Poppa needs a new pair of treads
March 6, 2018
I love new sneakers. Not only do you look good because your kicks are fresh but there's a noticeable boost to your confidence. It's like putting your creativity on display. The same thing happens for people who enjoy fashion but, for a guy like me who still has T-shirts from high school, shoes exemplify my style. However, there's a sweet spot to the shoe game that I enjoy even more than that out-of-the-box feeling.
It's that period when the shoes are broken in to the point that you can step into them like slippers, yet they're not falling apart at the seams. Also, as much as I like compliments, I'm not great at accepting them, so I like when the novelty is gone and I just look good.
The sad part is when your favorite pair of shoes becomes untenable. You may not want to give up on them even though the fabric between your heel and the plastic back is gone and they smell like your ski boot and a dead raccoon's carcass had a baby. Eventually, you drop the $100, slap those babies on your feet and forget about your last pair that had incredible character. It's like a specific aspect of your personality vanishes.
It's even more evident with larger pieces of your person, whether it be your favorite snowboard, your college house or, as is my case, your car. Betts, the metallic blue Blazer, is about to be donated to the elephant junkyard. I can't in good conscious sell her.
Here's a list of current defects:
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No air conditioning
Missing knob on the stereo
Passenger seat no longer reclines
Rear wiper doesn't work
Body damage to both bumpers, the rear gate and the driver side rear door
And here's a list of everything she's hit or been hit by (that I can remember):
Audi station wagon
Toyota 4 Runner
The thing is, though, if she could make it to Denver or any other regional trip to get out of the valley, I'd make her last. I drove her over Independence Pass during the summer and she made it, but the windshield wipers crapped out for a few minutes.
If Betts was a pair of shoes, she would be those flip flops with the straps that are hanging on for dear life along with soles that barely have any rubber left on them.
I've moved three different times — Omaha, Nebraska, to Aspen; Aspen to Miami and Miami back to Aspen — with that car.
During her delivery days, the door got so beat from opening and closing that it stopped latching. On the way to the auto shop, I had to physically hold the door shut from the outside because the inside panel that controls the windows started coming unscrewed from the frame.
The engine block cracked on the first trip out to Aspen, forcing me to get a tow from the turnoff to Buffalo Bill's grave. It was replaced with a different Blazer engine, in essence making her a Franken-Chevy.
When I lived in Miami, the AC didn't work and the heat was stuck on face-melt mode. The back of my shirt made me look like I had a pituitary gland condition.
Once during a humid summer weekend, I took a road trip to Kansas City from Omaha with a couple of friends and neither wanted to sit in the front seat. Even though I could turn the fan off, the heat had to get out somewhere and that route was directly on your feet. On the way back it started raining and the constant stream of heat fogged up the windows, so we had to drive with the windows partially open.
It took moving back to Aspen for the heat to finally fail, leaving me with a car I can only drive conditionally. You don't realize the luxury of defrost until you go to scrape your windshield and the rubber peals away from the wiper because it's stuck to the glass.
She's been through tropical storms and white outs, over mountain passes and cruised South Beach. I wish I could be the one to give her that final commute of death; rattling from hip-hop played too and rumbling into the sunset, her metallic blue paint gleaming, reflecting red, orange and purple hues.
Betts isn't for sale because Sean Beckwith needs to donate her for a tax break. Sean is a copy editor for the Aspen Times. Email him at email@example.com.