Lila Ford is my pewter 1998 Ford Escort. Yeah, I know they don't make those anymore. She needs new brakes. There are several cracks and one brand new fracture on her windshield. (Really, it's surprising that I haven't had to have the windshield replaced by now. I always get stuck on the highway behind some rickety Fred Sanford junk truck with rusty rakes, old couches and other beat-up crap hanging outta the back. And they have those humongoid mud flaps that, instead of just moving the street stuff away from the truck, make every pebble fly at me at 3,000 miles per hour. Hence. The cracks.)
Lila's horn has a short in it. I can only hit the side of the horn with the little ABS etching in it, or the horn sounds...and won't stop. The light on the gear shift has gone out and I keep forgetting to get it replaced, so when it's dark I have to turn the overhead on to make sure I'm in the right gear.
I love my Lila Ford. She is the first car I've ever owned. I bought her brand new when I'd been out of college for a little over a year. Actually, it was August 14, 1998. Yeah, I remember it that well. After four years of using St. Louis' slow-ass busses and (pretty cool but often crowded) Metro-Link, I remember well the day I no longer had to ride with the funky, loud and crazy. Or the occasional stray chicken bone.
Even though I love Lila I have not been a very good mommy as of late. Like, in the last three years. Because that's how long it's been since I've washed my car.
Oh my God! Do not judge me internet! I swear I've meant to. I can't take her to one of those gas station car washes because I've always heard that they take the paint off. With apartment living, and no hose, can you imagine how difficult and time consuming it was to carry buckets back and forth to clean her? Well, I did it. For years, I did it. And prior to that I paid to have it done, every month. I was good for a while I really was. Then I found these giant handi-wipe like things that cleaned the car without water. They took a lot of elbow grease but I used them for over a year. Then? Then...
I got lazy and Lila got dirty. There's a fine coat of dust on her dash. The floor is littered with little dead leaves, scraps of paper and a bit of dried brownie (God that brownie was good). When the FI-ance and I moved I put a plant in the trunk. It promptly tipped over and rolled around as I drove even though I thought it was well braced. How much do you want to bet that the dirt is still in my trunk FOUR MONTHS LATER?
I've been saying for years that I was finally going to take care of my Lila. Well, Saturday was the last straw. Why? Because...THERE. WERE. SPIDERS.
The FI-ance was getting over the flu and craving a Quater Pounder With Cheese, so I made him go to McDonald's with me (I swear he really was feeling better. And, as an additional side note, he wore his robe, a pair of underwear, flip flops and a black snap brim cap. See? Even when he's sick he's cool.)
We're in my car sitting at a light and he goes: "Hey, look. There's a spider on the outside of the window." Immediate panic. I rolled up the window and ran the wipers to try and kill it, then began to itch all over. But that's not the worst of it. I looked at the FI-ance to ask if he saw the damn spider die. As soon as I finish the question my gaze is drawn upward to his sun visor, which is mere millimeters from his cap. And playing host to another very, very large spider.
Then I started screaming.
I turned the light on so he could kill it, but of course "spiders kill worse things, we like spiders. I can't just kill it." Me=Still Screaming. But now I'm driving too because the light's changed. He grabs some ephemera from somewhere in the car and attempts to put the beast out the window. What kills me is that we don't know if he got it OUTSIDE or not. It was too dark and FI-ance was too goofy from flu to notice for sure.
So, America's spiders are officially on notice. As of this weekend Lila Ford will be spotless and unable to accept any new occupants. You dig?