'Driving My Mother's Old Retired Car'
Written by Ted Sheridan
The price of gasoline at the pump jumped so high; therein robbing me of my play money, forcing me to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, brown bagged like an immature child enrolled in secondary school economics. But being an older white male as I am, successful but with only an average vertical jump; below that of four dollars a gallon. I decided to turn in my gas guzzling and expensively leased SUV’s to drive my aged mother’s old car that had been parked as she can no longer benefit from the use of its six cylinder and more efficient to operate, classic styling. And when I say classic, I mean damn old. This car is so old that in the year in which it was built I not only had plenty of hair but my sperm count was still much higher than the balance in my bank account. The old car’s paint still shines like diamonds, the leather upholstery maintains its new car smell; everything works and the engine runs well. Driving around town with my brown bagged lunch on the passenger’s seat, I can fully appreciate the appeal of quality and old time luxury….and the fact that the gas gauge hardly moves… I think back on a time when mother had two good knees, two good hips, and two good eyes and she could drive to the store on her own; where she could buy bread for under a dollar a loaf, or milk for less than two dollars a gallon. Turkey was ninety eight cents a pound and ham costs no more than Spam. Those were the days when the dollar was worth a dollar and a gallon of gas was cheap….before it made this crazy leap above and beyond my ability to keep up with the Jones’s. Reflecting on those good old days when my mom was just mom and not some old woman who stares out the window trying to remember where she left her keys…. I am reminded of the two lane streets with their blinking caution lights as I now look at ten lanes of bumper to bumper, people cussing, flipping you off at every red and slow changing traffic light all fully equipped with a camera and a computer’s brain that will take your picture and promptly mail it to your wife.... if that isn’t a peanut butter sandwich sitting next to you in the front seat of your mother's old retired car….