The GUG Car Rules!

It’s like watching doctors do some sort of arcane test on your kid. They hook up all these cords and pipes and gauges and then they rev up his engine. And rev it, and rev it. That has to hurt! It hurts me. The skin of my arms puckers. The tech lets it slow, and I think, “OK, that wasn’t so painful. He survived.”
Then she does it again! Longer this time. I can hear his engine screaming over the sounds of all the other cars and all that equipment, even through the waiting booth glass. Screaming. My little engine. My sick little engine.
She lets him die back, and again I think the ordeal is over. But, again, she brings him up to screaming speed. Her face is annoyed and concerned as she watches her meter.
That’s when I begin to hope he will survive. I know he burns oil. Yeah, my mechanic babies him along with a special expensive synthetic 5W40 diet, but it’s only prolonging the inevitable. I was afraid this year’s emission test would be the end for him, and, while I love my new Lean Green Machine, the little brown Saturn is my soul mate. I adore him. I’ve had him since we were both young – well, in my case, much younger, if not really young. He was only three, a frisky colt. He’s now had the same plates for so long they’re battered almost beyond recognition. I’d consider replacing them, but he has become his tag – 753GUG. We’ve grown into each other. His seat conforms to my body perfectly. Every little thing I want is right at my fingertips. He knows my every need.
I went this morning with trepidation in my heart. I can’t afford a new engine; if I could, I wouldn’t have blown a fortune on another car. So if he failed it would be curtains. But I’ve been through this again-and-again routine twice before. Those times he produced so little effluent that they thought I’d unhooked the exhaust system. They brought mirrors on wheels to take a look. He was just a clean car. So when she keeps running it, I take a big breath of relief. If he’d failed, surely she’d just smirk in satisfaction – got one! – and move on.
She gets out, stomps off, the cute older guy moves the fan out of the way and drives him down the aisle.
Then that suspenseful moment while I wait for the results to print.
Yes, The GUG Car passed! Passed with flying colors, again far, far below the limit on every factor. A two-year reprieve. On the way home, my heart is so light, I treat myself to a new blouse, and him to a rare bath.


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