Posted by: cassymuronaka | April 7, 2010

Toad away, toad away, where do you go when you’re towed away?

I really can never write enough about the genetic predisposition to procrastination within my husband’s side of the family, a defining family personality trait that has evidenced itself in a phenomenal number of highly comical situations, assuming you haven’t been directly involved in any of the situations.

(see blog post: https://cassymuronaka.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/genetically-engineered-packrats/)

This is a photo of a white Dodge Neon that sat in our driveway for four years because my husband could not be bothered to call the Southern California Automobile Association, which held the title on it until we paid off the car. When the latter occurred, someone at AAA forgot to send us the pink slip, so when we eventually made the decision to get rid of the car and donate it to a worthy and tax deductible organization, we never had a way to prove it was ours.

During those four years that the car rotted in front of the garage, we would periodically retrieve slips of paper that had been stealthily placed under a windshield wiper, inquiring about the car’s availability for purchase, it being obvious that the car was no longer being driven. Sometimes people cruising down our street would slow and flag us when we were watering the front yard, or they would knock on our front door, always with the same question: did we want to sell the car?

I was dying to sell that car, but my husband always waved me away like a big fat fly, emphatically stating that the car needed too many repairs, wasn’t worth worth a dime, and would be of more financial value to us if we donated it. Which we never did. Because he never went to AAA to get the pink slip.

And like Charlie Brown perpetually running at the football Lucy placed on the ground in front of him, I continually believed my husband whenever I brought the subject up and he assured me with a straight face that he would be going over the hill to the auto association “next week.”

So I kept right on hosing off the dirty car and I maintained a frozen, non-committal smile on my face when one of my neighbors would ask, “Say, what are you ever going to do with that Neon anyway?”

Ironically, this was not our first go-around with an inoperable car that lay languishing, which probably makes it all the more inexcusable that I believed anything that my husband swore he’d do regarding the Dodge Neon. In our previous home, a townhouse complex, he had left a black Mazda 626 parked in the 24-hour-only visitors’ section of the parking lot for so long that one of our neighbors called to have it towed away early one Saturday morning.

The tow truck made so much noise that my husband, clad only in his underwear, sleepily wandered into the baby’s room to peer out the window at what was causing such a ruckus. He arrived just in time to see the car being dragged out the front gates and around the corner. And as my husband thundered out the front door, in futile pursuit of the tow truck, he saw the satisfied neighbor standing in her doorway and heard her shouting, “For God’s sake, it was there for two months!”

Two hundred and eight weeks after my husband first promised to remove the white Neon from the driveway of our second home, I hit the ceiling and remained there until he peeled me off, by promising that yes, he was going to go to AAA right now.

But he didn’t. What he did do was call the organization and instantly find out that he never needed a hard copy of the pink slip in the first place. Everything was “done electronically these days,” and all he’d ever had to do was make the same phone call he was making now. Shortly after that, a large flatbed arrived to whisk the car away.

The Neon has been gone for several years now. About five months ago, my mother-in-law passed along to my son an old white Honda Accord, so that he has something to drive to junior college and his part time job, after he gets his driver’s license this month. The car sits in the driveway with the other two automobiles that can’t be parked in the garage because of an excess of family possessions. Last week, one of my neighbors approached me in the yard and asked, “Say, what are you ever going to do with that Neon anyway?”

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Responses

  1. That is too funny. It’s reassuring to me, to hear we are not the only ones, who have had a car sit in the driveway, way longer than it should. Right now, we have a bicycle kinda hidden behind a bush, I see it every time I pull in the driveway. Our boys are long gone, the bikes been there 3 years! My husband says he’s going to rent a trailer and haul all the junk in our garage that we don’t use (we can’t get a second car- in a THREE stall garage) ! I really enjoyed your story.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad I’m just not entertaining myself. 🙂

  2. Wow, there’s someone else out there that lives my life! Our husbands must be long lost brothers. Don’t you just love it when they say….”Yeah, I’ll get to it next week”……a few weeks go by, then you ask again, and he says, “Yeah, I’ll get to it next week”………

    • I think my and your husbands have a lot of brothers in arms.

  3. Love this. Very funny.


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