The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Baby, can I drive your car?

I need a car.

I have tried for years to deny the obvious, bumming rides off friends and

convincing myself that I'm a healthier, stronger person because of my vehicular disability. In the past few weeks, however, I have realized that shapely calves do not make up for immobility. Try as I might to convince myself otherwise, the truth is clear. I need a car and I need one now.

Worse than the inconvenience of not having a car is that I always seem to forget I don't have a car, usually at times when such recollection is crucial. For example, I agreed to teach kindergarten at a religious school every Sunday morning, forgetting that I have no way to get to the school.

Late Saturday night, the night before the first class of the year, it occurred to me that I was without wheels for the next morning. In a moment of panic, I called my friend, John, to see if I could borrow his car.

When he offered to drive, I explained that while I certainly appreciated the offer, I had to be at school at 9 a.m., far too early for even the most accommodating of friends.

John, however, would not be dissuaded, and we made plans for the morning.

"It's really no big deal," he said, as I thanked him profusely. Famous last words.

John arrived at my house as promised and chauffeured me to the synagogue while I brainstormed ways to repay him for his kindness. Lesson plans in hand, I climbed out of John's car and locked the door, as is my city-bred habit. John left the car running in the middle of the street and got out to help me get the class notebooks out of the trunk.

"Thank you soooo much," I gushed, wondering how many more times I would have to humble myself with such gratitude before I had my own car.

"No problem," he said, as he reached down to open his door.

And it wouldn't have been a problem, had I been aware of the car's automatic locking system, which locks both of the two doors if either one is manually employed. Had I not locked my door, the story would end there, and we could write the thing off as another sad story in my sad immobile life.

But the story doesn't end there, because, as you may have guessed, I locked the keys in the car. With the car running. In the middle of the street. Blocking the 200 parents waiting to drop off their children on the first day of Sunday School.

Fortunately John was a great sport about the whole thing, even though his car overheated and began smoking as the first of the 200 parents approached the synagogue.

He told me later that he really didn't mind having to wait for AAA for an hour and that the policeman who showed up kept him company throughout the ordeal. I am also lucky that he didn't mind the mob of angry people who came outside and yelled at him, especially since John had never seen a synagogue before, let alone a belligerent rabbi.

If the story ended there, we could write it off as another sad tale about another sad friend who got mixed up in my sad immobile life. But the story still doesn't end, because when Sunday School ended hours later, I found myself without a car again.

Since I wasn't about to call John, I decided to walk home. It was a nice enough day, and I was ready to unwind after spending my morning with 18 energetic five year-olds. I tidied the classroom, retrieved my bag, and prepared for the journey home from downtown Charlottesville.

But no, friends, the story doesn't end here either, because somewhere in the middle of coloring and snack time, I had broken my shoe beyond repair.

Foreseeing many weeks of groveling due to the morning events, I wasn't about to risk asking anyone else from a ride. So, I walked the four miles home barefoot.

While I scrub the tar and mud off my stained soles, I'm thinking of ways to smooth things over with John. Maybe I could bake him a cake or send him a nice card.

Of course, there's only one problem with either of those suggestions. Can

anyone give me a ride to Harris Teeter?