Stang

I drive a sensible car, a Honda, which is perfect for my sensible life. But while at a stoplight, a car slammed into my Honda and knocked the sensible right out of me.

The other driver’s insurance would pay for all the repairs, but I was angry over the huge inconvenience of finding a body shop and getting a rental car.

Wearily, I told the rental car agent, “I’m here to rent a car. Here is the insurance claim number.”

“Welcome, it looks like you have an allotment of fifty dollars a day for fifteen days.”

“Fine. Whatever car you have is fine. It’s all fine,” I replied.

“Let’s see, we have a Chevy SUV, a 4-door sedan, and a Mustang convertible.”

“Back up! What did you say?” I perked up.

“Yes, a 2021 Mustang convertible. No one under 25 is technically allowed to drive it.”

That was going to be a problem. I thought for a second about how upset my seventeen-year-old son, Sam, will be before asking, “Where do I sign?”

I barely made it into the driveway, “MOM! You rented a Stang? Give me the keys.” Sam declared.

“Sorry, you can’t drive it.”

I hadn’t seen him this bitter since he was little. He campaigned hard to convince me to hand over the keys. I stood strong.

For the next weeks, I drove everywhere with the top down. The wind blowing my hair around was intoxicating.

I told the body shop to take their time.

I played country music loudly. My daughter Lindsay looked over at me in dismay and shouted, “Who are you?”

Suddenly I was the cool mom. I was Walter Mitty. I can’t go back to my sensible life.

But like all good dreams, this one had to come to an end. With the Honda finished, I drove the Stang back to the rental dealership where I was immediately greeted by the agent, “I’m sorry, but our computers are down and we cannot accept any cars until 6:00.”

“What?” I backed out before they changed their mind.

I drove to Sam and Lindsay’s high school and walked up to the front office counter. “I’m afraid my kids might have been exposed to COVID and I need to take them out to be tested,” I lied.

“By all means,” the woman answered.

Two minutes later my worried kids appeared.

“Hush, just follow my lead,” I ushered them out and toward the awaiting Mustang. “Hop in,” I instructed.

Sam and Lindsay hopped in over the sides of the car like Starsky and Hutch. I got behind the steering wheel and revved up the engine.

“Did someone say Bueller? Ferris Bueller?” I winked.

“MOM! Where are we going?”

“Kids, where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

I drove up Laurel Canyon, and just before we got to Mulholland Drive, I pulled over. “Wanna drive?”

Sam’s eyes popped and he was behind the driver’s seat faster than you can say, “Holy Stang, Batman.” We blasted the Beatles’ Twist and Shout while he cruised across Mulholland Drive like Carroll Shelby. The ride of a lifetime. We drove through Beverly Hills, up Rodeo Drive listening to Pretty Woman. People waved and took our picture. Then down Sunset Boulevard to the Pacific Coast Highway. The sun was bright and bounced off the ocean. 

Ventura Highway in the sunshine,” we sang it loud and proud. 

We were past Malibu Beach when I noticed the time. “Guys, we’ve got one hour to get this back.”

 Abruptly, I made a U-turn, and floored it, but not without saying, “Danke schoen, darling, Danke schoen!” 

At 5:59 I rolled back to my sensible life… well almost. 

Live with waffletude.

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