We had to go to Big D to do the deal, but it was worth the headache and the AC-free drive up there to save a bunch of dough. See, The Bandit had been suffering from some age-related and cosmetic maladies for a while now (aren’t we all?), but when the AC went kaplooey, to the tune of several hundred dollars more than she was actually worth, we had to face facts. And then, Jeebus heard our prayers and created the CARS program (T-Bone gets mighty offended by the earlier “Cash For Clunkers” nomenclature), instantly raising The Bandit’s value to $4500. So how could we refuse?
Even still, I have a lot of sentimental value attached to that car – shocking, I know. I bought her right before we got married, and we traveled a lot of literal and figurative miles in her. We moved to our first three homes in her, and we brought Peach home from the hospital in her. In fact, The Bandit was our go-to car until Olive was born, and Papa Turista gifted us with The Beast, his behemoth Ford Expedition, which I love so much, I will drive until the wheels fall off – 14 MPG, be damned. Since then, The Bandit has served mostly as a commuter vehicle for T-Bone, just another in a long line of hand-me-downs he has happily driven over the years. He has never EVER had a brand new car of his very own – when I met him, the doll baby was driving his grandmother’s giant 1976 Buick, with a bumper sticker that said, “I’m an Aggie’s Grandma.” Instant love, I tell you. And that was only the FIRST grandma car he had, because later, he drove his other grandmother’s car for a while, which was in between driving my dad’s old company car and … The Bandit.
So we’ve all come a long way to get to this moment, and I was reliving a lot of it on the long, sweltering ride up to Dallas. I felt much like you do when you have to take a beloved pet to the vet for, you know, and they have no idea what’s about to happen, but you know it’s the best thing for them, and while you’re totally torn up about it, you feel a tiny bit of relief, too. Well, imagine that your pet has no AC, two jacked-up front windows that don’t roll down anymore, and a hatch door with blown-out hydraulics that keep it from staying open so that it literally tries to eat you every time you go to put something back there. Time to go that great Jeep Jamboree in the sky? I think so.
So, RIP dear Bandit.
And welcome to the family Soul Train.
P.S. Having just been through this experience, guess who's looking SO forward to seeing The Goods? Now, Used Cars is the gold standard when it comes to car biz movies, really any movies, so they Better. Bring. It.