Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Bug's Life

For two days, a small dream came true. Anybody remember the Herbie movies? The Love bug and Herbie goes banans and Herbie goes to MonteCarlo? I loved the Bug. Always wanted to own one. After my attempts at getting one were promptly squished by BigGeek many years ago- he warned me he would never sit in one, let alone drive it, I gave up. There was to be no Volkswagen Beetle in my life – also, it was a coupe and with a baby planned, it would be hard to navigate the whole car seat thing with no back doors and all that.

Two weeks ago, no it more like three weeks ago, I had a fender bender. I was stopped at a light and a guy in some Nissan came behind me, forgot to stop and rear-ended my car. I had a whiplash, the rear bumper was splintered. When I took the car to an auto body shop, they told me it had to be replaced. So this Monday, I rose, bright and early and took my car down to the shop to get it fixed. My insurance provided me with a rental car and I waited for 40 minutes to get one, my best scowl plastered on the face.

Finally, a shuttle arrived and took us down to the rental car office. I was still scowling. They had told me the rental car would be at the shop and it wasn’t and I was getting late for work. I surveyed the cars in the parking lot while I waited. Predictable Kias and Nissans, the odd Ford and Chevy. I didn’t care which car I got. I just wanted to get out and on my way. As I went up to the desk and handed my papers to the blonde behind the counter, she beamed at me. “I just have a VW beetle come in. Would you like that?” Would I like that? Would I like that? Was she kidding me? Hell, yes. I am a certified chick, y’know. “And it’s green.” she added, her eyes twinkling. I could see eyes burning holes in my back. But my scowl had turned into a happy grin. An apple green bug for me. Yay. I prayed the body shop took a week to fix the bumper. The car was brought to the front and I happily sat inside. It was spacious. Beautiful big windows.
And that little car had some remarkable pep. Compared to the staid “Mommy” Honda I drive. I was ecstatic. I hadn’t been this ecstatic over a “thing” in a very long time. I eased the car into gear and it purred and zipped away.

Ten minutes later, the sun started to stream in my eyes. I leaned to flip the visor only to find that my five-and-a-half-feet tall frame could barely reach it. Minor Annoyance One. A few minutes later, I made a turn, the sun moved to my left and I reached out to move it to the window only to find that it barely covered half the window. Minor Annoyance Two. No box to store my car essentials – parking badge, EZ pass, cell phone charger, junk. Minor Annoyance Three. And the ride was bumpy (ok, they call it sporty, I call it bumpy). Minor Annoyance Four. I tuned the radio to a news station and cranked the volume waay up. The car was super noisy. Major Annoyance One. But the biggest annoyance was that nobody took my road presence seriously. When I am in the Honda on a crowded road during rush hour, nobody will dare to cut in front of me from a piddly side street. With the bug however, people thought I was just driving a toy and had really nowhere important to get to, and boldly cut in front of me. All the time. Major Annoyance Two.

By the second day, I sorely missed my Honda. I was what I drove. I was very unlike the Beetle. I was not small and cute, I was not noisy, I really had no pep to speak of. And like my Honda, I was more, let’s just say, umm, mature looking and gray and reliable. Quiet. Staid. Mommy-like. So, despite the initial euphoria, I was mighty glad when the body shop called me at work and told me the work on my car had been done ahead of schedule.

I went picked up my car yesterday evening and turned in the VW Bug. It was a fun ride, but I was relieved it lasted just two days. When I went to pick up Chip in the old car, he was sad. He had so liked the VW Bug. I explained to him again that it was a rental and now that my car was fixed I had no need for it. Hours later, after we got home, he stood in our picture window watching the street, and turned to me and said “You know Aie, you were driving that rental very fast this morning.” It IS a good thing I don’t drive a VW after all!


K 3 said...

Who says only men love their cars! ;)

K 3 said...

Forgot to add, had a similar experience a few years ago with the 'then' cool car - PT Cruiser. We got it as a rental (utter surprise) but it was so bad, all the buttons in the wrong place, bumpy ride etc and then we got a flat tyre the very next day. Had to call up insurance to get a dependable Toyota from the rental company!

rayshma said...

hehe... i also LOUVE the beetle! that's the only bug i like, i assure u.
but Vs already squashed it. reminding me that by the time we can afford another car, it'll be time to get a kid/dog friendly one. these men, i tell u!
p.s.: u sure u didn't condition urself to dislike the beetle so u would be okay with returning it..?

Vinita said...

I agree with you. NO one takes the bug seriously including me. I always think it must be some teenager out for a fun drive. I am in Texas and most of the automobiles you see on the road are big ones, Ford king size truck being the most common ones,then chevy vans , SUVs and ofcourse lets not forget when you see a small pink beetle weave in and out of the lanes it does bring a smile but always makes me think why would someone be driving a toy car at this time of the day.


DotThoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DotThoughts said...

K3: Tell me about it! I couldnot understand the rage that was PT cruiser. Everybody wanted one! Never drove it but am not surprised that the UI was all wrong!

rayshma: hahahaha. good question :) But, no I don't think so. see, thats the thing abt VW and apple. They look cool, but most people would much rather buy Hondas and PCs.

