Friday, June 24, 2016

Car Wars: Episode I

Driving a car is a uniquely sovereign practice.

The power to simply jump in a vehicle and cover hundreds of miles in just a couple hours is an act of true liberation, as any Mennonite can enviously attest.

Pictured: unrestrained envy of my Ford Fusion.
And, when you drive a 175-horsepower, mid-size family sedan like I do, the experience is especially intoxicating.

I know I've got plenty of company when I say that, when I'm in my car, it's my world.

The temperature stays where I want it. The windows go up or down as I desire. And the stereo? Well, it's tuned to the sweet sounds WBWL "Blackwell Radio," all day every day.

Yep, in my car, my rules and druthers prevail at all times.

And by "all times" I mean only when it's just me in the car.

Because you see, dear reader, every single word I just wrote refers to the Blackwell who existed prior to having a wife and children, specifically a wife and children with opinions.

And let me start this diatribe with my wife.
Don't let her laid-back demeanor fool you.
She's a temperature Nazi. 

The moment she sits down in my car, Mrs. Blackwell transforms into a geriatric, a relentless stickler for temperature.

She likes it her way and, for whatever reason, that never aligns with the temperature in my car.

This fact is particularly evident during the summer months when she thinks it's too hot inside the car, or is it too cold? I can't remember.

To achieve her desired "just-so" temperature, she has an incredibly annoying habit of turning the air conditioner to full throttle and then corrupting the experience by putting all the windows down.

Let's get something straight: there is no, I repeat NO, logical reason that supports this arrangement.

You either run the air conditioner OR you put the windows down. They are mutually exclusive.

The results of this perverted practice are predictable: the air from outside the car reduces the air conditioner to little more than occasional whisps of chilly air, detected to one's knees.

He too has opinions. Terrible, terrible opinions.
In summation I'll just say that running the air with the windows down means one act negates the benefits of the other and ultimately amounts to a crime against all that is good in the world.

Case closed.

Mrs. Blackwell and I banter back and forth about the sheer and utter futility of all this and through our discourse we've established what I would call a shaky detente; though outside observers might call an outright win for Mrs. Blackwell.

Fine. No matter. At least I've got my radio.

Mrs. Blackwell and I have similar taste in music so she rarely raises her hackles at my tunes. The newest little guy will sit back and groove to whatever is playing; from Otis Redding to the Avett Brothers, the dude is down.

That leaves only the Boy to be pleased and, like his mother with the air-conditioning/windows-down arrangement, he too has his preferences and he too has a habit of winning but with far, far worse consequences.

But more on that in the next post.

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