The Escape Pod is no More by John E. Stack

The Escape Pod is no more. Gone.  Retired.  Gone to the great junkyard in never-never land.  Never again will it zoom up and down the streets of my small town. 

The Escape Pod.  Appropriately named by my son-in-law, this was the vehicle that we would take off in when we wanted to see a movie that my wife and daughter refused to go to, i.e. superhero, space, James Bond.  Sometimes, I think they just wanted us to go away for a while so they could talk, or spend time with grandkids or who knows what.  Anyway, it was cheap transportation for wherever we decided to go.

The “pod” was a 2000 Honda Insight that I bought from my sister-in-law for very little money.  She thought I needed to have something that got better gas mileage than the SUV that I had. The price was right and it rode comfortably.  She owned it for eight years.  Not too bad.  It did suffer from shrink syndrome, though.  It seemed that over the past eight years it got smaller and the seat had a little less room.  I’m sure that parking it outside for eight years in the weather had something to do with that.

I don’t think she ever had a name other than the “Escape Pod,” but as I think back that was probably best.  Even though it was a good car, I never got emotionally attached like some people do.  In other words, I didn’t cry or shed a tear when I signed the paperwork.  I remember my oldest daughter crying and grieving when she finally traded the beat-up old Accord her grandmother had given her.  Emotionally attached!

Excuse my use of the feminine pronoun, but some days she just acted like she didn’t want me to mess with her. Most of the time, she treated me well, but at other times…..

Well, in being sixteen years old, she wasn’t worth much other than good inexpensive transportation.  Then, the battery assist system went out for the third time.  The last time was only five years ago.  My cheap transportation was starting to get expensive.  The repair bill was more than what she was worth, but they told me that it would not hurt to drive it without the battery assist.  I thought “cool,” because I started to get better gas mileage than before.

Then this week happened.  The control panel had more red and amber lights than I thought was possible.  This just happened to be the day I had to be in class about twenty miles away.  So, I had a buddy check her out while I was still in school.  He told me that he couldn’t do anything and I would have to take it to the dealer.  Back to the same guy that wanted me to pay more than the car was worth for the initial repairs?  I think not.

The “pod” pulled the same trick my wife used to pull before we got married and I was going to college.  Suzanne used to start an argument on Sunday afternoon, so she wouldn’t miss me until the middle of the week.  Then I would soon be home again and the cycle would continue.  The timing of the escape pod breakdown really made me angry (at the car), so I really didn’t regret trading her in.  We will see when the payments start.

Anyway, I did drive it to a dealer the next day. I guess my prayers along the way kept it running.  I was able to trade the escape pod for more of a space shuttle (already named by my son-in-law).  For just about double the cost of repairs I picked up a 2013 Kia Soul, sans Hamsters.  A thirteen-year better investment, I hope.  We will see.

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, and Olivia’s Sweet Adventure.

5 Comments

Filed under John Stack, life, musings, writing

5 responses to “The Escape Pod is no More by John E. Stack

  1. The car I once considered buying! I hope your space shuttle serves you well.

  2. We just had a similar experience except we had to make the expensive repair, and then another, and another. We finally traded it in before something else could go wrong. Best of luck with your new craft.

  3. John, I hope the space shuttle serves you well for many years to come!

  4. Oh, but why no hamsters? They add character, subtract seats, and turn wheels, and serve as a deterrent to thieves.

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