Okay, nothing about That today. There are other things going on in life.

I am in the market for a car, and not because my car is reaching the end of its usefulness. It’s a 2006 Element, a solid Honda, with less than 90K miles. My experience with Hondas has always been good. I love my Element. From the first moment I saw its odd boxy shape on the showroom floor, bright green, I said: hello, my friend. We are going to have a lot of fun together.

And we have. It replaced a Honda CR-V that was perfectly fine, to be honest, but I didn’t like it. Rote standard dad car for toting around kids. It never sang to me, and since had replaced a vehicle that sang like a Siren from the Odyssey, it was just a buzzkill. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE NOW.

You know how you see your car when you’re walking back from the store, and it still gives your heart a little lift? Never, ever got that with the CR-V. The Element always said “hello! Nothing around here looks like me, does it? And not in that crappy Kia Soul way.”

But. I just had to replace a brake pad, and there’s another that will need replacing soon, and there’s some cross brace that’s not in good shape, according to the garage. It’s not the years, it’s the miles - they say. But it’s also the years. This car has taken us from first grade to farewell, and it’s time to say goodbye. Daughter is a bit verklempt: this was my trademark, my brand! All the kids loved it. The doors were different. It was green, so very green. StarTribune green, you might say.

But. It doesn’t sing to me anymore. I would say it’s like an old dog but you really love your old dogs and want them to be happy; you don’t take them to the pound and trade them in for a pup. I know how I will feel if I trade in the Element, sign the papers for something new, then walk back to the car for the last time. It will look the same but it won’t be mine anymore, and it won’t belong to me, and somehow it will know it. A bond, snipped.

I know I will say goodbye and pat it on the dashboard. And walk away quickly. The walk between an old car you loved and the new one you want is a very human moment - sadness, abandonment, justification, indifference, anticipation, and finally the transfer of your identity to a new inanimate object.

Just writing that makes me want a new car.

The reviews drive me - sorry - crazy, because they’re always making some complaint that gives you pause. What I want is a snappy pick-up and a good video interface. I’m serious. I’ve driven an Element for 12 years, I can handle some boxy handling. But I’m not going to look at a crappy video screen, and I’m not going to deal with beige cloth interiors. You want this car in the XL Sport Package in Red? Great! You have to have beige. But - but why? BECAUSE!

But - but this company over here has a comparable car that has black leather and red exterior.

This car has multi-door interior-exterior access!

But - can’t you take the leather from that one, and put it on this one?

This car has dimmable glove-compartment lights!

I was intrigued by one vehicle, which seemed cool and distinctive, until I looked at it again and decided I hated the front. This led to a cascade of negative preferences that pushed me towards another car. It has Lane Keeping Assist System!

I’m pretty sure I can keep her between the ditches on my own.

Anyway, I'm immoral. Clearing out the detritus folder here; oy, there’s so much. I mean, I’m getting around to stuff that I clipped in March. Like this little commissar laying down the law for everyone:

I want to transport him to a small town in rural North Dakota in January. I’ve broken my arm and I need to get to the hospital! Well, take an ambulance. I thought you said no one can drive. Well, some people can drive. Just not people like you, who have no need. But I need to get to the hospital. No, you think you need to get to the hospital now. It’s a broken arm. You can wait. Besides, you might use a personal vehicle to stop at the grocery store on the way back. What’s the matter with that?


This fellow is opposed to you going where you want, when you want. Period. Don’t you suspect he has quite a list of all the other things you should be forbidden to do?

Update: I think I like the little Jeep. It has personality, and the interior doesn’t look like it’s trying too hard. Unlike some people.




The DePatie-Freleng style of animation was best left in the hands of the pros. Like DePatie-Freleng.

Annnnnd, for good measure . . .

  The Diner: Episode 17.


See you around. By which I mean, here, tomorrow.


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