Ruby and the Red Rocket

Besides Peter and I (and the pet mice), we share our home, or at least our garage, with 2 vehicles. One is just a car, but the other one is Ruby.

Ruby and I have been together for almost 4 years now. I bought her for my 70th birthday. I didn’t really Need a new car – I just felt I deserved it for being so old! Ruby came in a bright red package, decorated with lots of bells and whistles. It was love at first sight.

Ruby fills all of my car needs – she’s perky, cheap on gas, and reliable. Best of all, she’s safe to drive. Whenever I try to change lanes, she buzzes at me: “Check your blind spot!” When I back up, she signals with a loud beep: “Watch out for those kids walking by!” Apparently, if I get too close to the car in front, the brakes will automatically be applied. This is a feature that I am still too nervous to try out.

Soon after I got Ruby, Peter and I moved from the country to the city and Ruby moved into or spacious two-car garage, along with Peter’s car. She seemed quite content there. When the pandemic arrived, Peter said we really didn’t need 2 cars since we wouldn’t be going anywhere. He wanted to take the insurance off one car. I started crying, “NO! Don’t take my Ruby away!” So he took the insurance off his car instead.

This meant of course that, whenever we went anywhere for the past 18 months, Peter wanted to drive Ruby himself. Who could blame him, really? His car is a boring white SUV with a few scratches on the outside, and a lot of old golf balls and expired Swiss Chalet coupons on the inside. Ruby, on the other hand, is bright, shiny and vacuumed.

Over the past 18 months, Peter and Ruby have gotten to know one another pretty well. He slips into the driver’s seat just like he belongs there. Ruby, however, knows that she will be working overtime. He starts the engine and the beeps and buzzes begin. He backs up and she beeps; he changes lanes and she buzzes. Then he gets mad and tells her to “Shut Up, for heavens sake!” I tell him to be quiet or he will hurt her feelings.

But there is one thing about Ruby that even Peter loves – when we go to a big box store with a huge parking lot. We gather up our reusable bags and head inside, ignoring our parking location as we think about the list of things we want to buy. When we finish our shopping, we stand at the store exit and utter that time-worn question: “Where did we park the car?” After a brief scan around the parking lot, there she is – all red and glowing. So easy to spot in amongst all those boring white SUV’s.

Now that the pandemic is slowing down, Peter has decided he has had enough of Ruby’s beeps and buzzes. He has called the insurance company and I have Ruby all to myself once again.

But I have realized that there is something I need more. It’s something that our city and our world needs more too. During these days, when the climate change crisis is shouting at us from every wildfire, every super storm, and every tornado, we need to give up our cars and get on the subway. So yesterday I found my Presto card. Sorry Ruby, you may be beautiful, but on some fronts you can’t compete with the Red Rocket.



6 thoughts on “Ruby and the Red Rocket

  1. You were very obliging to share your car. As you know I take the vehicle that has gas and runs. But if I had a designated car I’d be protective too. Ruby is terrific!



  2. Prince says hello to Ruby.
    I could not wait to get my driver’s licence, and did so at 16.
    I bought my first car at 22 with a co-signed loan from my parents for $1,900. A turquoise 1970 Pontiac Lemans with a 350 motor and a black vinyl roof. I named her Titania, after the Queen of the Amazons. She was my wings.
    It is impossible to live in the country without wings, and I love driving passionately. Hope one day to afford an electric car whom I will name Whisper.
    Thanks for your tale. Hope you get to drive sometimes. LOL


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