You can read join the whole Caddy party & catch up on what's going down and the #6-10 of my top 10 memories HERE and HERE. This is a "blog party" honoring my caddy that is 20 years old and passed 200,000 miles!
*(& This picture to the left is NOT how many miles are suddenly on my car... that's just 200,000 miles exactly converted to kilometers. 321,868. Pretty cool! Can YOUR $300 a month car do that?)
Here are my top 5 memories in the Caddy over the last 200k...
#5 - Hurricane Ivan Trip to the Beach. [I think there were actually many hurricane/tropical storm trips to the beach in the caddy while I was in college. Those were the biggest waves for surfing of course.] This story wasn't actually during the hurricane, but a few days AFTER Hurricane Ivan! The pretty famous hurricane that you may remember. The beaches had been "shut down" and even the bridge and roads to the beach... we were dying to go though and determined to find a way to get there. My crazy roommate, Jeff and crazy next door neighbor (and later roommate), Andrew piled into the Caddy with all their beach stuff, stoked to spend a day at the beach... finally. But it took FOREVER! It was usually a 15 minute drive to the beach from campus, but this day it took a couple hours because of all the roads that were closed down + a big wreck. We sat in traffic FOREVER! [Pictured to the left are Jeff, Andrew, and I - the 3 in the middle.]
Of course we got bored. There were COUNTLESS Chinese fire drills that took place while we were inching along... but we put our own twist on them! We would actually leave the car in drive and let it keep rolling!!! the guy driving would hop out to run around the car and complete his Chinese Fire Drill by getting in the back seat... while the other guy who had just been in the back seat would hop in the passenger side, jump across and take the wheel & drive the car for a second until he jumped out... and this same scenario kept going & going... & going. haha. [If you haven't tried this, it's a lot of fun! I wonder if anyone else thought of it 1st? Maybe we should patent it?]
I think Jeff wanted a tan so bad that he got out & started walking beside the car with his shirt off. We made A LOT of fun of him! Then he found something like an OLD reel of video tape. He decided it would be fun to unravel it out the window of my Caddy as we inched along. Then we finally started driving fast as we passed the wreck and there was like a mile of video tape reel out my window flying in the wind like a kite at 60mph. good times for sure.
We made it to the beach and had a great time. We walked right in the back door of some beach houses that were wide open with 8 inches of sand in the living room and no doors or windows. Crazy.
#4 - almost arrested on... "Robert E. Lee Day"? I was driving back to college after Christmas break of our sophomore year. Crystal was already there because she had to be there a week or two early to take a class. But I had ALL her stuff in my Caddy AND all my stuff. (That is 1 cool think I haven't mentioned about the beloved caddy... It has the capacity to fit the entirety of 4 peoples' earthly belongings inside it! It has corners and crevices that would blow your mind where I can fit an inordinate amount of stuff!) Anyway... the car was LOADED with suitcases and bags and boxes of ramen noodles.
At about 2am I got off the exit for Flomaton, Alabama (More people lived in my dorm than in that whole town!) Every student from north of Florida knew this exit... It meant you were ALMOST THERE! It was only 1 hour from the college. The Caddy was tired and so was I. I was ready to get to my dorm room and sleep. As I was getting off the exit to go through Flomaton (Redneckville, USA) apparently I didn't fully stop at the red light when I made my right turn. A cop came speeding up behind me sounding his siren and flashing his lights like he was chasing down OJ. There was road construction on both sides of the road with big orange barrels totally blocking both sides so there was OBVIOUSLY no place for me to pull over. Literally, the only thing I could have done was to stop in the middle of the road. That seemed like a dumb option. So I turned on my turn signal to let the cop know I was pulling over as soon as I could and I slowed down to about 20 mph. About a half mile later I finally was able to pull into a Hardees parking lot.
That redneck cop came out of his car like a big dog chasing a wheelbarrow full of steak... he was cussing at me and yelling something about "don't city boys in blankity cadillacs know what blue blankity flashing lights mean" or something? I told him I did know what blue flashing lights mean, but thought it best to wait until I could actually pull over. Apparently me talking made him even more upset. He yelled something more about "avoiding arrest" being a major crime and not a joking matter... [avoiding arrest?]
He asked for my license and I simply reached into my pocket and handed him the card in the spot in my wallet right where my license always is (without looking at it). He threw it back at me & with a few more expletives about this not being a driver's license... as my student ID card was hitting me in the chest. My driver's license was NOT in my wallet. Then a whole crazy middle of the night ordeal ensued in which he accused me of driving without a valid driver's license (which technically I was, but he accused me of never even having one). He said I had to go to jail for that. He called in the Sheriff of the whole town and a few other cops (probably their whole station) for "backup". They grilled me about all kinds of stuff - like if I was bringing drugs into their town and on and on. The Sheriff was a jerk and really got on my nerves (so much so that a certain Bob Marley song was totally stuck in my head. jk... sort of) and actually believed that I was trying to run away from this cop when he was pulling me over. I said "Like my Caddy could even outrun you." And the cop said "You better believe you woulda been toast boy... this here cop car's got a 454 super sport in it... I coulda whooped your..." and on and on.
The Sheriff insisted on taking me to jail so they could sort all this out in the morning. I was not so into that (I've heard the stories about what goes down in these crazy off the map redneck towns... which was confirmed about these guys later) so I think I told them my license must be in one of the suitcases in the car. They looked in the bulging trunk and backseat full of suitcases and said they didn't feel like watching me going through them all night long. Still trying to make my case I pleaded "I can't go to jail, I have to register for classes tomorrow." And they thought I was lying since the next day was a holiday. I said "A holiday? Oh yeah, Martin Luther King Day." And the Sheriff said, "Nope. Robert E. Lee day!!!" oh wow. My heart started beating crazy fast and my knees shaking a little bit. I told myself "Just get out of here alive before these crazy rednecks pull out their white sheets and lynch you up or something." End of the story is they let me go, but I still had to go to court for driving without a license, "resisting arrest", & running the stupid red light. I did convince the judge that I wasn't resisting arrest in spite of what this fine deputy sheriff thought...
