Flash Fiction of the day, Driver by Frederick Barthelme

“The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound.”
― Marshall McLuhan

Invasion Car Show Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

My son bought a car online, unseen. He filled out a form and a truck with a trailer drove up out front and dropped it off. I like that. I never liked dealing with car salesman.

I have never been a car person – to me a car is a box… I get in the box, manipulate some levers and a wheel, push some pedals… for a short time or a long time. Then I get out and I’m somewhere else – hopefully somewhere that I preferred to the place I used to be at when I got in the box.

That’s what a car is to me.

So I value reliability, gas mileage, and low cost. That’s pretty much it. It’s not surprising that I’m like that now, a spent old worn out man, but I was always like that. I always wanted a reliable, low cost, high mileage car.

One time when I was in my mid-twenties I went to buy a car. It was in a small city. The salesman kept taking me to hot souped-up crappy cars. There was a custom Mustang II Cobra, like the one Charlie’s Angels drove.  He couldn’t believe I didn’t like that car. I finally found one that I was halfway interested in. We sat in the car and turned the key and it wouldn’t start. It ground and groaned but wouldn’t turn over for more than a couple seconds.

“So do you like the car?” he asked.

“It won’t start.”

“Well, it’s been sitting here for a long time.”

“Do you really think I’m going to buy a car that won’t start?”

I left.

Since I enjoyed yesterday’s story by Donald Barthelme, I thought I’d link to one by his brother, Frederick. It has a skeptical car salesman in it.

Driver by Frederick Barthelme

Better to Travel Than to Arrive

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

When I was a kid, my father bought a piece of property somewhere, I don’t really know where. On that property was a barn and in that barn was an old International Pickup Truck – I’m guessing about 1950 or so. It was black.

If memory holds – all the thing needed was a new battery and fresh fluids and it started and moved. I thought it was so cool to ride around in that thing.

It was cool, but not as cool as this one.

Invasion Car Show Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Invasion Car Show
Deep Ellum
Dallas, Texas

Invasion Car Show Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Invasion Car Show
Deep Ellum
Dallas, Texas