Mama's Car Back Home
My mom and dad decided years ago to replace one of their cars, the one my mom drove. They called me to ask if I wanted it. I didn't. This was a huge Oldsmobile, a Delta 88 I think. I always called the car a school bus. It was so big- yellow- BIG. I didn't want it. I promised to spread the word around to help them move it.
For sale, ten-year-old car with 28,000 miles, always garaged with service records attached. Perfect paint and bodywork. Never smoked in. All original. For a song. The first person I told about it...he bought it. It was a guy who works at the same place I do.
I took him into town to seal the deal. He paid my parents in cold cash and away we went. We hit the four-lane highway out of town, and I was following him. Mom's school bus emitted a huge cloud of black smoke. My friend had put his foot into that four-barrel carburetor to a point where my mom had never been. He was giving this poor old un-driven Olds its first Italian tune-up. After a mile or so, Mom's school bus was out of sight. That's how this guy drives to start with.
Several weeks later I ran into the guy at work and asked him how Mom's car was performing. He said he'd driven the thing for a week when the radiator got clogged up. Not only did he blow all the carbon out of the engine, he'd shaken all the crud loose in the radiator. He had to get it cleaned out at a shop. A day or so after he got the car back, the water pump blew all the seals. Back to the shop again.
The guy was telling the story to his dad. His dad reflected on all the trouble- "Well, you know, that happens a lot. When you put that new antifreeze in there and it hits those old parts, it blows things out."
My friend responded, "Well, Daddy, I looked all over town to find some USED antifreeze, but nobody had any!!"