Oct 6, 2006

My dad is savage

ok so, this morning I carpooled with my dad in the infamous 85 Oldsmobile. I hate this car. read up on my history with this car on an old blog i wrote. Not only is it a piece of shit, it stinks like 100yrs worth of smoked cigarettes. As we get within a block of his work the transmission slips and doesnt shift into 2nd. He puts a quart of ATF in it and sends me on my way and says to call if it doesnt shift... well it didnt, I called and ended up revving and driving the 2 miles or so to my work in 1st gear. ugh. so 3:00 rolls around and I redline it back to my dads work. Most people faced with driving 30 or so miles on a freeway in 1st gear would usually throw in the towell and call a towtruck... or find a nice cliff to drive it off. But not my dad. My dad is the guy who would rather repair 10 old busted ass TVs he found in the trash and say "hey who's laughing now, I got 10 free TVs" than just buying one new good TV. its like some primal thrill of the hunt thing for him, which i think i may have inherited in some way. People usually just call it being cheap. we call it handy. anyway... My dad thought about it for a minute and got that look in his eye. "eh, fuck it, we can do it... we'll just take backroads" and that we did.

Plotting our course as we went trying to avoid any open roads with speed limits over 30. Downhills were good since we could coast. In nothing but 1st gear we navigated through west oakland. Adeline to Broadway... I saw parts of Oakland I never knew existed! this is when he tells me he remembers the way to go because once he drove his old VW bus home from work without a clutch cable. grinding from gear to gear trying to time the RPMS with the transmission. only my dad. Then the inevitable. the beast we knew would be the worst of this adventure... the damn Caldicott Tunnel. It was the only real throughway into Contra Costa County and it required we take this limping heap on the freeway. The side mount front wheel drive V6 was screaming as we approached the end of the onramp. Like a kid learning to dive we clenched out teeth and dove in. Frustrated commuters are tailgating. We beg for them to pass. My dad never gave into the pressure and refused to turn on the hazzard flashers. "just gotta get through this tunnel, dont wanna break down in the tunnel.." determined and pushing that bitch to the limits, revving high then letting it coast in neutral intermittenly feet at a time... we both saw the light at the end of the tunnel. literally. after the tunnel is a long downgrade that the Olds was thirsty for. He put it in Neutral and coasted down, letting the engine cool down in the process.

we skip the first exit and not really sure take the next one. we had to because after that was a long uphill curve on the highway. After that it was guessing and instinct that got us out of Orinda. "is it this way?" as we venture further and further from the highway. Further into residential hills and narrow streets. "i dunno that looks like more houses i think the freeway was over there" "ok lets take the left" Every turn seemed like we were lost as the tree cover got darker and the roads less maintained. Then luckily we'd see something familiar and keep on trucking. Eventually we'd make it to a place we knew well but what we knew of it was 55mph roads and uphill grades. so we turned right at Pleasant Hill Road instead of left. crap now where are we? we asked a kid walking up this hill if this would take us to Walnut Creek. the sweaty out of breath teen replied "yea" with a tone of his voice that rang "oh please give me a ride and dont be a serial killer" we didnt pick him up. he was probably better off walking than us lost in this piece of shit car. so we continued and ended up exactly where we wanted to be. any other day down town walnut creek would be a nightmare with traffic and lights and uppity pedestrians. but today in the car with one gear, it was our savior. stop and go all the way down main st.

now its 4:30 and we're almost home. weaved and revved and coasted our way through Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and now we in the home stretch.. Pacheco Blvd. but wait "dad, pacheco is like 45 mph and there arent a lot of lights what way should we go?" damn almost home.. but we know Tinez like the back of our hands so we went the back, back road long way.

now its 5:30 and we pull into the driveway. put the car in Park finally and both think to ourselves "that car is gonna be sitting there for a while"

god i hate that car. But i love my Dad. Only my dad would drive a car in 1st gear from oakland to martinez.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude, our dads might have be best friends in another life... holy shit.