Kermit the car RIP…

I took possetion of a 1992 Honda Accord on January 9th, 2004. It was purchased from Team Honda in Baton Rouge LA. Because of the color the car quickly came to be known as Kermit the car. It turns out that it wasn’t easy being green.

Kermit when new (for me).

Kermit when new (for me).

On May 5th 2008 at almost exactly 5 pm (5/5, 5:00), while driving at about 80 mph, shortly after entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed near the highest point on I80 East of the Mississippi in central PA, Kermit’s engine made a fairly disturbing sound, emitted a cloud of white smoke, and stopped running. I pulled over to the shoulder, and called the Better World Club (eco alternative to AAA). I was on day two of a two day drive from Boulder CO. I had about 4.5 hours ahead of me to get to NY. It took over two hours for a tow truck to arrive. When it did, the guy told me I was about as far from a town as I could possibly be. He towed me to the town of Clearfield. Explaining on the way that the garage would be closed but he would drop me at the Super 8 Motel and then drop the car at the garage. I should call in the morning and find out what the story was.

So I checked in (they had a 10% discount for people in my kind of plight), and went for a walk. The sunset was breathtaking, and it became clear that I had a choice; I could torture myself with the frustration of a thwarted trip, and anxiety over the fate of the car (I was having trouble thinking of anything trivial that would have caused the symptoms it was presenting). Or I could breath the mountain air, and allow the sunset to work it’s magic. I took the later.

In the morning I called the garage. I was hesitant because I couldn’t figure out a safe way to pronounce the name “Bob Boob’s Garage” but I think Mr. Boob is used to this. I told him the story, he said he would take a look at Kermit and get back to me. It seemed like 15 seconds, but it must have been 5 minutes later, he called to say “Yeah, your car is dead. DOA.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said “Your engine done blown up.” So I made preliminary funerary arrangements and went about trying to find a mode of transport for me and my stuff. After many investigations it turned out that the best bet was to take a “Silver Bullet Cab” company car to Du Bois (pronounced “Doo Bois” not “Doo Bwa” I learned) airport to get a one way rental from Hertz. This was enough of a distance that the cab fair was 75 dollars, but there was simply no other way to get there. The driver was a fantastic retired bottle plant worker with a severe stutter unless he was quoting someone. We had a great conversation the whole way. I got a car and went looking for Bob Boob garage inc.

Bob Boob sign.

Bob Boob sign.

Found it, and stripped everything I wanted off of Kermit, pulling out my stereo etc. And then I drove away. This is a picture of Kermit as I left it. Damage is visible on the front port side from the deer we killed last year.

Dead Kermit...

Dead Kermit...

I liked Kermit. It was a fun car and we put a lot of miles in together. 4 round trips between Baton Rouge and New York. New York to Arizona and back. Twice to Louisville. Chicago. Kalamazoo. It was stolen and recovered and had two stereo’s stolen out of it (once when the care was taken). And of course there was the deer in Michigan last year. However, I was thinking of getting rid of the car. Kermit’s death accelerated the process. Removing the band-aid quickly. In many ways I’m more relieved than anything. I was trying to use it to get to gigs as a way of reducing my carbon footprint. I just wish that Zip cars let you go between cities, but we’ll have to wait on that.

Anyone got a Segway they’re not using?

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