Monday, January 23, 2006

Melancarly: FrankenMetro 1993 - 2006

FrankenMetro passed away while on work transport duty last Wednesday after a short illness (it had been stalling at stoplights). Its last journey was one of approximately 80 feet from my habitual parking spot to the mailbox, after which it was meant to take its wonted route to ACS. It was not to be. After cranking but failing to catch, I pushed its still-warm body back to its space and called AAA. It was towed approximately eight miles to The Car Shop, where dedicated mechanics labored to resuscitate it for two days before it was pronounced totaled at approximately 3:00 pm on Friday.

Over the course of its exceptional life, it had traveled over 127,000 miles -- I learned only after its passing that a Geo's aluminum engine is reliable only up to 100,000 miles, afterwards it drives on borrowed time. I had hoped to push it onwards past 200,000 miles, but apparently that's akin to my hoping my dog lives to be 40. As it was, in Metro years, it was probably already around 105.

I drove a company car back to the mechanic's, where it rests still, and cleaned it out for the last time, relieving it of its jumper cables, funnel, and registration documents. I rubbed its hood and bid farewell. It wrung my soul to see it finally and eternally still, defeated, immobile. After so many miles, after bearing me to view the breathtaking Anasazi palaces of Chaco, the remote and stunning Canyon de Chelly, and the beaches of Mexico and Florida, it could carry me no farther.

Some day this week, perhaps tomorrow, it will be towed to its final destination at the behest of the American Cancer Society, the proceeds of its sale to be donated to cancer research. It's what it would have wanted.

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"Oh Geo Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling..."

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