Thursday, January 21, 2010

Y? Because We Like You.

A few years ago, when I was promoting from assistant to associate professor, I drove to North Carolina the week before my promotion materials were due and got pinned down at my best friend's house by an unpredicted snowstorm- a massive storm that dumped six inches of snow and ice on North Carolina. I was trapped. I'd already worked myself into kind of a frantic state over the promotion like a chipmunk on crack. Calm was not part of my vocabulary.

In the midst of this, my BFF and I discovered that we'd run out of toilet paper...yes, TOILET PAPER, the one essential without which nobody can survive a snowstorm! Therefore, since my car was parked closest to the street in their driveway, I was elected to drive.

A hard shell of ice had formed on my car, a 1996 Camry. I managed to start it, and stood in the snow, tapping on the shell with the ice scraper, hoping for it to crack so I could pull it off in sections. My friend stood in the window with their dog, Ty, watching as I paced around and around the car, tap-tap-tapping away. As I rounded the rear deck, I gave a nice sharp thump, and lo and behold, the Y popped off. In my hysteria, I plucked the offending letter from the snow yelling, as Ty yapped at me through the window, "Y? BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU!" and doubled over in the snow, laughing like a maniac.

From that point on, my life revolved around automotive trim cement. I had to wait for the weather to warm up, so for quite a while I drove that fine automobile, the Toyota CAMR. I got the Y back on, and then the C departed...so I was driving the AMRY. I found the C, but before I could get it reattached, the A and Y fell off, so I joked to my gay friends that I now had the perfect car: a MR. Eventually, I got all five letters back on at the same time, but it never failed that one or more wouldn't stay put. It was like fruit basket bingo; I didn't know from week to week what I'd be driving.

As of midsummer, I now drive a Subaru Tribeca, aka "The Dogmobile". I sincerely hope that nothing weird happens with a. the weather or b. the lettering on my car before next Friday. Since there are no Ys in 'Subaru', I could end up driving any of the following: a SUB...a BAR...a SU or RU...or anything in between...Y? Because we like you!

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