Help, Conan, help!

Melissa Stagnaro

I can’t deny the fact that my car is getting on in years. After 12 years on the road, she has finally begun to show it’s age.

A spot of rust has taken hold above one wheel well. The paint has seemingly lost its will to go on, leaving an unsightly blemish on the hood. On occassion, the lock on the driver’s door will stick, forcing me to climb over the passenger seat to gain entry. The pleather on the center console has cracked, allowing a rather ghetto tuft of padding to show through. The radio knob sometimes pops off. And she seems to be running a little louder than normal these days.

But despite those signs of wear and tear, I can’t complain. She’s been good to me.
Together, my Explorer and I have, well explored. By my recollection, we’ve visited or at least driven through a total of 21 states. We’ve enjoyed the rays in the sunny Florida Keys, had our adventures in the Colorado Rockies, partied it up in the French Quarter and on the Las Vegas Strip, and eaten up thousands of miles of road along the way.

Over the years, she’s seen me through more moves than I’d care to count. And she’s never failed me in any kind of weather, and believe me, we’ve been through it all: gale force winds, blinding snow, glare ice, freezing rain, pea-soup thick fog, torrential downpours, tropical storms and, yes, even a hurricane evacuation.

Despite the memories we’ve made together, both good and bad, sometimes it crosses my mind that maybe it’s time to retire the old girl. But I think I’d feel like I was betraying an old friend.

This week I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself about my wheels, seeing as I’d missed my chance to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers deal. But then a co-worker by the name of Chris Greeley forwarded me a video he’d made about his own car, which made me feel infinitely better about mine.

His is WAY worse. In fact, it’s so bad that he’s submitted a video to the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to try to get Conan to blow up it up. Once you watch the video, it won’t take you long to figure out why.

Believe it or not, Chris’ car is newer than mine by a good three years. But his 2000 GMC Jimmy, a distinctive shade I like to describe as metallic “taupe,” has about 150,000 miles on it. Every one of them shows.

His hood, which he opens using a system he’s rigged with what looks like a pair of vice grips, has been known to fly off while driving. It’s apparently a matched set with his front bumper, which also has a tendancy to fall off at the drop of a hat. One of his headlights, damaged when he hit a deer, is held together by the grace of God and vast quanitities of clear packaging tape.

At one point, the car had what Chris thinks might have been an early morning run-in with a plow truck. The plow apparently kept on driving, but its blade left its mark, opening up the passenger door “like a tin can,” as Chris describes in the video.

I know what you’re thinking. It can’t be as bad as that, right? Well, I assure you that it is. But don’t take my word for it. Have a look yourself with the link below. (Cut and paste if you can’t click through.)

While you’re there, make sure you rate the video to help Chris move up in the standings. Every view and rating will get him one step closer to having his car blown up. Which I guess, if you are forced to drive that piece of junk, would be a good thing.

Good luck, Chris!