An Open Letter To My Car

By Russ Davis

Okay, I get it: My car is an inanimate object. Unlike some men, I get that. But I can’t help but think otherwise at times. I wonder sometimes what my car would tell me if she, er, it could actually perceive the fiery hell I put it through.  I wish I could tell her, um, I mean, it how thankful I am for her, uh, its service.

So let’s pretend that my car is a living, feeling, entity with literacy. If this were true, this is the letter I would write her.  It.


Dear Car,

You are a 2000 Toyota Solara. Bush v. Gore, 9/11, the War in Iraq, the entire “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise———all these things occurred in the time that’s passed since you’ve rolled off the assembly line. And yet, you’re still going.

I don’t even give much thought to that when I call on your services. It doesn’t mean much to me that you’re still operative, even with 13 years and 153,000 miles under your belt. I take it for granted that you’ll get me where I need to go. I simply assume that your sunroof, rear defrost, and cassette deck (I like to ride old school sometimes, Ledger readers) will work when you and I are on the road.

Even worse, sometimes I do more than take you for granted. I gripe about you. I complain about how much it costs to nourish you at Shell. I object to how you need four lanes to make a U-turn because of your clumsy turning radius.

I complain about all of this stuff… yet you never complain about me.

You never curse at me when I accidentally drive you over one of the potholes littered about downtown Tacoma. You never whine about the fact that I take you into downtown Tacoma on a regular basis in the first place. You don’t kick up a fuss about the fact that I have to park you outside, vulnerable and cold. You don’t protest when I work you really hard, be it on the gas or brakes. You don’t wail about how I only give you an oil change about once every 5,000 miles. You never judge me when I take you out at 1:00 a.m. to buy Mountain Dew. Heck, you never even point out the inconsistency of me wanting Mountain Dew at that hour. You simply turn over your engine and transport me to whichever store is open so I can obtain my limerick-colored liquid bliss.

No, you never complain about any of that. And sadly, I didn’t realize how much you mean to me until I nearly lost you. A large pickup rear-ended your rear left quarter panel, and I thought I had lost you. Fortunately, after some wrangling with the insurers, I was able to get you into the care of my dear friends at Collision Specialists. I still remember the day I dropped you off for your repairs.  I felt like a father watching his ill daughter going in for surgery, tears coming to my eyes and praying that everything would be okay.

When the repairs were complete, enormous waves of gratitude washed over my veins. And so now, a resolution: Whenever I want to complain about you, I will simply remember that glorious day in April, when we were reunited. And I promise you, as soon as I get paid for writing this column, I’ll use some of the money to buy you an oil change and fuel injector cleaner. If there’s anything left, I might even get you a treatment at Classy Chassis (that’s like a day at the spa for you, isn’t it?).

Dear Solara, thank you for your service. May you give me many more years of it, and may I never take you for granted again.


Lots of love,