Monday, September 13, 2010

I Used to Want to Be Buried in My VW Bug...

I have to admit, my writing group and I are getting anxious for NaNoWriMo that's why we've started using writing prompts.  (I'll take whatever I can get.  My characters for my NaNo book are trying to break out of my head and onto paper so a writing prompt is a great distraction.)

Our writing prompt was to write for ten minutes using I used to think...
1994 - Sat in front of the Gorilla Gage restaurant for 20 years
I used to think I wanted to be buried in my Volkswagen bug. Seriously, I even wrote it in my will. I’ve been through more with my bug than I have with any single person, at least until I got married and had children.

I think my bug is a great representation of me. When I was sixteen and looking for a car, I was looking for a bug. For some reason in 1994 bugs in Utah weren’t cheap. I looked at quite a few until one day my mom, my sister Anna, and my then boyfriend, Russ all spotted my pink bug sitting off the road with a For Sale sign. After a bit of negotiation I got the bug for $2500. My grandpa spotted me the $500 down payment and the owner let me pay $101.04 per month for 2 years.

Right away this bug was trouble. I have had this car now for sixteen years. Throughout that time I’ve been broken down in driveways, intersections, gas stations, car washes, and parking lots. Seriously, I’ve spent some quality time on the side of the road, inside the cab of AAA tow trucks, and in repair garages. I even got the same tow truck driver twice while I was living in Hollywood.

2004 - Sanding is no easy task.
This is a trouble making bug but sometimes the situations were more funny than frustrating. I couldn’t wait to take my dad for a drive in it for the first time but it was icy out and the dead of winter in Utah and sure enough, I spun her all the way around. When the car stopped spinning, my dad and I just looked at each other, no words for at least a minute or two. I guess that was one way for my car to bring my dad and me closer together.

As a teenager I was known to honk my horn at anyone who ticked me off, well my car got me back for this one day. At first the horn just stopped working. Then I inadvertently honked the horn while I was turning and like magic the horn worked again. I could honk as long as I was turning, so that’s what I did. Then one day, I honked the horn and it didn’t stop honking itself for a few minutes. Needless to say, I was embarrassed. After that, I’ve been careful not to use my horn in any car so much. A lesson in respect I would say.

There’s nothing quite like driving a bug in the snow when the heater only works in the back and you find yourself scraping the inside of the windows and then jumping out at red lights to scrape the outside. Or, overheating in the hot California summer and then having to sit on the side of the road until she cools down. It doesn’t matter, I still love her.

But not everyone likes my bug. She’s been laughed at, had a milkshake thrown on her, had her gas siphoned, car stereo and dash ripped out, been wrecked, have been painted two different colors by a color blind painter, and has had multiple children lean bikes and scooters on her all while keeping her composer.

She’s definitely a member of the family and a large part of my life. I’ll keep her until I die, or until she rusts to the ground and I sweep her into a jar for safekeeping. But I don’t think I want to be buried inside her anymore, and I’m still not sure why I really wanted to before. Maybe because I have a hard time thinking about how someone else might treat her. There are just some parts of myself I’m not ready to let go of and I know I’ll never be able to take her with me when I go.
2004 - A refurb for our 10th anniversary.


  1. That is a sweet ride! I love the wheels and the luggage rack. Do you take it to shows? Thanks for sharing her with us!

  2. Pam - Thanks for commenting. I've taken her to a couple of shows in Irvine at the Classic VW Show which is a big VW show. I love how the little girls run up to my car to get a picture. Over the years I've had a few offers from dad's looking to buy their daughter's their first car. It's flattering. My kids also love her, especially when I pick them up from school in her.

  3. Excellent car! Thanks for sharing such a large part of your life. :)