The woes of Dirty Girl

            “What are your plans for the weekend?” my boss asked as I tossed my book bag over my shoulder and prepared to leave work Friday afternoon.

            “Oh, the usual. Laundry, garden stuff … and we have to wash the Dirty Girl,” I replied, then caught the strange look he gave me and hastened to explain. “That’s what we call the Fury.”

            My husband Eric and I own a 1968 Fury III, which is roughly the size of an aircraft carrier, and because she sits by the garage and gets dirty every time it rains, we tend to refer to her as Dirty Girl.

            The fun thing about the Fury is that she is all original (barring tires and battery and air filters – stuff like that). She is by no means a fancy-schmancy show car. But her paint, her interior, dashboard and stuff is the same as it was the day she rolled out of the Plymouth factory. She has no headliner at the moment, because it was falling apart and old stuff would drift down from the ceiling every time we went for a ride. We used her to escort my son Matthew and his girlfriend Rachel to prom this year, and I didn’t want to get Rachel’s dress icky. So I ripped the old head liner out.

            A couple of weeks ago, Eric asked if we should put Dirty Girl in the Downtown Worthington Cruise In, which is from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday on 10th Street. Like I said, she is not a show car, but we figured “What the heck?”

            So Saturday, Dirty Girl got a bath. It did evolve into a brief water fight between Eric and I, but nothing worth declaring war over. We scrubbed her hood and her top and her sides (well, I scrubbed and Eric manned the hose, an unfair division of labor as far as I’m concerned) until she was shiny and clean. Our ever-valiant mutt Jeffrey was in a serious conundrum, since he thinks the Fury was created so he could have rides in her, but is also firmly convinced that water from the hose is pure poison and will kill him on contact. He would come up close, then run away.

            After we got Dirty Girl’s outside clean, I popped the trunk and sighed. Everything was covered with dust, most of which was also created in 1968. Same with under the hood. Well, we cowboyed up and started scrubbing. Eric had to help scrub this time, since I can’t reach most of the underside of the hood when it is up. She is seriously a big car.

            Sunday, we headed into Slayton to fill her up with gas and grab a few groceries. Dirty Girl started fine, but then started coughing and sputtering. She even backfired a couple of times. We got a few miles out of Avoca, then Eric decided we had better turn back. He sent me up to the gas station in the pickup while he popped the hood and started digging around in her innards.

            As I sit writing this on Sunday afternoon, he is out in the garage going head to head with her, trying to figure out why she isn’t feeling well. I brought him out a sandwich on a Santa plate a few minutes ago to cheer him up, but he just ate through his lunch while staring at her and muttering things about spark plugs and distributor caps.

            I suggested maybe she was missing some of her 1968 dirt and engine scum and we could try to put it back on, but I just got a blank look and more muttering.

            Oh, he just came in and told me Dirty Girl has a stripped out cam gear, whatever that means, and he can’t get parts for her until Monday

            I have no doubt he’ll get her back to cruising form, since he can pretty much fix everything, but no promises on whether or not we’ll make it to the cruise-in on Tuesday. It depends on how she is feeling and if he can get her fixed in time.

            Stop down at the cruise-in on Tuesday and see whether or not he succeeded. Both Eric and the Dirty Girl are stubborn, but I’m betting he’ll win.

One thought on “The woes of Dirty Girl

  1. “…between Eric and I”…? This is one of the most common examples of grammatical errors in people’s speech patterns. I’m not really a grammar cop, but you are a writer and should know better.

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