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A Rat Tale

Chapter 1

Once upon a time, an innocent little sports car discovered America. He could sense the open road and knew life was going to be totally sweet. “Bring on the curves baby–this kid was born to run!”


It was 1990 and, alas, this fairytale life just wasn’t meant to be. His first owner was a 19-year-old beauty-school student who didn’t even bother to give him a name. He was violently repossessed ten months later and auctioned off to a black market rental car outfit. He was run head-on into a guard-rail and declared a total loss in late 1993. He resided in a junk yard for six cold and frightening months waiting to be crushed. Then, in the spring, he was resurrected by a less-than-ethical individual, given a salvage title and sold to a 23-year-old male stripper. The stripper gave him a name: Cowboy. Cowboys hope for a more fortunate circumstance was soon dashed. Cowboy was never maintained–only repaired on the cheap. Then he wasn’t even repaired. Eventually someone threw a tarp over him so nobody would see him. He sat like this for many years and endured an indignity deserved by no one. Yet, he still dreamed the dream of all convertible sports cars: to be top-down, one with his driver, in a never-ending chase scene, on a brand-new set of summer tires.

On a vinyl melting day, in 2008, a young man, clearly excited to be his new owner, removed the tarp, pumped up his tires, installed a new battery, replaced his plug wires and crank angle sensor, added some fresh fuel then carefully drove him away. It was great to be running and on the road again, even for the short trip. Then the young man parked him in a driveway and threw that horrible tarp back over him. “Oh no” sighed Cowboy. About a week later his tarp was removed and what Cowboy witnessed could only be described as a miracle. He was surrounded by a group of clearly excited people, including his new owner. The miracle was that they were excited about him.  Cowboy was going to be a racecar, a RACECAR! and this was his team. Cowboy was quickly put on a set of well used jack stands and thoroughly inspected. Most of his systems were revived by flushing and changing all his fluids and filters. He got new brake pads and rotors. His mildewed interior was removed to save weight. His team installed a roll cage and painted it black. He got a really cool new seat and a fancy seat belt called a harness. He also received new wheels and summer tires! They gave him an alignment. Then something strange began to happen. An odd bunch of metal tubes were being installed in support of something attached to his exhaust manifold. I took many hours. There was welding, swearing, bleeding and turning of wrench. Cowboy could feel the love. Late the next day everyone was very dirty including Cowboy and they all gathered around him with nervous excitement. Someone put the key in the ignition and yelled CLEAR! As the engine came to life Cowboy could feel something magical happen. He felt more powerful than he ever had, like he’d grown a couple extra cylinders, and noticed himself thinking about getting a tattoo. They let his engine warm up all the while checking this and that. Then two of the team members came to an agreement that everything seemed OK and that the Turbo seemed to be working. “I have a Turbo!?” thought Cowboy. His new owner then did something no previous owner or driver had ever done. Sitting in Cowboys sporty new race seat, his owner patted him on the dash and asked him if he’d like to go have some fun. Cowboy though “Yes! I really, really would.” His owner, sensing Cowboys’ excitement whispered, “All right then, where shall we go?”  Cowboy thought just two words, “Open road”, and on brand new summer tires they went.

Coming soon: Chapter 2, Race Day.

2 thoughts on “A Rat Tale

  1. Anticipation is agony. When is Chapter 2 coming?

  2. Chapter 2 is in the mail! Special thanks to Amber and Karina Miller for all the editing help. I could not do this alone.

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