Imagine that you have endured an entire Midwestern winter, especially the often brutally windy and cold kind that we have in Chicago, and have done so with a smile on your face. You’re basically a thankful person who tries not to grumble, especially about things outside your control. “The winters here are what keep the city population in check!” is what you have told yourself, claiming bragging rights of regular and repeated survival of the frigid temps to friends and family who live in other parts of the country or the world. You’ve been responsible with your finances and maintenance of your home, yourself, and your cute, little Volkswagen convertible.
A few, miscellaneous warm days in April have made you giddy with anticipation of what the summer will bring. In fact, one day reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius), and you have turned the climate control dial in your 2000 Cabrio* from the red section all the way to the end of the blue within the course of one day. With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, you have spent months dreaming about lowering the convertible top in your Aqua Blue Pearl Cabrio and taking your first open-air joyride of the year. First, though, let’s let in some fresh air through open windows. Aaaaah.
Man, oh man, does that cool air off Lake Michigan feel great. Invigorating! There are few things I like better than a breezy drive wrapped in my favorite cable-knit sweater, with a tumbler full of hot coffee from freshly ground beans and an eclectic soundtrack that encompasses all my favorite music. Maybe having the windows all the way down is a bit much for today. I mean, it is only seventy (twenty-one) degrees, and while it feels balmy in April, by the time September rolls around, this temperature might feel like it’s bordering on sweatshirt weather. Let’s put the windows most of the way back up. That’s better.
What a fun little run! Those two liters of 115-horsepower fun have never let me down before. Time to parallel park this baby so I can get home and back to the rest of my day. And plus, with all that delicious coffee I just drank while driving around, nature is calling, so let’s keep all fingers and toes crossed that one of the college students from nearby Loyola University is leaving in their car to go somewhere this Sunday afternoon. We don’t need any emergencies of the bladder. Okay, wait… here we go! This thing is as easy to park as it is fun to drive. At barely over 160 inches long, it fits where many cars half as fun could squeeze in.
Time to put the windows all the way up, and power down. Uh-oh. What’s going on? Maybe I didn’t press the window buttons hard enough. Let me try this again. Is there some window lock in this car that I don’t know about? I did buy this Cabrio used, and am still making discoveries about it. Why else would both windows be stuck in exactly the same position? Let me try turning off the engine and switching it back on. Still nothing?! You have got to be kidding. Memorial Day weekend is coming up in a few short weeks and the power window actuator decides to stop working now? Thank you, Volkswagen. Thank you very much. Instead of getting ready for my evening plans, I’ve now got to track down some clear plastic and blue duct tape, as rain is in the forecast for this evening. And then, how am I supposed to get in and out of this thing? Re-tape the windows shut each time? I’ll start getting estimates next week.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Memorial Day Weekend.
*I thought I should add that this is fiction. I do not own this car.