Friday, February 26, 2010

"I love what you do for me, Toyota!"

I've been waiting to hear when Toyota will announce another recall. If they do, I'm pretty sure it will be over hubcaps.

My 2003 Corolla recently lost one of its hubcaps. I don't know when or where it happened, but I noticed it was missing last weekend. I took a walk around my neighborhood to see if it was just lying around where I've parked, but it was nowhere to be seen. Papa Smurf now looks like he's missing a tooth-or is it a toenail?

Since then I seem to notice that a lot of Corollas are missing hubcaps. Just a quick walk through my neighborhood revealed other Corollas missing one, two, three, even all four hubcaps. Is someone taking Corolla hubcaps? I doubt it. Those things are cheap and flimsy, and mine are terribly scuffed. I looked up on the interweb how much it would cost to replace my hubcap, and at $45 it's not worth it. Sorry, Papa Smurf, I think you'll be fine without one of your hubcaps.

My quick internet research also revealed that I'm not the only one who has noticed that a lot of Corollas are missing their hubcaps. Is it an epidemic? If mine flew out while I was zooming down the freeway, I hope I didn't kill anyone with it.

On the topic of Papa Smurf, I can't believe he will be turning 7 in April. I still think of him as a new car, but the missing hubcap and the odometer tells me he's not. He definitely runs like a new car, and I hope he continues to do so for years to come. Now that he's completely paid for, I'm planning to drive him until he dies. If I can help it, he'll die doing what he loves best--driving through miles of open road. Hopefully there will be a convenient transportation option nearby when it does happen and I hope it doesn't happen for many more years.

I really do like my car for its simplicity. It's reliable, it gets good gas mileage, it has A/C, it has a CD player, what else do I need? And for being such a "disposable" car, I like that I don't worry much about every nick and scratch. I ought to treat Papa Smurf better--heaven knows he needs a good cleaning inside and out--but the thing I like about him is that I can disregard how badly I treat him. I never worry much over him. Living in Koreatown and having to park out in the street, it's a convenience I'm happy to have.

I'll admit that as much as I appreciate having a Corolla now, there have been times when I wished I had a "nicer" car. Soon after getting Papa Smurf, a friend joked that I was going the wrong way with my cars. By going from a Camry back down to a Corolla, I was taking a step backward. I shrugged it off, but for a while it made me self-conscious. My friends were all driving progressively better cars and here I was tooling around in a Corolla--the same model I had in high school and college. The self-consciousness soon passed, though, because in all honesty, I really don't care much about cars. I don't need the fancy features and too many buttons just confuse me. I like a car I can mistreat. I love to drive, and as long as a car can get me where I want to go in as inexpensive a manner as possible, I'm all for it. I'd even go as far to say that when the time comes to replace Papa Smurf, I wouldn't hesitate to do so with another Corolla--recalls be damned.

Papa Smurf has nothing to worry about with me. I no longer have a wandering eye, but I do from time to time check out younger versions of himself, but it does not mean I'm eager to replace him. We still have that long-postponed cross country drive to do. Only till death (his, hopefully) do we part.

Papa Smurf in the rain
A younger Papa Smurf in the rain.


Stoodert said...

Maybe someone *HAS* been stealing Toyota Corrolla hubcaps...! I better go check on mine.

Thanks for the heads-up!

I really like the trunk space in the Corrolla - you can probably fit half a dozen bodies in there!

Raul! said...

Remind to self: refuse when asked by Stuart to look in his trunk.