Hoop-Dee Cars Make Us Stronger. Also Funnier.

Definition courtesy of
Definition courtesy of

Once upon a time, I drove a sparkly VW convertible, Aquarius blue with a gray soft top and interior. By sheer nepotism luck, I’d scored a well-paying job in Big Pharma right after I graduated college, and in May 2005, I bought her.


Named for her annoying ‘alert’ sound, Nudge had a habit of wailing the instant you sat down without your seatbelt, left the door open, or felt too smug for your own good.

She sure was cute, though. AND THE CAR WASN’T HALF BAD EITHER!

Now don’t misunderstand me: I hate to drive. No interest in cars. If I won the Mega Millions, the first thing I’d do is hire a chauffeur. But Nudge, well, she was special. A sign of independence, financial and otherwise.

Before Nudge, I had a series of hoop-dee cars. I never minded; I was grateful for my parents’ hand-me-downs, already used when they bought them, barely worth $1,000 combined by the time they were in my possession. I couldn’t stand the idea of high school kids getting brand new cars for their 16th birthdays. How would they ever learn the value of a dollar, or the thrill of gluing ‘NSync bobbleheads to the dash of their 1987 Chrysler Le Baron (“Toaster”) without consequence?

How did I have any friends?

When Peppermeister (Current Husband) and I decided to buy a house in 2010, I sold Nudge and paid cash for a used 2006 Hyundai Sonata with a buttload of miles on it. Aside from being in my price range, it handled well, had great pick-up, 4 doors, and most importantly, unlike Nudge, excellent visibility. At 28 years old, it was my grown-up car.

A while back, I asked you clever Chipmunks to vote on a name. The winner was a write-in for “Dash” (thanks, Girl on the Contrary!). The name was based on my car’s impressive engine, and also short for Kardashian (she had a lot of junk in the trunk at the time).

So it stunk like smoke for the first four months. It has a sunroof! That's almost as fun as a VW convertible... Right?
So it stunk like smoke for the first four months. It has a sunroof! That’s almost as fun as a brand new VW convertible that smells like hope and roses… Right?

Two weeks ago, I met up with a few lovely blogger friends for brunch: Rache from Rachel’s Table, Misty from Misty’s Laws, and Julie Maida from MaidaSomeArt. Julie had driven to Rache’s house in Delaware from Virginia, and Dash and I had come from New Jersey.

We traded war stories.

“So my heat knob’s not working now,” I began, as we I poured champagne and put Rache to work making delicious frittatas. “It used to work on the 1 and 4 levels, but now nothing. Which means I can’t use the defrost. Luckily, it was sleeting the whole drive here, so that was fun. I need warmer gloves,” I finished with the casual laugh of someone who knows all too well what it means to drive a car with the roof lining dangling on your head, loosely kept in place with multi-colored thumbtacks.

Julie Maida and her custom Rachel's Table champagne glass. You're welcome for my amazing photography.
Julie Maida and her custom Rachel’s Table champagne glass.

Julie replied, “Did you have a bottle of water, at least?”

I looked at her quizzically. She explained, “To thaw the ice. I took my husband’s car, and the windshield wiper fluid doesn’t work. And you know it was misting just enough where the wipers only smudge up the windshield. Luckily, I had a bottle of water in the car, so I tossed that on the windshield when I stopped to pay the tolls – which is also when I had to open the car door because the window won’t roll down.”

It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite hoop-dee stories. Peppermeister drove a real winner when we started dating in 2003: A 1987 Chevy Blazer. There was an issue with the lock, but he was able to open the doors with… a dime. A dime in the keyhole. A dime he kept hidden in the rust hole at the bottom of the driver’s side door.

Let me repeat that.

He opened his car using a dime that he stored in the rust hole of the car door.

What’s your favorite hoop-dee car story? I really can’t wait to hear.

Just For Fun, Uncategorized

Wanna Name My Car?

I’ve named every car I’ve ever had. My first car, a hand-me-down maroon 1987 Crystler Le Baron was The Toaster. Because, well, it felt like you were riding in a little tin toaster. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for The Toaster. Not just ’cause she was my first, but because she was healthy as a horse until her dying day, when she just wouldn’t start. True to guilty pleasure form, I even adorned her dash with 5 hunky passengers who always seemed to agree with me:

I was so sad when The Toaster went bye, bye, bye.

My second car, another hand-me-down, was a silver 1991 Geo Prism named Toasty. Toasty was a love child of The Toaster, and took after her in many toaster-y ways. This isn’t Toasty, but she looked a lot like this:

Photo credit:

I named my last car, a shiny new, baby blue 2005 VW Beetle convertible, Nudge, because anytime you left the door open or didn’t have your seatbelt on, she’d let you know about it in the most obnoxious way possible:

I know. I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie wo-orld...

Two years ago, I sold Nudge, knowing it was time to buy a 4-door, grown-up car that I could actually see out of (Nudge sure was cute, but the visibility? Yeesh). I had to emotionally check out, knowing it was unlikely my next new-to-me car was going to make me smile on sight. I paid cash for my current car, a used blue 2006 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata’s been very good to me, and I’m starting to feel guilty for not naming her.

A Hyundai by any other name...would still smell like a homeless person.

I need your help. Write-ins are MOST appreciated (please be sure to comment below for any write-ins; the poll ones don’t seem to appear!), otherwise, I’ve created a poll where you can vote below! Before doing so, though, here’s a few things you should know about the Sonata:

  • She has over 100,000 miles on her

  • When I say she’s blue, I mean she’s more of a garish, turquoise-y blue

  • She reeked of cigarette smoke when I bought her

  • When I turn on the vents, it smells like a homeless person for a few minutes

  • Her trunk is huge, and, it’s full of crap (so, you know, she has junk in her trunk)

  • According to the CarFax report, she was in not 1, not 2, but 3 accidents before I inherited her