I lived in Southeast Alaska for 20 years, where there isn’t a rush hour, there are rush minutes. It doesn’t take an hour to go 15 miles. In fact, there were only 40 miles of road before you ran out of road where I lived. Of those 40 miles only 9 could be considered a true highway, meaning two lanes in each direction.
Every day now that I live in the suburbs of a big city and work in The City, I spend a ridiculous amount of time in my car going to and from work. I spend a lifetime in my car. It is the practice of patience.
Now, I love my car. I brought my car with me from Alaska. He’s been to Alaska. He’s been to Florida. Now he’s in Massachusetts. He’s perfect for me. I can see over the hood. I can reach the pedals. I can reach over and unlock the passenger door without effort. There’s not much to him.
In fact, he didn’t come with anything fancy…
No automatic door locks.
He has hand crank windows.
No radio (had to have one installed)
No beep beep to unlock him.
No rear window wiper.
No seat warmers, GPS or USB plugs.
What he does have is a great spunky attitude, cause his name is Norman and he is Absolutely Red.
How do I know he’s is a boy?
Of course, when I take him into the doctor’s office for a check up, they always get a chuckle and laugh. “Oh, you drive a unicorn.” Well. I guess you could say that too. He is a rare, mythical being.
For a 3-door hatch back, that you could almost park in a 4 yard commercial dumpster, Norman gets around. When we brought him up from Florida, he was packed with quite a lot of our household goodies. Nobody could be believe all this fit in my Norman.
(Note: Cat not included, she arrived separately.)
The other thing great about Norman is winter driving. Granted, he isn’t going to be climbing Mt. Washington any time soon, he’s not a Subaru…..let’s not get crazy. But, weigh him down with 150 pounds of cat litter in the back and no problem! Did I mention Norman is coming up on his 11th winter? He’s the bomb at winter driving. Small but mighty!
The one thing however, that is NOT Norman’s speciality is speed. Well, it depends on where you live. Speed for Alaska, Norman was a champion. Speed for Miami we managed as it was mostly giant highways and we just had to stay out of the way. Easy enough. Speed for Boston, there isn’t enough highway and way too many people. Mostly angry, impatient people.
Norman can go 80mph. In fact, he could go 90mph. He doesn’t like it and will tell you all about it with a rattle and hum. His comfortable maximum cruising speed is 70mph.
When Norman reaches 70mph, that’s when he has to call in the reinforcements. The squirrels…. to back up the little chipmunks that normally power the car. When you have to ring up the squirrels, it’s never a good thing cause they’re usually in the middle of their bocce ball game, taking bets on who is going to beat Marge and Harry. Then you have to bribe them with extra peanuts, which they don’t take, they want walnuts and not just any walnuts…they want the good ones with the gold star from California.
Now here’s the thing driving in Boston. It’s three to four lane highways. It doesn’t matter if we’re going into The City for work, going home from work, going to the volunteer at the animal sanctuary on the weekends….Norman and I are smart enough to know.
Stay to the right.
We aren’t the fastest. We’re not fooling anybody. Can’t you see, I’m actually leaning forward in my seat a little to try and go faster?
I’ll be damned.
Without fail however.
It doesn’t matter.
I always get someone behind me.
A (insert brand here) pick up truck.
A commercial van of sorts.
Who is insistent on riding my bumper.
Now this is what I alway say out loud. “If you look to your left, there are three other lanes to choose from over there. Look at all that space over there! What makes you think by choosing to ride my ass, it’s going to make all of us go faster? News flash….I’m in a Yaris.”
Then it dawned on me. Apparently, Norman has magically powers.
Obviously these City people think Norman has The Power….maybe it’s because he’s a mythical Unicorn….but they think he has The Power….to control highway speed.
To date, my little Norman, the Absolutely Red Toyota Yaris, has yet to transform into a Ferrari. If he does, I’ll let you know. Until then, we’ll continue to ride on the right….more power Marge and Harry!