Her very first car was a Plymouth Sundance we got from Cindy’s Dad it was a nice car and a trip to California was required to go pick it up, we got there and did the test drive routine, got her used to the manual transmission, went to the DMV and got the required forms to transport this vehicle out of state and off we went, my first clue of a potential problem should have been that when Melissa was driving hubcaps just seemed to fly, I blamed it on cheap hubcaps and really didn’t worry too much at the time.
We got into Albuquerque, NM and was only about four hours from home, I was the driver of this Plymouth with Melissa sleeping in the passenger seat, I was following Cindy who by this point had given up all thoughts of quitting smoking due to the stress of the actual thought that Melissa was possibly driving behind her, everything was going good when all of a sudden I see this tractor trailer coming up behind us at a high rate of speed, we are in the right hand land and he had plenty of room to pass but next thing I know my rear view is full of his grill, I change lanes and so does he, Cindy also changes lanes in front of me, I again change back to the right hand lane and he stays right on my bumper, Cindy has changed lanes again to give him room to pass, I turn on my left turn signal and go right onto the shoulder while Cindy changes to the left lane, now picture this, Cindy is in the left lane I am on the shoulder of the road and this Semi is going in between us, I am looking at my wife on the other side of the truck under the trailer and she is looking at me like “What The Hell?”, the truck goes on and we take the next exit to get off the road for a minute, I hit the blinker and this is what wakes Melissa up.
Melissa: Why are we stopping?
Me: We just have to stop for a minute.
Me: Because we were just almost in a wreck!!!!
Melissa: Well why didn’t you wake me up.
Me: Yea Right I can see it now, Melissa we are getting ready to have a wreck, you just might want to wake up so you can see this.
Melissa: You don’t have to be so mean about it.
Cindy confirmed the story and Melissa still thinks I should have woken her up during all of this go figure right.
We got home and did something that brings fear into all parents hearts, we turned our daughter loose in her very own car, one night about the time she was due home from work we were sitting like all good parents do listening to the police scanner when an officer transmitted the message that he was being followed by a car with no headlights, we laughed and joked that it sounds like something Melissa would do, next transmission was running the license plate number that I recognized as Melissa’s car, next transmission was the officer laughing and giving the message to disregard, Ok now we are anxious for her to get home, she sneaks into the house and I say:
Me: I thought that sounded like you coming in.
Melissa: How did you know it was me?
Me: I saw the headlights shining on the house.
Melissa: How do you guys know everything?
Cindy: because I am a Mom
The story was that the police officer walked up and asked why her headlights were off, she replied they are broken I can’t get them to work, the officer reaches in and says did you try turning the knob and turned the lights on for her, then turned and walked away laughing. I guess a bit of laughter within a lesson is better than a ticket.
Now this was actually a good little car in spite of the fact that Melissa wanted a Mustang, she cussed this car as being no good and I replaced the hubcaps a number of times before just allowing her to run around with one for quite a while, one morning we got a call she had been in an accident, we drove to the scene and there was her car sitting in front of Office Max with the back bumper pushed all the way up under the car, Melissa is standing there eating a chocolate muffin telling me that her car is totaled and insurance should replace it with a Mustang, Cindy talks with the police officer who stated Melissa was sitting with her signal on waiting for traffic to clear when the truck behind her did not stop, he was ticketed and she was not at fault, Cindy asked him “Is she doing OK” he told her “Look at my report, that is chocolate muffin all over it, I think she is OK”
Melissa was really upset when I got a chance to look the car over, the man at fault bought the bumper brackets and I installed them, you could not tell the car had ever been hit, no scuff marks or anything, this car would live to drive her to work another day, the Mustang would have to wait.
Melissa was always interested in psychology and forensics so during school she did a lot of studies on serial killers in hopes to add to her career interest in forensic psychology, about midnight one night she comes in hysterical, she had spotted blood and brain matter all over the road so she just knew something terrible had happened, she wanted to call 911 and get the ball rolling on solving this crime, I knew better than to call 911 just yet so against Melissa’s better judgment Cindy, Melissa, Blossom (our elderly poodle at the time) and I loaded up into my truck to go and investigate this carnage, she points the way out and the scene of the blood was just down the street from our house in the gutter, now this was a spot where a man I knew usually parked his old truck, Melissa was upset when I rolled down the window, looked out and said “Oil” and continued to drive to the next location which contained the brain matter spread all over the road, this scene was located on a concrete median and from a distance I could see what she had saw, I shined my flashlight on the brain matter which now had small leaves growing on it and said “Weeds” and continued to drive back to the house so we could get a good nights sleep without bothering the local 911 operator.
Melissa finally began making decent money for a kid and really wanted a new car so I found a Mitsubishi Mirage that was really nice, we got a loan for it in her name and began establishing a good credit rating for her, the problem with this car began when she called saying “I had a flat tire”, I drove up to Office Max where she worked and sitting next door in the funeral home parking lot is Melissa’s new car with two flat front tires, there were marks across the lawn going back to Office Max’s parking lot, I asked what had happened?
Melissa: I dropped my coke.
Me: OK why were you driving so fast in the parking lot.
Melissa: I only get thirty minutes for lunch.
I took the tires off and took them down to be fixed, brought them back and put them back on the car, not too awful long later we got another call “I had a flat” so I headed for Office Max again but with my floor jack this time. The story was pretty much the same just with two completely busted front tires this time and a rim to boot, I took Melissa with me to the tire shop with her coke stained Office Max Khakis, I had her tell them what she needed and that a rim was also needed this time and I was also so kind to have her pay the bill with the back of her pants being wet making everyone waiting behind her wonder what had happened, I don’t remember her having a flat after this, not in Office Max’s parking lot anyway.
It wasn’t long before she was ready to make her move to California, knowing her luck with tires I took her car down to Firestone and had a complete set of tires installed along with a front end alignment, this gift was something I was glad to do just to eliminate a little bit of worry, we actually drove out with her following us to help with the move, it was pretty uneventful as all the hubcaps stayed on and there were no flats along the way, a short while later we got the call that she was doing so well in her job that she could now afford a new car since her car was ready to break down just any day, she told us about a good deal she had found and Cindy’s Dad even verified that she had found a good deal, I talked with the salesman to see what the trade in was going to be and the price of the car with or without the trade was exactly the same, so we were now on our way back to California to pick up this car to use as a starter car for Tim, and Melissa was now finally driving a Mustang.
Cindy and I drove this car back to New Mexico with me thinking it sure felt like the front end was out a bit, I knew the tires were a matched set but wondered if she had hit something, to make a long story short it turns out my matched set of tires ended up being only three that were matched and a completely different size on the other, the spare didn’t even match so I made a call to Melissa and her answer was:
Oh I forgot to tell you---I had a flat.
Believe it or not Tim is still driving this car, and Melissa found out real quick how much more tires for a Mustang costs.