From the archives… The Ford Focus

There’s nothing good about your hard drive crashing. What’s worse is the computer isn’t even a year old, so I hadn’t bothered to back anything up because I didn’t think the self-destruct mechanism on Apple computers was engaged until at least the 18 month mark. So I’m using my old Apple which is still kicking, but not with much ferocity. Within its folders are columns I wrote before I wrote columns. That is, before I was compensated for taking up space in a newspaper. 

I found this one about my former car, a blue Ford Focus the first year they rolled off the line. Everything was manual; the shifting, the windows and of course the locks. I know I was maybe a little old, but it was the summer before my senior year when I got it, my first car. Everyone has fond memories about their first car. If you’re still driving it, you will look back and find heartfelt nostalgia for the pain you are currently enduring.

From the archives….

At 2:54 Pacific Standard time on Friday, April 28th  2006, the Focus, also know as “The Fukus” reached the 70,000 mile plateau
Here are some of the highlights, and lowlights of its astonishing life thus far.

Mile – .1
Rolls off the assembly line as four kids look on, peeping though one of the factory windows while standing on an old dumpster. “Wow” they all exclaim. “One day,” one of them says softly. “Yeah right, in your dreams,” the others harass. After a few moments of gasping, they jump back down to the dirty street. The same little boy, touching the scummy window repeats, “one day.”

Mile 17,461
Current owner gets the first experience of driving the vehicle, or attempting. The engine is killed three times during a brief spin around the parking lot of Rio Health Club in Rockville, MD.

Miles 21,184 – 21,438.4 – July 2002
Bought from family friend.
*Inaugural Road trip. A round tripper from Rockville to Frostburg Maryland to work basketball camps*
Engine killed numerous times.

Mile 24,023
Parents Lund drive Fukus from MD to CO for summer road trip.
Arrives in Greeley, Colorado after 1638.4 mile road trip driven by parents. Stops of interest include West Virginia and Kentucky wine country. MMMmmmm

Mile 24,025
Departs Greeley, Colorado, for Boulder, Colorado. After a weekend in Boulder, Fukus driven 942.7 miles to Tucson Arizona, in one day, in the summer heat, by Jeff and Lee.
Haven’t liked New Mexico since.

Mile 24,145
First trip to El Minuto, nullifying the seat warranty.

Mile 24,274
Entire Costco-sized box of detergent dumped in back seat.

Mile 25,234
First date. Door left unlocked for approximately 2.3 hours due to confusion surrounding how to lock it, but no one dares mess with it.

Mile 25,331
Odd angle of hood is cursed as star gazers slowly slide off hood while attempting to view the Tucson sky. Good thing she liked me for me, not my car. (New models have a normal hood which presumably prevent slipping while trying to be romantic)

Mile 27,981
Passenger rear view mirror clipped on mailbox scratching plastic back, and dislocating mirror from adjustment mechanism. Repaired by Lee and Plano using a big wad of paper. This is one Klassy automobile.

Mile 29,421
Engine killed on Vine St. next to entire softball team. Driver officially has no chance with any of them.

Mile 29,972
Second nob for rear view mirror adjustment falls off and disappears.

Mile 30,002
Presence requested in University of Arizona Homecoming Parade, but contract negotiations stall and it does not appear.

Mile 32,223
Makes Intramural sport debut and takes two members of co-ed softball team to ice cream following victory!!!

Mile 33,484
Rear view mirror replaced.

Mile 33,777
Nicked by red Geo Metro going 20 around a corner on Cherry Street. Hit and run reported, however, the outer armor of the Fukus deflects the blow so all that is required for repair is a simple scrubbing off of red paint from driver side, passenger bumper area.

Mile 35,932
Sub box with two, 12-inch woofers is hooked up. Words inaudible at volume level 8, upon hitting level 10, teeth are jarred free from roots and minor concussions suffered by occupants.

Mile 35,935
Subwoofer is disconnected to avoid burglary/homicide and later sold on E-bay.

Mile 37,937
E-brake fails and car is discovered in the middle of the street at Lee’s house.

Mile 39,012
UA decal and license plate frame added to decor. College graduation sends owner and Fukus to California for a career as a teacher…. Let that one sink in….

Mile 41,321
Jealous California Highway Patrol Officer tickets Fukus for having a license plate frame covering too much of the license plate.

Mile 41,326
License plate frame is removed.

Mile 42,803
Court appearance for citation given to Fukus for having its license plate too covered. Owner missed half day of school during his 3rd week on the job to go to court.

Mile ???
Hubcap lost

Mile 43,994
Extra large Lime-ade from Taqeria is spilled on driver side foot mat. Liquid is absorbed.

Mile 44,021
Makes first of 12 trips to Los Angeles Area

Mile 50,028
Makes first trip down Pacific Coast Highway

Mile 54,847
Lost in parking lot of BART station

Mile 54,382
Rear-ends old beater-of-a-truck in the drive through of a Wendy’s. No lawsuits filed by either party.

Mile 55,312
Cap of milk jug gives up and allows milk to flow freely all over passenger side mat.

Mile ???
Hubcap lost

Mile 56,291
Remaining hubcaps are places on passenger or “date side” of the vehicle.

Mile 57,489
Suggestion for ‘spinners’ to be put on Fukus heard in 2nd period class.

Mile 57,784
Suggestion for ‘platinum spinners’ to be put on Fukus heard in 3rd period class.

Mile 58,438
’Did you actually buy that?’ heard in 4th period class.

Mile 60,000
Comes to a skidding near-halt on the 101 as driver is too excited to see the odometer to notice braking car in front of him.

Mile 62,243
Fukus is violated in the rear quarter panel and stereo is maliciously removed.

Mile 63,284
Suggestion for ‘spinners’ to be put on Fukus heard in 2nd period class.

Mile 67,918
Makes 1130.7 mile journey to Livingston, Montana.

Mile 68,943
Ticketed for going 40 in a 25 courtesy of the Battle Mountain Highway Patrol of Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Mile 70,000
Eclipses monumental mileage barrier on highway 99 just passed the Central Manteca exit en route to Lake Isabella, California.

Postscript –
I sold the Fukus for $1000 in 2008 to a dude who almost certainly used it in a crime.

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