Classic Cars

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Professor Gludlum,

I fear I am becoming too negative as of late. In my hometown, they have this classic car event and they all gather on the streets and ride back and forward. I work nearby and must get through to make it in time to my job. It continually makes me late and I am getting quite upset with the whole situation. How can I cope with my growing hatred of classic cars?

Please Help!
Jene
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Dear Faithful Reader,

Wow Jene, a second letter from you. This is certainly a first. Usually my patients never come back for more. Perhaps I have been less than helpful with my advice in the past or maybe it’s the electro-shock. Who knows? But in any case, you’ve returned for more and I choose to think that says more about your shortcomings than my own.

First question I have for you… “too negative”? I do not understand this terminology. And “cope with hatred”? I have only one solution to this. It’s called living. Hatred should be used to fuel your passion for your work, not the other way around.

I have had plenty of experiences with classic cars, myself. I’ve known people who have lost their lives in their pointless endeavors of restoring automobiles that aren’t made anymore for good reason. They slave away in their garage hours on end ignoring everyone in their lives and for what purpose? Just to submit their work to a tawdry contest of vanity? I say no more. If you wish live through the result of your own blood, sweat and tears, enter your four-year-old daughter into beauty pageants like everybody else.

Yes, I must admit my negativity on this issue does outweigh your own. I was once a victim of classic automobile ownership. It’s a disease that affects one in ten people over the age of forty and every seventeen minutes, the cancer kills another person, although mostly due to poor break pad repairs or weak jacks. I, however, was not so lucky. No, I am forced to live out the remainder of my natural life with the knowledge of my mistake.

The car I owned was not as flashy as The Spanish Mobile owned by a certain someone, but I did cherish it as much at the time. This car predated all other cars. Henry Ford himself was driven around in the same model as a child. Where cars now have radios, this had only a Victrola. It was a major pain on gravel roads, which unfortunately for it’s time was all of them. If highways had existed back then, this would have almost made it up to a mile per gallon on them. Truly it was a technological marvel far ahead of its time. Too bad the same couldn’t have been said of me. I was part of the mass cultural delusion that possessing one of the heaps was something of which to be proud. No, they were, in fact something to be eradicated for good.

Over time, that car truly became my first real source of hate. I was quite a bitter eleven year old after owning something of such low quality regrettably for almost a year and I could feel that hate consuming me. It was apparent to everyone. My mother tried to dissuade me with temptations of returning to me my life-size globe of the moon, but I had chosen my destiny and knew with that car holding me back, that destiny would never be properly fulfilled. The car must be destroyed. I felt it fitting I do the only reasonable thing. Use my pirate ship’s cannon to blast the thing back into the Stone Age, which surprisingly enough was advancement for it.

The trap had been set. I had secretly setup the cannon while the car was at the gas station. Again. My mother was just driving it back into what was about to become our no car garage as I lit the fuse and dove into the bushes. The cannon blasted. The car was instantly destroyed and the next thing I knew I was making major medical decisions for my mother.

I still think about that car some days, but those days are few and far between and I wonder if I would have turned out a very different person indeed if I would have instead owned something normal like a one-armed mannequin or giant seahorse. That was my decent into what you call “too much negativity”, but what I call adulthood. I guess I should feel privileged to have had what I needed at that impressionable time in my life to shape me into what I am today, but I don’t. Oh well.

Keep writing,
Professor M.E. Gludlum

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