Vinita: I am surprised they sell the bug tin Texas ;-) You know it was only when I was driving it I realised I never take the bug seriously on the road.

I love Lucy said...

Oh my god!Are you ok??Did you go to the doctor?

noon said...

I read the comment from I love Lucy and only then thought - Oh yeah - are you OK?! :) Assume you are! :)
I never liked the bug - actually when I in the "dheko" scene (meaning parents looking for eligible bachelor) I was supposed to meet someone after a couple of convos on the phone. We met at the local shopping area - I was beyond embarrassed when he waited for me with a huge bouquet of roses...I held it and walked with him hoping no one would spot me and cursing him for doing this to me - making it so obvious that it was not a casual meet with a friend...and then we headed out to a restaurant - walked to the parking lot and there it was - his little bug. I really didn't say no because of that - but it certainly didn't help! :)
I love my Honda too! :)

Mira's mom said...

Hey, never sat in a VW but I too love the Toyota we have! Nice, simple, reliable and as you said, mommy like :-)

Kodi's Mom said...

had a nice time picturing you inside a bright green beetle scowling at all the minor and major annoyances. so yes, the bug experience was enjoyable for me too :)

Gauri said...

Lookswise - hell yes - VW beetles look super cute :) Practical experience - from your post - seems otherwise !! :)

And hmmm .... like the saying goes "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" :D

Enjoyed the funride :)

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

It's not so bad...been on quite a few rides with sis-S. But own one?Hmmm....prolly not!!
Never realized the attitude toward bugs tho :)

mixedblessings89 said...

Haha my mum's always wanted her own bug. Anytime she sees one on the road, she'll be like point to it and tell us how much she wants one like it.


Preethi said...

aaw.. you just squashed my dream.. I have always wanted a beetle bug.. M looks at me like I am crazy!! And I dont like telling him he was right :P

GettingThereNow said...

I have wanted to drive (OK - own) a bug for so long!!! I have told J I will buy one as soon as the kids are off to college :P

But good thing you listed the minor and major annoyances. Some I can live with, others I can't. So it will be a good information ot come in handy when I do actually go out to buy one.

How's the whiplash? Hope not too serious? Hope you tore into that Nissan driver. I would've. Was Chip with you when it happened?

Shobana said...

I always love(d) that car and go crazy when I see one on the road...have been nagging the man for one for a very long time.But after reading your account, I am reconsidering that thought...not saying anything to man, yet.

DotThoughts said...

i love lucy: yeah.. was deaf for a day, but OK otherwise!

noon: what a memory! the guy got you flowers AND he came in a bug. both are deal breakers for me :) Hugs, Honda-mate!

mira's mom: I used to have a VW Jetta and I loved it, but it had a LOT of probs with electronics. In the end, I traded that for a Honda.

Kodi's mom: hahhaa. it IS a cute car. no denying that.

gauri: it is, it is. I love VW cars.. very peppy and good lookcing.. had a Jetta before, but elextronics/conviniences.. that sucks.

gnd: I never realised it until I sat in one and now I realize I treat them the same way...unknowingly!!! whowouldathunk

mixed blessing: I don't blame her. she is a certified chick too :)

preethi: oh.. don't tell him he is right :)

gtn: cars are a very subjective thing. What I like, you may not. but, buy a porsche if you must buy a midlfe car :)
Thankfully Chip was not with me. I was on my way to work. And am haing a terrible time dealing with insurance. Need to do a rant on that soon.

shobana: hehehehe. its a cute car and very peppy. just not me though.

~nm said...

After reading the first few liens I thought you are going to write about Herbie rides movies :D

The lat I had seen any Herbie rides movies was about 23 years ago so I was reading away frantically till I realised what the post was about. I was tad bit disappointed but by the time I reached the last para I was grinning and giggling.

Mona said...

hey dottie, thanks God you're okay :) and a bug huh? lol, i've never lusted after that - this green bug with large yellow flowers painted all over it ruined it for me forever.
we own a honda too, and i looooove it!

Squiggles Mom said...

grass is always green on the other side :). thank you for your comment on my post, it meant a lot.

Mama - Mia said...

well least now you know for sure your honda rocks!! :D

had so much fun reading this post!!



Orchid said...

:)...i drive a what does that make me, I wonder ???

PG said...

That was such a cute read and i almost guessed it even before I read about your "rendezvous" with VW beetle. A mom and a beetle? it just doesn't fit together! No, I wasn't surprised.
But, isn't it good to know it now. Could you have had a better way to know this?!

Itchingtowrite said...

pls collect your award

DotThoughts said...

~nm: the herbie movies are so nostalgic, na?

mona: ROTFL. @this green bug with large yellow flowers painted all over it ruined it for me forever.

squiggles mom: you are welcome :)

mama-mia: glad you did :)

orchid: makes you a massive VW fan :D

pg: but i see so many moms driving it. its almost like a mid-life crisis car. I'll take a porsche instead.

Itchy: heading over!

choxbox said...

oh dottie, dont get me started on cars. as you said we are what we drive. absolutely.