Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas Part 2: Sh*t My Dad Drives.

Christmas Part 2: Sh*t My Dad Says Drives.

First, a quick recap of my cars:
1. 1979 Suburban (mind you, it was 1997 when I started driving). This thing was a beast. 3 hit-and-runs, orange shag carpet in the back, and mold/moss on the exterior door tops year round - still chugging along as the family car.
2. 1989 Ford Probe. My high school friends will remember this one. This car did not go in reverse. Parallel parking was hard impossible. Had a broken car phone, though, which was kind of cool, and a tape player.
3. 1983 BMW. Sweet, a Beamer! Bequeathed to me with over 350,000 miles on it. Blew up on the 80 between Davis and Sacramento about 3 months after receipt.
4. 1981 Mitsubishi Mirage. Was it ever even there?

The cycle ended when my then-boyfriend Doug declared he was concerned for my personal safety (?) and helped me buy a new car in San Diego. (Note to self: new future blog post on trying to buy a stick shift in Southern California... demand is low apparently. Traffic or something.)

Not to be deterred, my Dad has decided to continue the tradition of driving the worst possible cars on the planet. I bring you the 'newest' Garrow Family gem: the 1986 Volvo!

My mom and brother, ready to head home in style.

Lets check out some of the specs on this baby - there are so  many, I'll just try to hit the highlights. This car features:


The ACE bandage doubles as an emergency sock, when your current socks
inevitably get holes after walking 10-50 miles to call for help when the car breaks down on the side of I-5. 

For those looking to recreate, I believe this is a Downey paper towel. 


My dad proudly proclaims this this 2x4 is solid pine wood!


You can see my Dad demonstrating the purpose of the rug. In addition to being fashionable,
it is also functional (!), doubling as a "noise reduced", since the trunk does not stay open
(see previous post re: 2x4), nor does it stay closed while the car is in motion. 

OK let's move on.

In a shocking Christmas twist, the 1986 Volvo died in the street in front of my house. You can see the beginning of the problem here, and my mom and little brother laughing. They were probably in sheer delirious shock that their smooth ride was having trouble.

"Ha ha ha! What a riot!"

Delirious laughter quickly turned in to critical comments and volatile, unhelpful advice, as evidenced by this shot taken about 15 seconds later.

"Why the fuck aren't we moving?!" "Did you try jiggling the key a little?"

Confidently, we opened the hood. Surely the problem could be fixed quickly and we could get these people my family out of here swiftly safely. You can see my Dad in the background going to retrieve his tools from the back of the car. What, you don't remember seeing any tools back there?

Sam, displaying a confident and knowing smile that they would soon be on their way. 

Say hello to the secret double agent of car necessities: the 2x4 - making a triumphant return!

I feel at this point I should mention that these shots were not posed. This was really happening. In my front yard. With neighbors peering out their windows.

"Huh, usually a quick tap with the 2x4 does the trick. This is peculiar."

Sam starting to look a little worried from the passenger seat. 

Tried the old tap-tap-tap technique, but to no avail. 

Realizing the situation was getting dire, and that they might actually be stuck in Sacramento for days while the car was, hopefully, resuscitated, the rest of the crew decided to take action!

Here we see Sam, exiting the car to search the trunk for...

A soda.

These next shots demonstrate his exact plan of action, which was to sit down on the lawn and drink the soda.

The dismount...

The landing...

Ahhh... total relaxation. And refreshment! 

Meanwhile, my mom decided a power nap was in order.

Confident he could get 'er running, my dad ordered everyone to immediatly wake up and/or get back in the car.

Doug, wondering why the fuck his in-laws hadn't left yet, came out to investigate the situation.

"What the fuck is this 2x4 doing out here?"

"Really? We think we're going to fix this with a 2x4? No, no Stan, I'm not using it. No." 

We then decided that the problem was the center console. Naturally, it was decided to take it apart and disassemble the entire thing and then tap it as hard as we could with the trusty 2x4...

...which resulted in this:

My mom and brother, apparently having reached their limit, rented a car and got the hell out of there. I had the pleasure of my Dad's company for an additional two days while the Volvo was in the shop (1.5 days) and the 2x4 was being repaired (.5 days).

Sadly, in the end, the 2x4 didn't make it.

We gave her a proper cremation.

Just after the eulogy. 

"She was a damn good 2x4." "Yes, Stan, she was. She really was."

So, what's the biggest piece of shit you've ever driven? (Because my Dad probably wants to buy it.) Ever break down during the holidays, and force your child to entertain you while the car was in the shop? Anyone looking for custom headrests?


  1. I continue to be disappointed that I can't post pictures to your blog because how else could you fully appreciate the 1976 Datsun B210 Honeybee? I can't say it was a piece of shit. It was actually a very reliable vehicle. But very few cars are bright yellow with a black racing stripe down the side, highlighted by a decal of a bee on wheels (super fast looking, zooming wheels). Thankfully, I was a pretty secure teenager. Unfortunately for Stan, I sold the car in 1992. I do have a 1999 Accord that may pique his interest in about 10 years. It would look stellar with ace bandage/paper towel adorned headrests.

    1. Yes, Tanya, please keep our family on your list. In about ten years the Volvo may be, unfortunately, unsalvageable (sniff, sniff), and Stan will be in the market for a spankin' new 25+ year old car.