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July 27, 2011 / Lauren

In Memoriam: An Autobituary

Lately, I’ve been really missing my old car. I used to cruise country roads in my Saturn on summer nights like this one. Now, I can only wonder where all the parts are… is someone driving around with my driver’s side door? My steering column? What roads do they drive? Do they appreciate the bits and pieces of that little Saturn Coupe as much as I adored the whole?

Just after the fender bender that ended my Saturn’s tenure, I wrote this autobituary in honor of my first wheels. 

After nearly nine years of faithful service, my Saturn has gone on to the realms of the great junkyard in the sky. A friend to many, she will be missed. She was preceded in death by her power locks (2001-2005), her sunroof (2001-2006), and the ability to keep her passenger side sun visor in place without the aid of duct tape (2001-2007).

I think it would be appropriate if I took a moment to reflect on the good times I had with her:

1. I will never forget the many bumper stickers she knew. The first was a star flower sticker I purchased in South Padre, which my mom disapproved of because she said it looked like “a marijuana pot leaf or something.” I, too, eventually grew weary of this flower, but the decal was permabonded on a molecular level to her bumper and it was impossible to remove. I was able to remove her “Pride of Broken Arrow” sticker in college, but there was always a dirt outline where it was, a faint reminder of her early days. In 2004, she got to wear political stickers for a few months just before I got to vote in my very first presidential election. Lastly, in 2006, the classic “Ban Comic Sans” sticker was added.

2. In college, my friend Anna and I took a little road trip in this car. We went to a concert in Texas and also happened upon the world’s largest shoe.

3. One time on Valentine’s day, I was walking towards my car after class and noticed a piece of pink paper was tucked under my windshield wiper. Excited at the prospect of a love note, I practically skipped to the car on clouds. To my dismay, it was the pink layer of a carbon copy of a Valentine’s Day parking ticket. I felt kinda like this:

All fierce at first and then OMGBBQ

4. My dad taught me to change a flat on the Saturn, a life skill I’m glad to have in my back pocket.

5. “Pachuca Sunrise” by Minus the Bear was the most incredible sounding song on those speakers. Something about hearing that song on those particular stock speakers was downright acoustically magical.

6. Once, I ran over a snake on Ben Lumpkin Road. I screamed for about 500 seconds right after it happened. I felt horrible for murdering something, but at least it was a snake, I guess. Yeah, I know, without snakes, the ecosystem would get all effed up and stuff, but I STILL HATE THEM, OKAY? Okay.

7. Pal Jamie and I drove up and down Oklahoma City’s Northwest Expressway in this car while playing Justin Timberlake’s entire FutureSexLoveSounds album on recorders. Yes, recorders, like from elementary school.

(I may or may not have played a song using only my right nostril and a complete lack of dignity.)

8. Backing into a dumpster or six.

9. Driving all around Broken Arrow in an effort to find the elusive Rooster Days egg.

10. My cones lived in the trunk.

She served me well. I miss her.



Leave a Comment
  1. Bryan James Mathews / Jul 27 2011 11:18 pm

    I’m still bitter about my 05 Rooster Days egg hunting experience. If I remember correctly the last picture was your Xanga profile pic. what what xanga!

    • Lauren / Jul 28 2011 8:29 am

      You looked in ’05? How did I not know this? Also, XAAAAANNNNGA!

    • Lola / Nov 10 2011 1:56 am

      I thought I’d have to read a book for a disvceroy like this!

  2. Katie Dupre / Jul 28 2011 7:43 am

    I loved my first car. It was a 93 Explorer, and everything on it was electric except the sunroof, which I had to unscrew and remove manually. When I worked at the kennel, I would sit in my car at lunch, eating Taco Bell and reading Lord of the Rings. In the back you could usually find: a saddle, Quik Trip cups, and a bag of sheep feed. The running boards once got so muddy that grass started growing on them, and I left it for awhile because I thought it was kind of cool. One time I ran over a stop sign at LaFortune park and while the sign was completely flattened, my bumper sustained only a small dent. No car has seen me through quite as many adventures. It was beautiful.

    • Lauren / Jul 28 2011 8:41 am

      First cars = adventuremobiles! Okay, so I’m really interested in the sheep feed. And interior grass. It was once a dream of mine to get an El Camino and sod the bed and have a little herb garden back there. Ahem.

  3. sarah vancamp / Jul 28 2011 9:20 am

    I miss our downtown Tulsa drives in that car. What is the deal with those Saturns having the best speakers of all vehicles that have ever been made? Hannah’s was like that too.

    All Saturns live a short but full life and die tragic deaths, either by wreck or fire.

    • Lauren / Jul 28 2011 9:23 am

      Yes, I miss those too, even if I frequently went the wrong way down a one way street. Whoops.

      The speakers were the best! Eric was convinced they were like, from Car Toys or something, but they really were just plain ol’ factory speakers.

  4. Benjamin Hofmann / Jul 28 2011 9:29 am

    It’s a toss-up. I have fond memories of three of my cars. It was never about just getting around, my cars always were all about image. Let’s see…my favorite… It could be the El Camino with the gear shift on the steering column. “Three on the tree!” we used to say. You had to push the clutch with your foot to honk the horn. Then there was the Toyota Corolla hatchback which kept burning out the starter. I have fond memories of push starting that everywhere we went, even on packed ice in the mountains. But my favorite would have to be my very first car, a 1969 Dodge Dart. I got it free in a drawing at church. Everyone got to choose their prize but I showed up late and it was the only thing left. It was fate! We “borrowed” an acetylene torch and permanently turned it into a convertible. (In retrospect not the best thing to do in Oregon.) We then put our artistic talents to use and hand painted the exterior turning it into a priceless work of art. It’s untimely demise came when I bottomed out and busted the oil pan while running through deep puddles and splashing unsuspecting guests in the back seat through the rusted out floor boards. (Good times…good times) By the time we made it back to the car to tow it into town it had been hit by vandals. Can you believe it?!?! What kind of sick person or persons could ruthlessly deface and damage such a beautiful classic? I can’t talk about it…its still too painful. I did get $50 for it from some dude who owned a salvage yard. I don’t know how he knew I had it sitting in our driveway for months. Maybe someone tipped him off (…my parents).

    • Lauren / Jul 28 2011 9:39 pm

      Okay, you win. The 69 Dart is hands down the best car I’ve ever heard of. It was 1) free 2) heavily modified 3) full of surprises and of course 4) vandalized. AMAZING.

  5. Heather / Oct 12 2011 5:15 pm

    Ban Comic Sans is how I would find your car in parking lots. So in a way I really like the font. It helped me find you. Then again, what in the hell do I know about fonts. Absolutely nothing!

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