If you read the title of this post and assumed you’d be reading about a woman who ‘dates’ men for money, you’re sadly mistaken, my friend. This is the Ford kind and I promise this story is better! When I was little, my mom drove a gold-ish Ford Escort and good grief at the stories that came from it! This thing was the biggest lemon ever made, not in the sense that it didn’t run properly -that wasn’t the problem- rather, it seemed to be a magnet for destruction.
It all began one afternoon in the dead of winter when I was playing in the living room. I heard something crack and when I looked out the front window (which was a straight shot to our driveway), I saw a massive limb drop out of the tree in the front yard and onto my mom’s trunk. I swear it was like something out of an insurance commercial! My mom thought I was joking when I told her what happened, told me it wasn’t funny, and then promptly realized I was being serious when she saw the limb and her fresh dent. It only went downhill from there.
Shortly after the tree limb incident, my mom had to stop by the store to pick up some things for a church potluck we were headed to, so my cousin, my brother, and I waited in the car. Evidently, the lady in the minivan a few parking spots down didn’t see us, because she rammed right into us when she backed up; then she pulled forward, backed up and hit us again. She did this several times before she realized she was hitting a car full of screaming children and finally stopped. Maybe it’s the flawed memory of an 8-year-old, but I remember the wheels coming off the ground on the side she hit every time she hit it, accompanied by our screams and flailing arms. It went a little like this: *boom* “AHHH!” *pause* *boom* “AHHH!” so on and so forth, which was terrifying at the time but hilarious looking back on it now.
Evidently, the impact from the woman in the minivan wreaked havoc on the back windshield, because even after the damage from her backing into us several times had been repaired, it didn’t stop. I was not present for this particular incident, but my mom was about to put my brother in his car seat when she opened and closed one of the doors, and the back glass absolutely shattered. We were still finding glass shards in the back seat well after it had been repaired, and the repair only led to more problems.
The back glass had these little strips of tape looking stuff that attached to the glass and the body of the car when my mom got it back from that repair. I’m not sure that it really served any purpose, but when they peeled it off, the strips took the paint with it. I wish I could say that was the end of the bad luck streak, but that is not the case. After that, a woman that my mom worked with hit the front end of the car, and not long after that (or was it before?) my mom rear ended my dad’s truck on the way back from the lake one Memorial Day weekend. On that specific occasion, I had been in my dad’s truck with him and my brother, who was maybe 4 at the time, was with her. She had told him not to get out of the car while they assessed the damage. Did he listen? No. Instead, he somehow managed to slam his thumb in the door. He lost a thumb nail, my dad’s bumper crumbled like a pop can, but the Escort was still completely in tact, which is ironic since it was the only accident during which mom had actually been behind the wheel. The cherry on top of the crap sundae was when the cassette player ate my mom’s favorite Beach Boys cassette. No more Escort jam sessions to Help Me Rhonda. Then it was like something in her snapped and she just didn’t care anymore.
The escort had been her first brand new car, but as you can tell, it wasn’t really a pleasant experience. So after everything I just mentioned, mom decided instead to have fun with it. We raced people in sports cars at red lights and would usually win… not that they were aware we were racing, but still! Every time the opportunity presented itself, we jumped railroad tracks and usually got a decent amount of air. I mean, it didn’t really matter what we did, the Escort was just cursed. She wasn’t even behind the wheel for the majority of the accidents! If this car was a person, it would be Eugene from Hey Arnold! and that’s putting it lightly.
I sometimes wonder what happened to that car and if the next owner had terrible luck with it too.