Merry Little Breakdown

It’s breakdown season! Hooray. In case you can’t tell, I’m being facetious. This is kind of a running joke in my world, because my car always seems to pack it in just as the holiday season is gearing up. This has happened the past three years in a row, and it’s a problem when you have to drive across two states to get to your family Christmas dinner.

I’ve taken it to a few different mechanics, and they seem to agree on one thing: my best bet is to just give it up for scrap metal and buy a new car. I don’t want to, though. It’s not that I can’t afford a new car. This old station wagon is the first car I ever owned, you see, so there’s a nostalgic element. Besides that, I love how it runs 90% of the time. It’s a good car, except in December, apparently. Maybe it’s something to do with the change in weather, but it seems to have everyone stumped.

The most annoying thing is that every year, I set off on my trip thinking that this year will be fine. I’ve done everything right, gotten all my scheduled services and driven sensibly all year. And then, without fail, it breaks down somewhere between Coffs Harbour and Gundagai. My usual mechanic near Underwood is invariably a million kilometers away and unable to help.

That’s the thing. Back home, it’s easy enough to get an emergency repair or even a car battery replacement near me, but once I’m on the road all bets are off. I never know what country town I’m going to end up spending several days in while I wait for a local mechanic to try and figure out what the problem is. Last year, I spent Christmas eve in a motor inn with windows that wouldn’t open and no air conditioning, watching Steinfeld on my phone for lack of anything better to do.

Hell of a way to spend Christmas, I tell you.