My dad managed to come out of a car accident yesterday with a couple o’ cracked ribs and approx. Five hours waiting in the emergency room. Apart from the ribs he seemed okay enough to still go to work at 5:30 this morning as usual. I cannot say the same for my beloved charade, the car my dad was driving at the time.
The general consensus last night was that the car’s a write off, someone was backing into traffic and didn’t see the little purple car with Powerpuff Girl stickers on it. My dad seemed very impressed that the airbag deployed (at all) and he didn’t get hurt as badly as he thought he could’ve. Cars in the girly hatchback class seem to have a bad rap when it comes to safety, so Dad was quite happy with its final valiant effort to protect him. My mum maintains it had something to do with her mum blessing it with holy water when we first got it.
I am normally not one to get too attached to a car, a car is some mechanical metal object that gets you from A to B. This attitude probably stems from the fact that I am female, and when I was younger, spent too much time being dragged around to drag races to watch my dad race. This hobby of my dad’s even took us to Ipswich one year for the Summer Nationals, or Sumah Nats as pronounced by most of the redneck drag racing community. Mullets and t-shirts with fluro coloured car graphics as far as the eye could see…
I am/was however quite attached to my little purple Charade. For a start, it was a gorgeous shade of shimmery violet, not unlike a pair of Docs I own, (cars these days tend to come in crappy uninspiring colours). Incredibly reliable, always managing to get me where I had to go without drama, sure it’s no powerful beast but it was a zippy little car, and was great for squeezing into tight car spaces, and damn it, it had character! I could walk into a car park and see my car straight away as there aren’t normally too many shimmery violet Charades around with the left headlight pushed in slightly, (after being made redundant from my first job, I had to drive back to the office and get some stuff. I hit a stopped bus on the way back while trying to get out from behind it).
I got the Charade in early 1999, I was working part time as a checkout chick and starting my second year studying graphic design at college. The car I was predominantly driving was a 12 year old Ford Fairlane, an old work car from Dad’s company. It was nicknamed Moana, ’cause you had to keep it over 60 or it would start squeaking or moaning and there was a certain way you had to brake that only me and my dad could do to minimise the squeaking. Other drivers would actually get my attention to tell me to get the car fixed, that’s how screwed Moana was. Eventually the radiator totally gave out, and I couldn’t get around the block without it overheating, or towing a mini dam behind me.
It was at this point that Dad decided it was time to get a new car, not only can he claim some of it as a company expense, but I guess he finally realised the only way he was going to have his daughter even be remotely affiliated with his business, was to get a company car for her to drive in. (My dad was always quite disappointed that I didn’t want to be a secretary, or doing paperwork or some sort of
girl-type job even if it wasn’t for his company.) So my dad picked me up from work one day, took me to see a 1998 Charade in purple and asks do you like this colour? Duh, I’ve been your daughter for 19 years so far, do you really need to ask this question?
My dad’s been driving around in it lately as his second car, the utey-trucky thing he normally drives isn’t always practical, and I’m sure he enjoys spreading his hankies, AM station preferences and Quik-Eze in as many vehicles as possible. He too has expressed some affection for the girly hatchback, and am sure he will miss its cosy shiny purpleness.