Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and I had an understanding. He would write fabulous books, and I would read them. Otherwise, we left each other alone. This is how it always was. This is how it should always have continued to be. Unfortunately, Time and Nature conspired to rain on that parade.
Now that I’m positive Kurt isn’t reading my blog (at least my blog isn’t getting any hits from IP addresses from Tralfamadore), I can write about topics that I otherwise may not have- such as the odometer reading in my pickup truck.
As trivial as it may be, my truck reached a milestone on the same day that Mr. Vonnegut passed away, by hitting the 100,000-mile mark. I remember when I was a kid the day our family car (I think it was a 1965 Chevy Impala) was going to “roll over,” and I thought it was going to literally flip off to the side of the road. It didn’t. I also remember my eyes being glued to the odometer as the dials changed for the next four miles. Then I sorta lost interest as we neared the Spoon River bridge.
When I purchased my Ford Ranger on August 20, 1995, I did so because I was pumping so much money into keeping my Dodge Daytona running that I figured I might as well be making payments on a new vehicle. It was the first brand new vehicle I had ever purchased, so it was a pretty big deal. Obviously I had no idea how long the truck would last, and quite honestly, I didn’t think much about it either. I was just happy to have a reliable means of tooling around Phoenix and the greater southwest.
Fast forward nearly a dozen years and an estimated 35 oil changes, the milestone was reached just west of the San Mateo overpass while traveling east on Interstate 40 through the heart of Albuquerque. If you must know, Aretha Franklin’s “Spanish Harlem” was flowing from the factory radio and speakers.
Overall, it has been a very good truck. The truck’s 13th windshield (that has been cracked now for a couple of years) stands testament to the fact that I no longer attempt to fight the fact that the vehicle is a magnet for flying gravel. The truck definitely has a unique personality, and features strange behavior such as the windshield wipers turning themselves on randomly, it hates to be washed, and similar to the driver, the radio receiver doesn’t “get” NPR.
It is possible that these items may be attributed to spiritual remnants attached to the human remains and associated grave items that were transferred in the cab from archaeological excavation sites around Arizona to various laboratories. Certainly there is no indication that Henry Ford’s ghost has been hitching a ride.