Ghost Ride the Whip

I’m not 100% sure what that phrase means, but I think it involves getting out of your car while it’s moving and jumping back in before something terrible happens. Sounds fun. I was searching for a car-related title to jump-start this entry (see what I did there?) and that was the first thing that popped into my mind. I think it was Kendra from “Girls Next Door” who first introduced the term into my mind. Thanks, Kendra. You’re a wealth of knowledge.

My car is notoriously unreliable and I pretty much only drive it to work and school (and occasionally down the street to the bar). If I want to go out of town at all, I have to rent a car, take a train or hitch a ride. It’s pretty inconvenient for a sassy adventure-seeker like myself. Despite its problems with long road trips, it has been pretty good about not breaking down when I need it day-to-day. Especially when you consider that I’m the worst car owner on the planet. My backseat has been full of boxes and random things since I moved from my previous house and I can’t remember when (if) I’ve had regular maintenance done. I’d like it to just run forever and not cause problems. Isn’t that what a 1998 Malibu is supposed to do?

About two years ago, my ABS and brake lights went on and brought with them a delightfully loud beeping noise that occurs whenever I put the car in motion after a brief period of being stationary. It scared me for a minute, but then I turned the radio up and decided if there were problems with the brakes, I’d notice. Two years later and I’m still doing fine, loud beeps aside. 

A couple of months ago, my stepdad noticed something hanging from the bottom of my car, near the front driver’s side wheel. He told me what it was and that he thinks there was a problem with the wheel bearing. He instructed me to get it fixed promptly if I didn’t want my tire to fall off. I nodded my understanding and informed him that it wasn’t going to get fixed unless the car fairy decided to leave some cash under my pillow. Having nearly forgotten about that issue, I was driving along happily last Friday when I noticed a disturbing grinding noise/feeling when I put pressure on the brakes. Great. My brake problem had finally caught up to me! Bastards. However, the grinding did not subside when I let up on the brakes, rather it continued until I reached a decent speed and also when I made any turns. The wheel bearing! No!

I’ve been driving around, taking care to stop only when absolutely necessary (watch out, yellow lights!) and hoping upon hope that nothing important, like a tire, falls off of my car while I’m in motion.  I can budget getting it fixed late next week but not a minute before. In the meantime, I’m continually embarrassed every time I have to stop near pedestrians, cyclists or other drivers with their windows down. It is an obnoxious noise that seems to scream, “I’m too poor for good things!” Oddly enough, nobody seems to notice or care.

I am seriously considering getting some giant rims to offset the general falling apart-ness of the rest of the car. That works. Right? Nobody will notice that my A/C doesn’t work, I have only a stock radio with cassette player, manual windows and locks, scratches & scrapes and that tiny little (terrifying) grinding noise. I’ll be rolling on dubs, ghost-riding the whip. Like a dorky white girl is meant to drive. Holla.



One thought on “Ghost Ride the Whip

  1. BigL says:

    Get some Curb Feelers while you’re at it and perhaps borrow the office Boombox for atop your pile of “necessary” items. If all else fails…add in a Sales career so the vehicle is a perk!

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