A Curbside Christmas Carol: Over The River and Through The Woods To Grandmother’s House We Go In Our 1979 Buick LeSabre

My name is Buck.  I’m a 1979 Buick LeSabre.  Yes, I know, you are thinking this is stupid as cars cannot talk.  Well, we can – didn’t you ever watch Knight Rider?

As the holiday season is rapidly approaching, I thought I would tell you about my last holiday experience.  Here’s what lead up to it…

My current owners bought me in January.  I had been bought new by an old couple named George and Gracie who kept me parked in the garage.  Once per week they would start me up and take me to the grocery store.  About once per year they would drive me just over two hours away to see George’s sister.  How boring.  I’m a car, I like to go.  George and Gracie sold me to my current owners when I was 15 years old and, boy, have they been making full use of me.

My new owner, Jack, really likes having a Buick.  He knows I’m one of the plain jane models made that year, one of 25,431 base model LeSabre sedans made.  Jack says I look more full figured than 3,523 pounds and believes a Ford Taurus will weigh about 500 pounds more than me by the 2013 model year.  Jack also says my being the third year of a design cycle should make me pretty free of major defects and very reliable.  I sure try to be reliable.

One day Jack and his wife Diane started packing my trunk full of packages and suitcases.  Jack had just changed my oil, checked the air in my tires, and replaced my wiper blades.  Their papoose climbed in the back seat with a pile of books and games, announcing she was ready to go.

As Jack and Diane climbed in, I was happy to feel my 155 horsepower 350 cubic inch (5.7 liter) V8 come to life.  It’s always invigorating when my engine is started, especially when I know I will be going for a really good run.  I’ve made this trip a few times before.

Jack is really happy I was endowed with a 350; he told Diane he was so thankful I had been born with the neither the 3.8 liter or 4.1 liter V6, nor the 301 cubic inch (5.0 liter) V8.  I’m also glad I’ve got a 350.

We immediately went over a large river on our way out of town.  The roads were really busy.  A few miles down the road, we turned onto the interstate to head west.  Wow!  The interstate was even busier.  I wasn’t born with cruise control but I knew Jack wouldn’t have dared using it with all this traffic!

A few miles down the road, Jack commented on the highway patrolman sitting in the median.  As soon as we went passed him, Jack yelled “hey, watch it!” and we hit the shoulder at full-speed.  I’m so happy Jack has the reaction time of a leopard; he said some woman in a Volvo sedan almost hit us as she changed lanes without looking.  That could have been really ugly!

The closer we got to Diane’s parent’s house, the more my owners started talking about what to expect.

Jack asked if Diane’s younger brother would be bringing his most recent girlfriend and if she, too, was toothless like the last few.  He also wondered if she would have her teeth in; that seemed like a horrible thing to say.

Diane wondered how her aging parents would be doing prior to their arrival as she was worried about their overall physical condition.  I can relate to the annoyances of aging.  She also warned Jack that her eighty-seven year old grandmother would be there.  Diane’s mother had warned her that Grandma has once again boycotted wearing underwear.

Jack again mentioned the girlfriend, wondering if she would have her teeth in.  He said he had ascertained the reason for her brother’s attraction to, and fixation with, toothless women.  Diane said to not be so uncouth.

I was really enjoying stretching my legs.  The conversation inside sure was interesting.  In my many conversations with other cars in parking lots, I find out nearly all people talk about really bizarre things when we are carting them down the road.  When I was with George and Gracie, Gracie always talked about poor Marlena on Days of Our Lives or what dress Vanna had been wearing the night before on Wheel of Fortune.  George always continued the Wheel of Fortune subject, wondering aloud if Pat had done Vanna; Gracie always told George to not be so uncouth.  The endless babbling must be a human thing.

Soon after another near miss when a Harley soft-tail turned left in front of me, we turned off the main road.  I am really enjoying the new brake pads and hoses Jack installed.  He says he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to his beloved Buick – that’s me!

