The One You Drive
by Mad Dog
The problem is that Tennessee law says
its only legal for men and cars to marry if the car is older than 16. Just kidding.
Actually it turns out your bride has to be female.
|| Buster Mitchell wants to marry his car. This shouldnt come as a shock
since I think we all know Americans love their cars. We pamper them, name them, feed them,
wash them, polish them, talk to them, and get very upset when anything happens to them. If
only we treated our family and friends that well.
Unlike most of us, though, Buster decided to act on his impulse.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, he decided it was time to marry his one true
lovehis 1996 Mustang GT. He went to the Knoxville, Tennessee courthouse and filled
out an application listing his fiancées birthplace as "Detroit", her
father as "Henry Ford", and her blood type as "10-W-40". The clerk
told him no go.
The problem is that Tennessee law says its only legal
for men and cars to marry if the car is older than 16. Just kidding. Actually it turns out
your bride has to be female. Imagine that! Buster defends himself by pointing out that his
fiancéewho he probably calls GT when hes murmuring sweet nothings into her
fuel injectorshas fewer plastic parts than either Cher or Pamela Anderson Lee. Just
kidding again. Actually they have the same amount.
According to the Associated Press, Buster says it should be
okay since "In California they have same-sex marriages." They dont, but he
doesnt let that stop him. "Why cant we do the good ol boy thing and
marry our cars and trucks?"
phizing cars is nothing new. Remember Herbie the Love Bug? The car in "Who Killed
Roger Rabbit"? And how about My Mother the Car, one of TVs finest moments?
|| Actually, it
wasnt that long ago that miscegenation was still illegal in Tennessee, so the idea
of interbreeding between cars and people is, well, a little revolutionary. Im
surprised the KKK (Kar Klub of Knoxville) hasnt burned a car chassis on his lawn
yet, but thats probably only because theyre too busy writing their Congressmen
to make the practice legal. Providing, of course, that the law includes long-bed pick-up
trucks (with or without camper shells).
Why is it we love our cars so much, anyway? Theyre big,
hulking, cold, balky pieces of metal. Not something wed usually think of as a
loveable object. True, we spend a lot of time in them, but we also spend a lot of time in
the bathroom and most people dont have the same relationship with their toilet. [NOTE:
Insert favorite "Buster marrying an outhouse" joke here.] It could be
because cars get us places quicklywell, usuallybut people dont feel the
same way about bicycles or buses or trains or roller blades. Well, maybe roller blades,
but thats mostly in Southern California.
Maybe its because cars are like mobile castles, keeping
us safe and protected from the outside world. This would help explain why we defend them
at all costs if someone on the road threatens it. Im amazed some smart lawyer
hasnt used this argument to defend a road rage case yet. After all, if a person is
allowed to protect their home from intruders, and a person in another car is attacking
your portable home, you should have the right to protect yourself. I suspect Buster has
already thought this through, even going so far as to realize that if he were married to
his car, it couldnt be forced to testify against him in court.
If people are allowed to marry their cars, what next? Lawn mowers? Power saws? That new
gadget from the Williams-Sonoma catalog?
Anthropomorphizing cars is nothing new. Remember Herbie the Love Bug?
The car in "Who Killed Roger Rabbit"? And how about My Mother the Car, one of
TVs finest moments in which Jerry Van Dykes dead mother came back as a car?
This was one of the all-time amazing sitcoms. Amazing because to this day no one will
admit to having commissioned it, written it, produced it, or even watched it, yet somehow
it lasted a full year.
thought of My Mother The Car should be enough to make people like Buster Mitchell abandon
any thoughts of marrying his car. Suppose your mother was reincarnated as a car and
you married her without realizing it? How would you cope with it? Psychiatry? Move to West
Virginia where its legal? Join Roman Polanski in France? The sick part is that that
sooner or later someone in Detroit would decide theres a market there and start
producing the new Ford Oedipus.
Actually, one of the things that bothers me most about Buster
and his attempt at auto-eroticism is his taste in mates. A 96 Mustang? Come on! I
had a 66 Mustang convertible for a number of years and I have to say, even though I
really liked the car, I couldnt see marrying it. It was too hard to cuddle up to, it
would overheat and stop before I was done, and in the winter it took forever to warm up.
True, it didnt talk back, I could turn it off anytime I wanted, and I could take the
top down whenever I was in the mood and it never complained of having a headache. But even
so, marriage is a big step.
The biggest problem, really, is that this could set a very bad
precedent. If people are allowed to marry their cars, what next? Lawn mowers? Power saws?
That new gadget from the Williams-Sonoma catalog? Suddenly that stupid joke from when we
were kids"I love Tootsie-rolls!" "Then why dont you marry
one?"will be taken literally.
Buster swears hes not giving up yet and may try a couple
of wedding chapels in the Great Smoky Mountains. In my heart I hope hes successful
and happy. I really do. But if it doesnt work out in the long run, hed better
not come crying to me complaining that his bride the car is driving him crazy. After all,
hes supposed to be the one in the drivers seat.
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while getting your spouse's oil changed.