so long wolf subaru

so long wolf-u-boat

So I haven’t been around much because I’ve been guest-blogging over at BoingBoing this week. I’m going to Florida tomorrow to give a talk and have a little beachside R&R. Looking forward to that and it’s been fun blogging on a big site, however briefly. But this is a story that is a pretty straight forward personal blog story. I’m sort of half looking for a new car. I love my car. What I really would like is a car exactly like my car but maybe a few years newer (less rust) and with a few extra features: working AC, power windows, a real cup holder and a power jack. I found the car of my dreams for sale up the street. Or I thought I did.

I have this terrible problem shopping. I have predictable buyer’s remorse. I get over it usually, but I always spend a few days hating whatever my most recent purchase was. So, I treat big purchases carefully. I am like The Kid in this Gahan Wilson cartoon which has become a metaphor for eveything I have ever bought. So, there was this car for sale. I took it for a test drive. It was lovely. I work at a school with an auto shop and they will look over a potential car for free. Nice deal.

I brought the car over today and dropped it off. Thirty minutes later I stopped by as the students were taking the car down from the jack. The shop teacher said “Hey… let me show you a few things.” And it turned out that the car had a Check Engine light that was supposed to be on, but was actually missing. And a muffler repair that even I could see was sketchy. And a few things that were supposed to be connected that weren’t. He said that when he called [someone?] to ask about the Check Engine light, they said that he was supposed to call the DMV and report the seller. He left it to me to let the guy know that — even in a world of plausible deniability where he didn’t know the Check Engine bulb was gone — he’d be liable if someone figured it all out. The shop teacher thanked me for being such a good example of “Why you need to get a car checked out before you buy it.” The students got to feel all smart and helpful.

I dropped the car off at the seller’s house (he just let me take it to the mechanic and he went to work) and went back to work myself. I’m pretty sure I need to call him back. Still looking for a car with power windows, but my car’s looking pretty good right now.

What do you think?


  1. I’ve changed enough flat tires so that I took “power jack” to mean something entirely different from I now think you meant (like a power outlet).

    Good luck in the search.

  2. OMG, J. – I have the book this cartoon appeared on the back of and it’s long been a favorite – reminding me oh-so-wistfully of the mixed blessings of being a kidlet…

  3. I found this via a search after telling my wife about the Wilson strip. “So long, Wolf U-boat” has for decades been my default phrase for any lost dream or grand plan gone bad. Thanx for making it viewable after all these years.