Back in the late 80s, my Aunt Barbara gave me her behemoth of a station wagon and my friends and I had an awesome time driving it around and causing all sorts of distress and that's the end of the story.
Except that the station wagon never made it to me. I never got to opportunity to create shenanigans in it.
Steve intercepted the wagon and I never got to drive it.
I think the station wagon was about 60 feet long and the back end of it could hold 23 people and 12 kegs. I assume that if it ran into a telephone pole, the driver would feel a slight bump and only notice later that the station wagon was covered in a telephone pole quantity of toothpicks. Its gas tank held 500 gallons of gasoline that would get it to go 45 miles. Aunt Barbara had multiple sclerosis so her station wagon was outfitted with an aftermarket accelerator and brake control on the steering column which made for interesting feet-out-the-window driving opportunities. I could be wrong about these descriptors, but I choose to ignore the truth,
I know for sure that some of you reading this are aware of the station wagon and probably ended up passing out in or under it. You have your own story. I know of two.
Steve had the station wagon for a while when the brakes started to go out. Like any good Powhida, he ignored the problem and hoped it would go away. It did not go away and, again, instead of fixing the problem, he created a work-around. As he was driving the station wagon through Toledo, he would watch the crosswalk signs in the distance. If he saw one of them start to flash, he knew that the light would soon be changing. To come to a stop, Steve would do the following:
1. shift from Drive into 2
2. shift from 2 into 1
3. press the brake pedal to the floor just for show in the hopes the brakes would kick in
4. engage the parking brake
5. shift from 1 into Park
7. steer the wagon into the curb for a frictional slow down
8. shift from park into reverse
9. drive up the curb and on to the grass
10. let the final momentum take the wagon off the curb and to the stop bar
Steve did this until he did get the brakes fixed or the wagon died
The Wagon Died
The wagon died. Steve knew it was going to die, it was just a negotiation with fate as to when. For Steve, it was on a road trip from Toledo to Ohio State. The wagon let the ghost go along the side of 23 South. Fortunately, it was a caravan of cars headed to Ohio State, so they were not stranded. Steve gave the wagon last rites and his buddies stripped or obscured every single VIN code from the wagon along with any paperwork that might point back at him or poor Aunt Barbara. They left the smoking husk next on the side of the road where nature would take its course. There are some that say that rusting bits of the wagon are still on the side of the road or that an auto mechanic from Detroit found the wagon and brought it back to life as a bus to take kids to school. Me? I think that the highway patrol had a semi tow truck haul the beast to Lake Erie where it was used to shore up part of the coast and keep erosion from pulling Cleveland into the lake. The wagon couldn't stop itself, but it can keep Cleveland from floating away.
(Please come back in a few days for photos of the wagon. I have reached out to Cousin Andy for photos. If you have photos, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)