Thursday, March 31, 2011

Driving the Mummy Mobile

I call it The Tank. A friend calls hers The Behemoth, though I have a feeling hers is larger than mine. No, we aren't using euphemisms for any body parts. We're talking gas guzzlers here.

A few weeks ago, my faithful car of ten years was sold. I loved that car. It was a colour one could never miss, meaning I never had to wander through parking lots just to find it, and it took me everywhere I needed safely - to and from work every day, on errands, and to every doctor's appointment when I was pregnant, including the trip to the hospital on the day Little A was born. Best of all, it got great mileage.

Little A loved the car too - he picked it out among others in a crowded lot, marked orange as his first ever favourite colour, and always chose the little car over daddy's big black truck when asked.

Still, there were signs that the orange car needed to be replaced. In the last few years, servicing costs were through the roof. Major parts needed changing. Rattling sounds wouldn't go away. Luckily, our friendly mechanic agreed to buy it for his daughter, since he knew what a great car it really was and had the ability to fix it up relatively cheaply. So what started as a servicing trip ended up being the last time I saw my little car. And I didn't even get to properly say goodbye.

I wanted another fuel-efficient car to replace this one, but given the budget we had for a "new" old one, there was none to be found. Available little cars were in poor condition, miles racked up were astronomical, or they were just as old as my orange one, meaning the same costly repairs would be needed.

Then Big A found a great deal. On a car for himself. One that was old, but in wonderful condition and with a ridiculously small number on its odometer. It was a car we could sell easily in a few years and still make good money on.

So now Big A had two cars, and I had none. The big black truck suddenly became my car, and in one fell swoop I went from carbon credit conscious girl to suburban mother in tank.

The truck is large. It keeps us safe. Little A and I are like two peas rattling around in it, and because it has so many areas to explore (a large roomy trunk accessible by climbing over the backseat), he is hardly ever in his car seat. He also insists on riding his Little Truck inside the big one whenever possible.

It is not hard to drive, and not that hard to parallel park - the turning radius is more of a hindrance than the size. But it consumes fuel frighteningly. We now get less than half the mileage Little Orange Car did. And with everything that's going on in Libya, petrol prices are sky high. So we need to make adjustments to make up for this sudden size increase in our family's carbon footprint.

Anyone with any suggestions on how to do that, please send them over.

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