Monday, January 30, 2012

Saga of the Hooptie Pt 2: Your Role in Understanding Your Vehicle

My hooptie had the most velvety vocals; a little loud but it was part of his unique identity. When I took my Altima out for a ride, the road would give me a welcoming smile when I could ease into traffic and cruise down on it with the swiftness. Days like those were our most tender experiences.  

The morning sunshine was an indication that I was meant to be driving. My Altima was old, but it would dominate the road as if it were the hottest new model. I had my windows open blasting my music in the air as if I had a huge bass booming system in it. But it was a 98 and it didn’t look fresh at all though it drove real smooth. I would take it everywhere possible.

Within the first six months of owning it, I noticed that while I was driving, it would shift gears and it became a recurring motif in its life with me. A mechanic was recommended to me and ever since, he is the main person I always run to when I have a problem.  When you get what you pay for, like me, you are constantly running. Sadly enough, the problem in those days was the transmission.  My transmission mounts and motor mounts had broken and the transmission was not good anymore and it cost me $1500 for a new tranny.

After spending all that money, it became inevitable; I had to drive.  And so, I started driving to work in Manhattan everyday.  It’s like driving wars trying to compete for a space on the open road with NYC taxi cabs.  I still can't figure out how a car could be in the middle lane and when seeing a passenger in need of a ride, will abruptly stop in front of you and nearly cause an accident. But I can't knock them; it's business.

I remember one day after work, when going to retrieve my car from the lot. While driving off, I noticed something different about the way my hooptie was driving.  My heart started beating double time when I noticed that I was mashing my foot on the breaks and it was literally hitting the ground.  And that is when I noticed the brake lights had been on. 

Can you imagine a lady behind the wheel of a car who knows nothing about cars except for how to drive one, going through an issue of this sort?  Fear became mine and so did emotion. It is not such an easy thing to drive with tears rolling down your face. I had to find a way to transport my car and me back to Brooklyn without getting into an accident or without the brakes failing me. 

Traffic that afternoon had been a bit heavy which scared me even more.  The horn became my best friend that day; especially since I had to basically stomp on the brakes for it to work as I traversed the Brooklyn Bridge with my hazards on.  My heart was beating double time and all I could do was pray, hoping everything would be okay.

As soon as I got off the bridge, I decided that my only option was to sit on the side of the road and call AAA.  One of the reps told me that a service station was like around the corner and so I inched the rest of the way there. 

All of these issues could have been avoided if I had simply learned the car before I learned how to drive everywhere with it.  The problem was solved within two minutes of me getting to the service station because all they did was pull the emergency brakes down. The brake lights went off and everything was back to normal. All that panic and it was because I didn't know the parking attendant put the emergency brakes on. Maybe he should have warned me, but can I really blame him for my own mistake of not checking to make sure.  Yet,  I didn't even know that was something I had to check for at all.

Fear had lost its chain on me. To be able to drive away from this experience without harm and without having to spend any money to fix it was like what the NY Giants will feel like when they win the Superbowl this Sunday and are running across fields, kissing trophies. There is nothing better than owing your own victory. I learned a valuable lesson that day.  I have to pay more attention and be more aware of the what’s and the why’s of the cars I decide to drive.  In order to be the ultimate driver, I had to attain the desire like New York Knick Tyler Chandler,  to focus on my role; I'm the parent and my car is my kid. After that day, I decided not to drive to work anymore and started taking public transportation again.

Nonetheless, me and my hooptie celebrated. We paraded through the streets of New York without worry.  And even though the image of the experience remained tattooed in my memory, my Altima would serenade me with its soprano riffs in the sweetest key like Vanessa Bell Armstrong would while also uplifting a church; even louder for those who believed the NE Patriots would win. My hooptie even left trails of its oil everywhere for the world to remember; we made it happen as if we were in Indianapolis, even though we were New York baby.

This ends another episode of the Hooptie of the Saga ;)

Links to Consider


  1. Hopefully you won't run into too many problems any time soon since the hooptie is no more!

  2. You know. It feels good to know that. LOL!

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  4. Thank you Adele. I will make sure to try to keep it up as much as possible.