Interesting times.

Early in my teens I began to demonstrate a bad attitude about people who farmed or did other types of labor related to providing the world with food, shelter, Etc.

I was always looking to come up with some cash, so my father whose wisdom still occasionally astounds me found me a gig mucking out stalls for a local farmer. Easy money I thought. What’s the big deal, Shuffle some shit around make some good money.

There were four stalls. When I walked into the Stalls I had to duck to keep from hitting my head on the rafters. When I finished , I could not reach up with a shovel and touch the rafters. In between there was a solid 10 hours of mucking through the nastiest kind of crap you can literally imagine. At one point ducks and chickens had used the stalls so there was a liquid layer of chickenshit on the bottom with an Indescribable texture and aroma and I vomited and vomited.

This education about the realities of farm life was one I could not have paid for.

Naive as I was, I thought to myself man if people would just have to experience these things for themselves and learn the lessons that pain and suffering could teach you there would be a lot less misunderstanding and a lot more respect in the world.

And then I met Jake. No not Jake from State Farm, a kid who came to my highschool in my junior year. His family had horses as well, and he railed against mucking out the stalls even though he enjoyed riding the horses. He made it very clear that people like him paid other people to do that type of work. He was upset because when his parents purchased him his first car it was a three year old model and not brand new. Of course it was a low mileage Porsche when every other kid in the school who could even afford a car had a hand me down hooptie.

Jake had decent parents, and I suppose they did their absolute best, but he had a built-in sense of entitlement that prevented him from seeing any side of the story but his own. To my knowledge this follow him throughout his life because people who know him now tell me that he is just as disagreeable as he always has been.

This is not a class thing, I know plenty of people who don’t have a pot to piss in that have the identical sense of entitlement and a large portion of that entitlement is feeling entitled to tell other people how they should live.

When I see that some person has been attacked or abused because they didn’t support the correct political class it makes me want to give them a mucking out stalls type demonstration of the error of their ways. But I know that they will never learn and I know that it is outside of my skills to convince them. Perhaps there is somebody that could do this but I know that it is not me.

Instead I think about employing my father’s other method of education which involved his razor strop.

But the people that are in most need of an ass whipping would not benefit from it because they would immediately think of it as unfair oppression. Regardless of whether or not they had earned that ass whipping.

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how to educate the people I see destroying other people’s property and harming people in the name of their idea of Justice. I don’t know how to connect them with grim reality. I mean I know how I would like to do it but my Christianity compels me not to act in that manner.

We live in interesting times. I hope that my moral fiber is adequate to prevent me from ignoring my Christianity.

Mister Two

Some thoughts on my first week of MR2 ownership.

While it is perfectly possible for me to drive this vehicle with my giant work shoes I now fully understand white people wear round heel driving shoes.

That engine sound right behind your shoulder is one of the sweetest things I have ever experienced.

While I was initially concerned about the size of the steering wheel and considered putting in a good quality removable oh, I am no longer remotely interested in this. What you learn how to get in the car it’s not bad at all. I have driven 914 and Alpha graduates and Lotus Elise and this is actually roomy by comparison.

I used to hate roundabouts.

The shift throw on this is so tiny that I keep over-reaching 2 to 3 and go 2 to 5.

Having driven some legitimate high performance cars I understand why people say this is not a fast car. It isn’t. But it certainly makes up for being fast by being fun. During the time I was saving my nickels and dimes to buy this I looked at a lot of cars. The week I purchased the car I literally saw a Jaguar convertible, a Mercedes convertible, a BMW convertible and a Maserati hardtop. The price of which together did not add up to what I spent on the MR2.

On the other hand when I want to drive the MR2 all I have to do is get in it and turn the key. I will not have to spend half of my life working on it like the Jaguar or the Maserati, I will not have to invest my great grandchildren’s College fund on new shocks like the Mercedes or take out a second mortgage on my house to replace a radiator like the BMW. Because it’s a Toyota and because it’s the right year and because it was impeccably maintained it should be reliable as well as easy and inexpensive to maintain which was my whole goal.

Car turns heads. I don’t think I could get this much of a reaction out of a much more expensive car. In fact my company ride is more than four times what this cost and nobody pays any attention to it at all.

Hats are definitely a thing. I’m not a hat wearer except when I’m hunting or hiking and then generally I wear a Stetson Moab or some other crushable type of hat. I had to dig around to find a gimme cap, and it is not a look that pleases me. It just screams midlife crisis and I am practically a generation beyond that point. And the little Tweed flat cap just seems pretentious and aspirational. I could probably pull that off if I had bought the Jag but mostly because I would never be seen actually driving it.

Sunglasses are also a thing but since I wear prescription glasses the best I can hope for is the clip-on style and they don’t do much to protect the sides. So I might end up having to get a pair of driving goggles just out of sheer Whimsy. In fact I might even consider the goggles and an aviators leather cap just out of sheer Whimsy. Especially if I can find something that looks very much like the outfit Marty Feldman wore in silent movie.

Actually I will probably see if I can drive with the Stetson on without blowing it off. When the wind deflector is up there isnt really a lot of wind in the car.

On the way back from Michigan there were tons of alligators on the road. An alligator for the uninitiated is a chunk of tread shredded off of a semi Tire. Hitting one of these in a car this small is like hitting a wheelbarrow in a normal sized car.

Unlike my company car which is actually an explorer you can’t wiggle the steering wheel even two or three degrees, every tiny twitch the steering wheel elicits a response from the suspension.

I can see where a hardtop would be a handy thing. With a hardtop this would certainly be an acceptable daily driver even with a long commute. The only issue with that would be the stick, as light as this clutchis and as short as the throw is I would still not want to row this thing through Rush Hour Chicago traffic.

So.

About three weeks ago I bought a green MR2 spyder. I had to move some cash over from a 401k from a company I left, and because I’m over 60 I had a couple bucks I could pull out to play with. And I looked at a lot of vehicles, because I have always wanted a toy, something I did not have to rely on to get me to work the next day, and something I could have fun with. Something I could hop in with the wife for a top down day trip, even if we just went somewhere to eat lunch. And so I looked around.

For the budget I had, I looked at beemers, at jags, at a maserati or two, I looked at a couple of nice older cars, at a couple of nice newer cars. I settled on the Mr2 for a couple of reasons.

Mid engine! What could be more cool than mid engine!

Carvy. These fuckers carve up twisty roads like nothing else I have ever driven or ridden in, shy of something like an Elise or Exige.

Not so fast. My speed days are behind me, and if I had a car with a ton of power, I would use it to do- well, stupid things. Because I do stupid things a lot.

Toyota reliability. I don’t want a hobby, and any jag or beemer or merc or for god’s sake Maserati I could have afforded would basically be a hobby, something that sat in the garage and waited for me to fix it so I could think about driving it. I wanted something I could just hop in and drive.

Well, not so much hop. In fact I have to sort of sit down and lay my right leg sideways to slip it under the steering column. But it’s not that bad. And as small as it is, it’s easier to sit in than a Miata. And while there are tons of aftermarket things that can be done to it, about all I want is to get some bluetooth in the radio (Simple) and maybe some better seats (Also simple)

Anyway, I’m driving to Ann Arbor tomorrow to pick it up. Hope to have photos along the way.

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