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So, I've held on to Bessie the Car for some months now, even though the new CR-V is kind of made of awesome and I don't entirely trust Bessie not to break down on me in the dark again. But the registration is due, and I needed to get it smog checked. I've been putting it off for about a month now, but finally I got it all settled.

Bessie won't start.

I think, officially, this is the end of Bessie. And while I really shouldn't be getting all waugh about this, because a) I have a very much functioning car and b) I hadn't trusted Bessie that much anymore anyway and c) Bessie has been a source of frustration for various reasons for years now...

I am.


Way back when I was first accepted into UCD, I was a newly minted driver in the family Nissan (which, frankly, was even scarier than Bessie is now - omg no airbags and built a little like a tin can. But it got me where I needed to go, and that was good.) It was decided that if I was going to be regularly driving 100+ miles to and from school, I needed a new car. Or, at least, a newer car, something made in the decade we were currently in. So I researched cars, not usually an interest of mine. I was very much into my 'made in America' phase, which I should have realized at some point doesn't necessarily extend to cars, but again, cars weren't (and generally aren't) my thing. So I settled on Saturns as my favorite choice. And there, on the lot, was an adorable car. A blue two-door Saturn Coupe, all low-slung and racy, with a fairly decent trunk. It had some bells and whistles attached, since it was used and two years old, such as leather, and OMG a CD player, which was something pretty dang snazzy.

Bessie the Car came home with me. She wasn't originally named Bessie, but the name sort of stuck after a while (and if you get the reference, you are of the win).

I drove Bessie myself to Davis, with my dad in the passenger seat. I drove like an old granny. :D

I drove Bessie to San Luis Obispo once late at night (getting lost in a not-so-great part of San Jose along the way) as part of a school club caravan to participate in a fencing match, where I had the great honor of coming in dead last. I did manage to score three points off of the best fencer in the match, however, even if I still have no idea how I did it.

Bessie made the trip back and forth between Davis and San Jose more times than I care to count. I emptied out the dorm room I'd lived in the first year and packed almost everything into Bessie. The room was so small that even with my little Coupe, it all fit. There really wasn't all that much - the rooms came furnished, and I could nearly touch all the walls from the center of the room.

I drove Bessie to my job at the shelter for two years, my car so easily spotted in a sea of sedans and trucks people knew if I was at work long before they clocked in. It was during this run that the alternator blew, and I learned how entirely unfun trying to get a car home with a blown alternator is. It's entirely unfun.

I drove Bessie to school at Foothill Community College for those same two years, while I got my vet tech license. Driving a shift on those steep hills was not the most fun thing I ever did, but I never crashed up there.

Martha the Wondercat came home with me from that shelter in Bessie, meowing pitifully all the way home. I didn't know then that the pitiful meowing whilst in a car was going to be a thing, for her. She's totally a backseat driver.

I drove Bessie to my second interview at UCD Vet School, and during that drive up I sang Queen rock anthems as loud as I could all the way there, and let them play loud all the way back, thinking I'd bombed it a second time. I got in that time.

Bessie was getting a bit cranky by now, but she still hadn't done anything horrible besides that alternator. Every day (sometimes multiple times a day) she got me to and from school, without too much complaint (though sometimes the oil pressure just went away, and I've never been able to figure that mystery out). The CD player died, as did the windows, and the sun roof, but all of that was work-around-able. Two colony dogs rode around in Bessie, though Fozzie spent more time than Diego (because Fozzie would stay in the back seats and be content to breathe down the back of my neck, whereas Diego spent the entire ride trying hard to crawl up onto the dashboard).

Bessie was the scene of the first major crime perpetrated against me - the dude who broke in, evidently sat there a while smoking his cigarettes and drinking a nasty vintage of Zinfandel, scattering my papers far and wide, adn then only stealing the emergency hammer I kept up in the glove box. He left the Zin, a baseball cap, and some cigarette butts I only found today under the floormat. They never caught him. I took to checking the car late at night.

Bessie made three trips to Tahoe, one of which being an Adventure of Epic Proportions as we drove along the north side of the lake in a snowstorm.

Bessie got me to my first real job omg as a veterinarian, and endured the six hour marathon drives from my training hospital to my apartment in an entirely different city and back while the powers that be took their time transferring me to the hospital I was assigned to in the first place.

Bessie was super cranky by now - she made several trips to Yosemite, but sometimes had to be convinced to let the key turn in the ignition. The oil had to be checked every couple weeks rather than every month or so - sometimes it was excellent, and sometimes it was a case of omgwtfbbq where is all the oil, and the check oil light never did come on. One thankfully not-so-cold but definitely dark and late night in August she failed entirely, barely making a U-turn on a busy street and not coasting far enough to let me get her pulled completely out of traffic. I got her fixed, but I also got the CR-V, as I'd been urged for years now to Get A New Car Already. We discussed trading Bessie in, but the look on the car dealer's face when he looked up Bessie's make and model was kind of hilarious.

I drove Bessie for almost another two months, until the weather got cold and it was routinely dark by the time I got out of work. I went and visited Bessie every once in a while, made sure the tires were inflated, that the engine still turned over.

I'm sorry, Bessie. I don't know what went wrong. Cars, you see, still aren't really my thing. I just know that when I turn the key there's not even an attempt to turn over. You were a really good car, Bessie. And you never forget the first one.


Bessie the Car, 1997-2011

So now, I need to find a good charity to donate Bessie to, and a name for the CR-V. Why? Because cars need names.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-02-17 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moofoot.livejournal.com
I'm like this with my Nova. The Beast is a classic...I need something more reliable, but UGH, I don't even want to think about parting with it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-02-17 05:43 am (UTC)
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveraspen
Cars definitely need names.

RIP, Bessie.

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