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09/27/2001 Entry: "An Aging Beauty with a Gas Problem."

Cindy failed her test again, but at least this time they didn't say she was gross.

For those of you who haven't met her, Cindy is my long suffering '87 Camaro IROC which...why are you snickering? OK, it's kind of a butch car for a Queer city boy. But I've had it for a long time; rather than trade it in, my mother just gave it to me to drive during my college days. The car is named after this Cindy, whose exercise tape a former roommate got me to do with her once. (And I know it's a she because...well, it's an automatic and therefore doesn't have a...never mind.)

The last time I got a smog check, not only did she fail, but she failed as a Gross Polluter. I was a little embarrassed, and had to spend a couple hundred dollars fixing her up. She's getting up there in years, and it shows. She's so far survived beachside parking in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, several break-ins and one theft; a couple minor hit-and-run scrapes while parked and at least three body-denting incidents with poles in parking structures and the like. The paint is extremely oxidized; it needs body work; the steering wheel leaks a black tarry substance in hot weather; even the fabric on the ceiling is hanging unattached. She honestly just sits on the streets of downtown San Francisco and is moved once or twice a week for street cleaning. I don't really use the car much; I occasionally go visit my mother or the Roommate goes to see his. The Boyfriend thinks I should get rid of it...sell it, donate it, give it back to my mother, drive it into the Bay, anything. And he has a point.

I feel vaguely guilty handing it back to my parents in this condition, but I don't know that it's worth throwing any more money into it. Someone who wanted to rebuild the thing might buy it, even for parts, especially since GM will stop producing the Camaro. I admit that I'm a little nostalgic about Cindy, even if I'm a negligent car owner. But I could rent a car for less than it costs to keep this one up; I could use the City CarShare program, which is a quick walk from my house.

I guess if nothing else I need to take it to the nice Hippie Auto Mechanics who fixed it last time and get it tuned up to pass; I'll need to do so to sell it.

But then what?

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