#3 - Shake my Moneymaker. The Caddy has honestly been a straight up moneymaker for me! Let me shake it down for ya... A couple weeks before I turned 16 I bought my 1st car - actually it went down like this = My dad went out and found a sweet deal at an auction or something and brought home a pimp Honda Civic si with a sunroof, sweet rims, etc... He was like "What do you think about this for your 1st car?" & I was like "I LOVE it!" & he was like "Great. You owe me $1,100." Pretty good deal. I think I put about $900 more into it fixing it up. (So, $2k total.) I drove it for a year or so and traded straight up for a SHO (which I JUST heard they're bringing back!) & then another year later traded straight up for my beautiful Caddy. So really, I've got about $0 in the Caddy. that's not bad.
Here's the "moneymaker" part = It 1st started in college. There was a colossal hailstorm down there in Florida & I remember seeing some the size of baseballs!!! Crazy. I was telling my dad about it a month or so later on the phone & he was like "You've probably got hail damage on your car." I didn't think so... hadn't noticed any. But he made me go look at it at a certain angle and in the sunlight... sure enough, you could barely see tiny little bumps on the roof and stuff. To this day they're still invisible to the "naked eye." I took it to the insurance place and they cut me a $1,500 check! pocketed that. About a year or 1 & a 1/2 years ago somebody jacked my trunk! Straight nailed it. Still don't know who it was because my car was just in a parking lot and I was worshipping & serving Jesus at Ridge Church... Got paid $850 for that one. & then most recently some joker backed into the front of my car at a gas station next to my seminary. crazy hole in the front of my caddy now! He handed me $700 cash money. word. So my math says that all equals over $3,000 my Caddy has made me!!! I'm $3,000 net profit because I paid nothing for it! That's what I'm talkin' about!! How much $ has your car made you? Oh... that's right... you have a car payment. (haha, just joking, not trying to be mean. Just enjoying the party here.)
#2 - Longest Trip of our Lives. Crystal and I had just finished our freshman year of college. Understatement of the century = "we were READY to get back home to Charlotte!" We planned to leave on that Wednesday of graduation & be OUT at like noon which would put us home around 10pm after the trip & time difference. Because of some stupid things about our college I don't think we got out of there until like 4pm. Already behind. And I was playing that game in my head like most men "OK, we can still make it home by 2am." About an hour out of Pensacola, in a tiny hick town called Century (1 stop light & 1 Burger King in the whole town! same size as Flomaton.) we broke down. The Car just cut off or something and I couldn't even turn the wheel. Thankfully the ONLY mechanic shop in town was about 200 yards down the street. We rolled in & possibly the most redneck guy I've ever met came out and started talking with us. He said our radiator had busted & we needed a new one. Through a miraculous string of events we actually got a radiator! He pulled some strings with the car parts place (back in Pensacola) & a friend of mine picked up the radiator after closing time and drove it an hour all the way out to Century to this little podunk redneck place! This was like the craziest day ever! At some point while we were waiting for 2 hours on the new radiator the mechanic's wife (fully pregnant) came out... oh yeah... forgot to mention - they lived there too! This was like his shop that he owned/house! She came out saying she was in labor and was going to the hospital. She got in the car and drove off. I said to the guy... "don't you need to go to the hospital to see your baby born?!? or be with your wife??" He said, I kid you not, "nah, she'll be alright... I want to get you guys back on the road tonight." WHAT? Are you kidding me? (Later on Crystal informed me that if we ever got married - just fyi - no husband of hers would ever do something like that.)
Anyway, the lady finally showed up with our radiator. A minute or two after she left, the redneck mechanic said (ok, you have to imagine the redneck voice in your head). "You got that lady's phone number?" (me) - "Uh... why?" (him) - "Because it looks like somebody beat this radiator with a baseball bat." oh crap.
He tried to order another one from somewhere, but everything was closed for the night. Our friend (who worked for my "boss" I had worked with during the semester) came back and picked me and Crystal up. She gave us a ride back to Pensacola to my friend/boss' house. He was awesome enough to let us sleep there for the night while our car stayed at the shop in Century. He gave us a ride back to the shop the next morning. Our buddy the mechanic had the new radiator in and we were off by noon I think.
Everything was rolling great until some time later that night (can't remember what time) when we were all the way to Anderson, South Carolina on I-85... less than 2 hours from home! The car broke down again! Same thing happened. I managed to make it off the exit and ALL the lights were out in the area. Everything was closed. We rolled up into a Fireworks place with a HUGE picture of Satan or something on it. Crystal was pretty freaked... haha it was like straight out of a movie or something. SERIOUSLY... you can't make this stuff up!
I called a tow truck and we rode all the way home... the last 100 miles... in a tow truck. It was technically Friday morning when we finally made it back to Charlotte. Longest trip ever. 3 days.
(The radiator busted twice because my original mechanic screwed up my air conditioner thing so that the bolts popped off or something and busted the radiator. not cool.)
If all these memories weren't good enough, there is still 1 more to go! check out my #1 memory TOMORROW!
& If these memories inspire you, just remember that you don't need a phat nice car to have lots of fun and awesome memories! I hope you can feel that at this "blog party"... So, if you're really inspired - sell your car & drop the car payments, buy a clunker, and join the Junky Car Club & use your $ for better things than a car with a butt warmer!