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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ghost in The Green Machine

Bubba says that all cars should have names. That a car with a name runs better and lasts longer than a car without a name. That a car with a name treats its owner right. And Bubba should know. He's been working on cars all his life. In his younger years, he worked at a Chrysler factor, actually building Dodge Darts like The Green Machine.

Bubba also says that all old cars are haunted...

The Green Machine came back to me this week. Bubba figured out the problem was a loose wire going to the amp gauge which melted against the metal frame of the car and, therefore, when the car warmed up, the wire got hot and pretty much sucked all the charge out of the battery and electrified the car itself. Or something like that. And that explains why I would be driving down the road and suddenly the car would just shut off, as if a ghostly hand had switched off the ignition.

But it doesn't quite explain this:

A couple of weeks ago, on a quiet Sunday morning, I had to make a quick run to the store eight blocks away. I got into The Green Machine and started her up, and as I reached for my sunglasses, she killed. I started her up again and when I went to reach for gear shift, she killed. Again, I started her up, again she killed. Four times this happened, at which point, I begin to freak out--because The Green Machine, for all her quirks, has never done this before.

So I went into the house and told Bob about the problem. Why, to this day, I even do this, is beyond comprehension. I guess I'm just used to Bob being the go to guy about cars and The Green Machine was his baby.

Anyway, I do this, I tell Bob how The Green Machine keeps killing every time I start her up.

And Bob says, "Kills?"


"Kills and kills?"




"Kills and kills and kills?"

Well, all that was certainly a big help. By now, I am pretty flustered. But I really need to get to the store, just for one thing. Just to run into the store, grab one thing, and come back home. It will only take about 15 minutes.

I go back out to the car and open the hood and look inside. Not that I really understand everything I'm looking at, but nothing seems amiss. Then, because the hood is open and I've been meaning to do it, I check the oil. It's low. I get a quart of oil out the trunk and put it in.

Then I get in the car to try it again. She starts right up. And doesn't kill.

I'm a bit wary, but I start out for the store.

Keeping one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at the first stoplight.

I turn onto 16th Street and I am the only car on the road. Ahead of me are 4 stoplights, all green.

Then it happens. Two green lights ahead of me. A gold car, coming from my right, whizzes right through the intersection. Must've been doing about 90. Just zoooooom through that intersection. Never even slowed down. I tell you, my heart nearly stopped.

I get to the store, a bit shaken. I shut off the car and look at my watch. I'm thinking, if I had gone to the store when I first got into The Green Machine... If The Green Machine hadn't kept killing... If I hadn't wasted about 15 minutes telling Bob about it, looking under the hood, etc... There's a good chance I would've been coming back from the store, going right through that very intersection when that gold car ran that red light.

A Ghost in The Green Machine?
And I think, The Green Machine maybe just saved my life...

Later on that day, I call Bubba whose been our mechanic for about 15 years. I tell him what happened. He tells me, quite seriously, that all old cars have ghosts. When I laugh at this idea, he tells that no way, it's the truth, it's a certified fact. And I am real lucky that The Green Machine's ghost is looking out for me.

Then, I tell him about the other problems I'd been having---the way the car just sometimes shuts off when I'm driving and also that every time I take my foot off the gas, the radio fades out.

He says, "Now that sounds like a wiring problem." Later that night, he came to get the car. He fixed those problems. But he never did figure out why The Green Machine kept killing that quiet Sunday morning. Except to say, it's a certified fact that all old cars have ghosts. That, and if a car has a name, it treats its owner right.

And, you know, if your car isn't old enough to have a ghost, and it doesn't yet have a name, well, you might want to think about giving her one. Because Bubba (at least when it comes to cars) is usually right.


Jenn said...

Ain't that sumptin'! Oh yeh, someone's most certainly watchin' out for ya. I'm a believer. :-)
Tell your ghost I send my thanks. <3

Anonymous said...

Your green machine ghost may have been the good Lord slowing you down a bit, but regardless you weren't in the intersection during the fly by.

Just one question: When is a car considered "old" and have the ability to be the receiver of a ghost?

Hugs & prayers, Dan

Rebecca Dutton said...

This was a scary thing to happen. I'm glad the Green Machine was looking out for you.