Feb 9 2009
Martin and I frequently refer to our offspring as “the kid” or “the boy and the girl” but we always call our vehicles by name. There’s “Chitty,” the banged-up ’87 Ford pickup that was free with our tractor. There’s “Big Rig,” the big-ass white pickup with the grumbling diesel that could probably flatten a tank. And there’s “Little Zippy,” my fire engine red Civic which is just that…. little and zippy.
(Ok, so there’s also a Toyota SUV but it’s utterly personality-less and not yet earned the right to be named.)
So, I’m sad to say that one our fleet sailed away this weekend. Or rather was jumped, sputtered to life, and limped down the driveway.
It’s heartbreaking, sort of like losing a toe. But lately, Little Zippy has not been a valued team member. I’ve had some good times in Zippy (get your mind out of the gutter, not those kinds of good times…he’s a small car), but he’s been lawn art for the past year.
But I will miss Lil Zip, a car bought off a former college roommate in ’95. I had just secured an entry-level editorial position with a horse magazine, and with a little help from Dad, ponied up the cash to buy my own first car. I would later learn that whilst I was retrieving said vehicle from Pennsylvania, the entire editorial staff had been laid off in a battle between publisher and owner. I arrived to work the next day to find a padlocked front door.
How ironic that I’m now unloading Zippy 14 yrs later and just weeks after being laid off from ANOTHER horse magazine. Guess it was meant to be.
Little Zippy will always be car #2. My first ride (shared with the parents) was a blue Volvo station wagon…God, that was sexy machine. All joking aside, it was stick shift, thank you very much, with overdrive.
My best memory of Zippy: cruising down I-81 in Virginia on the way to a horse show, moon roof open, music blasting, dog sitting shot-gun, while I read and re-read the lyrics from a CD jacket, to memorize all the words. Those were the days when the highways were empty and you could actually drive AND read at the same time. Ah, the memories.
Little Zippy was fast, reliable, got kick-ass mileage, and cost about 10 cents to fill up. He survived a near flattening by a tree during a summer thunderstorm. And he experienced not one, but two deer attacks, both on the front bumper.
So Zip, I’m sorry to sell you down the river. I hope you bring joy to future passengers, but judging what I got for you, you may be chopped up and used as an organ donor for younger hot rods.
The meat of our fleet: the tractor that beget Chitty, and the soon departed little zippy.