You know, back in the eighties, having a car was a big deal…in school. Everyone still had them when they were grown up, but time was that you could drive a car to school and you’d be the most popular kid, because you could give rides and skive off way more easily.
Of course, stupid Australia with its stupid rules, you still had to turn eighteen during the school year to be able to drive by yourself. Americans get a whole two years of boosted popularity and we get a scant few months. I turned eighteen a whole month before our exams and I’d managed to save for years, so…a whole month of sitting pretty at the top, baby.
I still remember the auto repair mechanic in Bentleigh who dealt with my first engine failure. Yeah, I might have sort of neglected to put oil in the engine for the first…week or so, despite the oil light being on. I just liked telling all my potential girlfriends that it wasn’t a big deal, because I was a rebel with a car and no light told me what to do.
Turns out I should’ve listened because the light knew what it was doing, and yes, I did feel substantially less cool when the mechanic told me that if I’d let this go any longer my entire engine may have been destroyed. Oil is important, kids. Oils is cool. Only cool kids fill up their engines with oil, and get it changed every 6-8 months. Changing oil is totally radical.
Anyway, take off a week for that and I had all of…two days. Two days where I could flaunt my newfound car ownership. Then we finished with lessons, only had to come back for exams, and I became an adult with a car, just like everyone else.
Still, I had my glory days. And when I took my car into that Bentleigh car servicing shop near me, I like to think there was a spark of respect in their eyes. This guy has a car, in school. So cool. Right before they told me that I nearly wrecked the engine, that is.