Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Aquamobile

The Aquamobile
She's got 190,000 miles on her, and she still runs like a top. She very seldom needs anything more than routine maintenance. I drive a 1991 Chevy S-10 Blazer: 4x4, 2 door, 4.3 liter V6 engine.

Oh yeah, one other little peculiarity: she's painted public swimming pool aqua. I call her the Aquamobile. Hard to mistake a vehicle like that. When people round here see me coming, they know who it is.

I live out in the country on a gravel road, five or six miles from the nearest state highway. Moreover, this corner of Iowa is filled with hills and bluffs and deep valleys— it is anything but flat. Winter driving weather isn't upon us yet, but I'm sure it'll be here soon.

In my line of work, I have to do much of my driving on these winding and often steep gravel roads. I have received emergency calls in the middle of the night: I have to be ready to go, no matter what the weather, no matter what the roads are like.

My first winter here, I drove a wimpy little Buick. It just wasn't up to the job. When I went shopping for a new vehicle, what I was looking for was something sturdy and reliable with four wheel drive. What I wasn't looking for was an SUV painted public swimming pool aqua! But the price was right (As the dealer put it, "If it was red, I could've sold it a long time ago"). And the Aquamobile has proven indispensable in more than one winter snowstorm. Or you should see in the spring, when the frost comes out of the ground and the gravel roads here turn into an impassable gumbo!

I know SUVs get a lot of supercilious bad press from the Gucci "blue state" crowd, as if you need a Hummer to drive to the mall. But I very seldom visit the mall, which is purner an hour's drive from here in any event. I just need a vehicle that gets me where I need to go, out here in a pretty rugged and largely unpaved rural area.


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