The drive to Diane’s parents house is a rough one from the main road.  I had to go down a steep hill and through a creek.  We then turned down a bumpy and muddy gravel lane that meandered forever through the woods.  After a lot of bouncing that jarred every bolt and weld on me, we pulled into their driveway.  Their papoose jumped out and slammed my right rear door really hard.  Ouch!  Don’t people know that hurts?

Before Jack and Diane got out, they looked at each other and smiled.  Then they went into the house.

It was a nice sunny day.  I didn’t mind being parked outside a bit.

A while later Jack came out with an older gentleman.  I heard the older gentleman say, “watch out for Diane’s grandma…she is refusing to wear underwear again and she has on a skirt.  I’m tired of seeing her old wrinkled ass.  You got those presents?  Here, I’ll close the trunk.  I need a drink when we get back in; how about you?”  He was so gentle closing my trunk.

After a while, a Ford van pulled up.  All these kids kept getting out; I thought it was a school bus.  Every one of those kids ran their dirty hands down the side of me as they walked by.  I don’t appreciate that!

Shortly after, a ratty old Nova came down the driveway.  This must have been the brother and his girlfriend, as she had no teeth – she could almost pull her bottom lip up to the bridge of her nose!  She threw her cigarette underneath my back bumper – how rude!

It quickly occurred to me the Nova is my age.  It’s scary to think I could look like that.  It’s amazing how a little bit of care goes such a long way.  The Nova told me a frame-shuddering story about being raced and other indignities which happened with her previous owner.  I have been one lucky Buick!

I sat out all night.  It started to rain after a while.  I’m not used to that as I’ve always been in the garage.  It really made me cold, but it did wash off some of the mud I gathered coming down the driveway.

Being out in the woods was really nice.  I got to see all sorts of raccoons and opossums on the prowl that night.  The next morning, one of the feral cats tried to attack a turkey that was in the yard.  The turkey really clobbered that cat.

The next morning was cold.  Jack was making periodic trips outside to load me up.  He really likes the 21.2 cubic feet of storage in my trunk.  After a while, Jack and Diane came out with her parents.  They got inside with their papoose and Jack fired up my 350 cubic inch V8.  That makes me feel good.

On the trip back, my owners were laughing and shaking their heads a lot.

Diane talked about how embarrassing it was having her grandmother talk to some guests about getting her arms and breasts twisted while putting on her bra and how she had to cut if off with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Jack said that was better than catching her dad sitting on the toilet with the bathroom door wide open – and then saying to come on in.  Or Diane’s mom telling him she is mad about their not having had more children and how he and Diane should sneak upstairs to correct it.

Their papoose was dismayed that her grandmother had hot-glued all the ornaments to the Christmas tree and how she keeps it upstairs under a bed sheet the rest of the year.

Everybody questioned how someone could have used canning salt instead of sugar for both the pecan pie and the punch.  Both Jack and Diane breathed a sigh of relief over not seeing Grandma’s posterior.

At least I didn’t encounter any bad drivers on the way back.  Taking the backroads the day after the holiday certainly helps.  I do so enjoy two-lane roads with lots of hills and curves.  People talk about getting cardiovascular workouts; hills do that for me!

As Jack pulled me into the garage when we got back home, he said “this doesn’t sound good” right after he shut my engine off.  He told Diane the doorbell was stuck on; I could hear the “ding-ding-ding”.  They figured it had been going for nearly fifty-four hours.  Diane said something about “the poor cats”; well, I’ve never found a cat I could feel sorry for.  All they want to do is lie on my roof and scratch my paint.

But I still know Jack and Diane are happy with me.  Jack, every once in a while when nobody is looking, will pat me on the front fender.  He did tonight, telling me I’m one of the best decisions he has made all year.  That felt really nice.

I hope to keep Jack and Diane happy for a long time to come.