Friday, December 30, 2005

Midgets Under the Hood

This week, almost everywhere I’ve driven I’ve felt like I was zooming along in a brand spanking new car. Not because I have a brand spanking new car, but because Alfred, my ’93 Saturn, feels like one.

Up until Tuesday Alfred had not been doing so hot. His front bearings were going so whenever I’d get up over about 50 mph I would be assaulted with a pummeling, pulsating cacophony of sound that made it impossible for me to hear my audiobooks or cd player unless I had the volume as loud as it would go—and that’s pretty loud, especially considering Alfred’s pimped out with a righteously non-factory sound system, complete with ginormous sub and 8 bajillion watt amp.

Needless to say the noise was annoying, but just as annoying was the heavy vibration that accompanied the noise. It felt like an army of midget construction workers with jackhammers were on the other side the gas pedals and were bound and determined to hammer their way through. When I drove up to visit Kristin in St. Cloud (a 2.5 hour drive one way), my feet were in a perpetual state of shuddering for about an hour after I arrived thanks to those damn midgets.

But Tuesday, oh that magical day, Tuesday Alfred was given new life. He had his bearings changed, the midgets fumigated for, and new life injected into him. As I drove him home from the shop I caught myself going 75 on a 55 mph road simply because I was waiting for the noise and vibration as that’s how I’d been gauging my speed lately. It never came and if I wouldn’t have checked my speedometer I probably would have just kept accelerating until everything started blurring into light speed (Saturns are fast like that, you know).

I’m still not used to the smoother driving and find myself weaving in and out of the sparse traffic here in Rochester on my way to and from work. Truth be told, I love pumping the techno (usually BT or Paul Oakenfold) and zooming home after work. I feel like a race car driver… or at least like I’m playing Need for Speed: Underground or something.

So if you happen to get passed by a green Saturn with a St. John’s University sticker in the back window while you’re in Rochester, it’s me. Smile and wave. It’ll make me go faster!

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