everywhere. There was nearly twice as much smoke coming from the exhaust as usual. And I just couldn't get the RPMs down like I normally could.
Dave said I just needed to drive it around for a while so the battery could recharge. I sat down in the drivers seat and buckled my belt. I checked my mirrors and tapped the gas to drop the RPMs as the car had been warming up for 12 minutes and that was way too long of a time. They stayed at 3000. Not good. But I figured it would drop to normal when I put it in drive.

Then, I turned on the headlights and God spoke to me. He said, "I am taking this one." The engine damn near shutdown right then and there but my Civic fought! I had a full tank of gas and I thought demons were going to pop up from under my hood, but my Civic FOUGHT! It said "NO! My work is not done in this world!"

I looked up and the headlights were as bright as a lighter with no fuel. Picture the dimmest a light can get using your avg dimmer switch and then take away half that light. I turned off the headlights and the engine when back to semi-normal. Full tank of gas, I'm fine, I thought. I stepped outside, and made Dave and Jon come look at how bright the light was. They laughed at me. And we were off to Daves house to drop off his car and take mine to my house.

His house is about 2 miles from Outback and the journey there was quite surreal. It was about midnight, with very few cars on the road. I realized that with my lights on I could somewhat see the speedometer and without them, the streetlamps were my only hope.
I signaled left to turn onto the main highway and nothing happened. I signaled right to change lanes and nothing happened. I turned on the hazards and nothing happened. I turned off the headlights and tried signaling, still nothing.
It was midnight, I was driving to my friends house to take him to my house to go drinking and I did not have headlights in a car that had no right sideview mirror, no power steering, and no power breaking.

I assume my breaklights are out too, so I am totally screwed. Here's where that driving handbook comes in handy. I roll down my window, mind you its about 20 degrees outside. Then I proceed to stick my left hand out the window, palm facing forward, like I was about to ask a question in math class. Thats right. I hand-signaled. Dave and Jon later tell me seeing that was one of the best parts of the evening.

I turn. Then I curse Germantown for not having a streetlamp every 20 feet. Safe, not so safe. Safe, not so safe. People can see me, people can't see me. I turn two more times, this time without handsignals because my hand is frozen. I get to Daves house and Dave gets in the car, then I drive forward and run over Jon's foot. Not on purpose, I thought he was in the car, but apparently he was cleaning off the seat because my car was not tidy enough for him, right supernova_7? Then we're off to my house. We get back on the street with no lights. Here's an oncoming car. He flashes his brights at us. THANKS! LIKE WE DIDN'T KNOW WE WERE DRIVING IN TOTAL DARKNESS! Some gang is gonna kill that guy someday. I look down at the gas and I have 1/4 of a tank.

Wait a minute. WAIT A MINUTE! I had a FULL tank when I left Outback. I get 30 miles to the gallon! Thats impossible! Does not compute! Dave is sitting in the passenger seat and I point out the gas, which you can't really see since I have no dashlights. Then suddenly streetlamps, EVERYWHERE! We're coming up to a huge intersection. Then there is the following exchange:

"OHMYGOD! Oh. My. God. DAVE! Look at the gas! It was full when I left Outback!"
"Dude, theres like, nothing left."
"I know! DAVID LOOK! I can see the needle moving! ITS MOVING! You see it don't you?!"
"We're not gonna make it home. I can feel it...Oh no. We're not gonna make it through this light, and if we don't make it through this light, I dont think the car can get us to my house. We'll have to push!" We're going a smooth 20 miles an hour.
"No, we can make it through this light. Just go faster! Go faster!"
"I can't!" I've got the pedal almost to the floor and its still only 20 MPH.
"Yes you can!" We're approaching the light.
"No I can't!" It turns yellow. I break and we

"We could have made it," Dave says. We sit at the light, and Dave and I watch as the gas needle, which recently got to E, starts moving again! Its moving down, very slowly. The light is not changing and as the needle sinks, so does my hope for making it home. Finally, the light changes. I slowly press the gas and car rolls forward. This intersection never felt this long. The car is dieing. I feel it. Its a man in the desert with no sight of an oasis. "THE GAS STATION!" Dave yells. "Pull into the gas station!" But its a mirage. To make it that far, I would have to make a left turn then go through the strip mall and around again to get in there. "I can't! HOW?!"
"Go the wrong way!"

Here I'll stop and explain. Picture a square in quadrants. My car is in the bottom right, the gas station is in the top left. There are three lanes of traffic down the center, going the opposite direction of my car. To do it legally I would make a left turn and enter the bottom left quadrant, then a right turn into the top left quadrant. I knew my car could not do this.
"ARIGHT!" And going roughly 10 miles an hour at 12:20am on a Friday night I drive my car diagonally, the wrong way, through three lanes and enter the gas station. Luckily there was no one coming. I slowly ease it next to a pump and touch the break slightly.

Then everything is still. My car goes into a coma. It's out of gas. The battery is dead. And the last thing it did for me was line itself up perfectly with the gas pump. I didn't do it. It did. I have never been able to line up the pump and the tank that well. And I probably never will.

I start pumping and it says its full after 5 dollars. BULLSHIT! I keep pumping but the automatic shutoff keeps clicking. Jonathan gets scared and says I'm overpumping. I'm up to $6.41 but that's barely half a tank. I know cuz I filled it up a week and a half ago. The car doesn't want the gas. Do Not Resuscitate its telling me.

We call Colleen up and she comes and gives the car a jump, and after the third try with me slamming on the gas and turning the key as hard as I can it starts. I drive it to my house and let it sit in the driveway, running in neutral for 45 minutes. Then I come outside and smoke is coming out both ends. I turn the car off, and I say goodbye to an old friend. (Cue Will Ferrel singing "Dust in the Wind")
5 comments or Leave a comment
taboophantasy From: taboophantasy Date: December 6th, 2003 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
*wipes a tear from her eye* What a tough little car!
nitwit027 From: nitwit027 Date: December 7th, 2003 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

if only i'd known

If only ihad know the little bugger was on its last leg i would have donated blood last week at the red cross and would have tried to save a life. Its sad to hear that our good friend, of which i have spent many hours in. i woud like to look back and tell all of you of the good time i have spent in that 87' civic.
As Vlad said he did drive to Bingo twice i was there for 12 hrs of the 2 trips. and not not mention the driving while in bingo. :(
And i cannot forget the driving in the Va area each wednesday as we would go to CSz... Ahhh Nat'ls how good the car was each morning... and the trips to ultimate matches....
I also lost my virginity in the car...vlad had no i dea....but then i found it in jon's hundai so all is good.

It really is sad i wish i would have been told by vlad what happened..and not read it online :(

-"Pee Wee" Herman Goering
metavlad From: metavlad Date: December 8th, 2003 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: if only i'd known

woulda been funnier if you had said "pee wee" in the middle of his name
and do you really think i could have TOLD you all this?
From: laxblackbelt Date: December 10th, 2003 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Poor Civic

Well first i think this should speak to the reliability of Japanese cars. 170+ miles is a lot, and most domestic cars could never last that long!! Though I thought the car looked like a card board box with wheels i will still miss the old gal. Vlad i am sorry i wasn't there to see her go. It does sound like an electrical problem, comparable to a stroke in a human that in the end spontaeously combusted. I hope she rests in peace.
metavlad From: metavlad Date: December 10th, 2003 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poor Civic

Thank you, I will pass on your thoughts to her family.
5 comments or Leave a comment