That’s Why I can’t Have Nice Stuff.

Ever have a parent scream that at you? “That’s why we can’t have nice stuff!” What this means is, kids were the reason everything in the house was run into the ground or destroyed and never replaced; because children had some kind of defective gene. Well, that’s what they wanted us to think. Maybe if our parents spent less on liquor and smokes or had the ambition to get a better job, or stop buying cheap crap from Wally’s Furniture Hut and start shopping at Army Surplus and fill the house with metal bunk beds and ammunition containers for end tables. What we didn’t know as kids was, the house we grew up in was a “starter home.” The place kids were supposed to destroy. That’s what kids do and the reason we couldn’t have nice stuff.

My point is, I’ve always destroyed my stuff. I tore and shredded the knees in all my pants because I played marbles; my first addiction, well second behind sugar. I’ve destroyed toys, lunch boxes, thermoses, jackets, glasses, bikes. I still destroy stuff. Nernie, my wife loses her mind when I break a plate, cup, television, lawnmower or car. That’s what I’ve destroyed the most of-cars.

I had a Pontiac that my dad co-signed for. I was thinking what he must have felt when he looked out the back window into the garden and watched the Pontiac slowly sink into the ground because that’s where I abandoned it.

The Pontiac was brown, a two door. Once when I was camping, I parked next to a tree and when I backed up to leave, I rolled forward then rolled backward. I had the drivers door open and somehow, ended up with the tree wedged in the driver’s door. I matted the gas peddle and the car wouldn’t move until finally the car broke free. The driver’s door had slammed all the way forward and when I kicked it closed; it never opened again. People had to crawl through the passenger door to get into the car. After six months of parties, the middle spot of the car’s bench seat was destroyed. If you sat in the middle you were staring into the roof of the car.

On the last road trip, a buddy of mine and I, drove to Vancouver in the Pontiac. I remember I had only a few cassettes; the second album of Camel, a prog rock jazz fusion band from England. damn, the band had a flute in it and it was really mellow, the absolute worst music to be on the road with. The other cassette was some kind of Peter the Wolf rock opera that had one good song.

Anyway, we we drove to Vancouver and had almost no money. Great planning. We apparently had enough to buy some hash though. This would prove to be a big mistake. The extra cash for the hash blew my budget and on the way home I had to sell my spare tire in Jasper to get home. So, I sell the spare tire, fill the car with gas and get a couple of burgers from a sidewalk vendor. Half an hour later we get food poisoning. Three days I was passed out across the front seat and Tom was out cold in the back.

We finally get back into Edmonton and I drop Tom off; he eventually became a biker and last heard, was a running a church somewhere. I drive the car into the back yard whence it sunk into the tundra. Two years later, the dealership repossessed the Pontiac. There was flowers and weeds growing out of the back seat. The one guy opens the hood and crawls on the motor to spray ether into the carburetor. If you’ve never heard of a carburetor, google 1879. So, the other guy hits the ignition and there’s a mini mushroom cloud explosion from the engine which sends the guy on the motor backward spread eagle into the muck.

I’ve had many cars since then, I’ve driven them all into the ground. Four of them I abandoned, well five; I forgot about the Pontiac.