while charlie was in high school, i was out in the world working and dealing with crappy roommates and meeting nate and all that jazz. i wasn’t in new london and hearing everything that happened to charlie on a daily basis.
oh sure, i heard the highlights. his friends drinking cough syrup and him abstaining (“i don’t need cough syrup to get my jollies”); his encounter with a girlfriend’s enraged father (i hear he barely made it out in his skivvies [heh, barely]); the summer from hell in colorado helping paul hardwick stripping wallpaper (…or something…).
and then there were the cars.
i think it all started with liz’s buick. (yes, liz had a buick. this is what happens when norm wallace decides to buy you a car: he buys you a car HE wants.) charlie crashed the buick, on an icy patch if i remember correctly. this turned out happy for liz because she got to put some money toward a car SHE wanted (a white mazda), but it started a chain of events that were undeniably weird.
then during the prom parade around green lake, charlie ran his buddy jimmy’s cadillac into the car in front of him. granted, they were only going like 15mph, but he still did some damage.
and then there was the time he ran into a deer with the jimmy’s pizza owner’s van while delivering a pizza. (NOT technically his fault.)
after all that, my parents decided it was a good idea to buy him his own car for some reason (all their daughters had to wait until college to get a car). i had put a good amount of money into my chevy celebrity to fix the rack and pinion, but i was still looking to buy a new car. so dad bought my celebrity that i would have sold either way, and charlie got my old chev celeb. which he then ran into a light post in the local lutheran church parking lot.
and EVEN THEN, the parental units got him another car. (i dunno; at this point it may have been prudent to think about letting him ride with friends or suffer the indignity of driving the wallace safari van.) (also, there is something weird about this. it kind of irks me. but you can read about that here.)
the next car was a nifty little manual black mazda, sunroof, drove well, for $500. good little car! well, cha decided it was a good idea to race his buddy (jimmy again, i think) around green lake. along the northeast end, there was a holding pond next to a curve and an intersection. charlie had passengers, and took the curve too aggressively and ended up crashing the car into the pond. after many people looked at the crash site, they all agreed it was a complete act of god/higher power/allah/earth mother that they didn’t end up upside down and all drowning.
that’s what it took. charlie didn’t get another car until after college. biking works.
so you can see the complete irony here with his car accident. here’s hoping his next car will last him a very long time, and he’ll be able to sell it to some teenager when he’s ready to upgrade.