If I hooked up a Pay-Pal account to this blog, would y’all donate to the cause of paying for the car that I want the most??? The need for a third row is absolutely killing my mojo! And do you know who’s to blame? The U.S. Government with their whole “everybody in a seat belt or you go to jail” vibe. That’s who. That extra row seats is going to cost me big. If I could get a 5-seater that I could every so often squeeze some extra kids into, I would have so many more options. Like in the good ol’ days, when the mellow strands of Chicago ruled the airwaves.
When I was a kid my Mom had a station wagon with a bench seat in the front and then a 2nd row bench seat in the back. I think there were a couple of lap belts too, but they were always squished down in the crevice between the seat and the backrest. There was no 3rd row. There were no “captains’ chairs”. No DVD player, dual rear climate control, arm rests, adjustable lumbar support and power windows. Cup holders? Yeah, they were that hard plastic cylinder that you clipped on the edge of your rolled down window that doubled as the rear air conditioner. You bought them at Eckerd’s, on the same aisle where the Ronco records were sold. I think they would have been considered “optional”. I test drove a car today that boasted twelve, as in 10+2, cup holders and two bottle wells. Can you imagine what a cocktail party on wheels that would be?
By today’s regulations, my Mom’s sweet ride would hold 5 bodies. In 1978, it regularly toted 8-10 bodies. Coming back from the beach, I usually got wedged in the front and would lie down across both passenger and driver. Maybe three boys might be on row 2, one could be on a pallet on the floorboards and the luckiest kid in the car would get to wallow in the very back of the flat cargo area inside of a suitcase fort. No one thought this was dangerous. Damnit, it was fun. It was always a bonding moment when the brakes got slammed and you fell off your seat. Or, I remember a high-school boyfriend called any curve in the road a C.O.D. …for “Come Over Darlin’”. ‘Cause if you had vinyl seats you’d end up sliding over to the other person in the car. And if your belt snagged the seat, you could just pick up some Vinyl Repair at the Richway, mix a color to blend and patch it up good as new.
Check out this family of eight. Eight! They look like they are about to leave Cousin Eddie’s house on their way to Wally World. Hey, those kids are kinda small. Do you think that station wagon is stuffed to the gills with tether-strapped booster seats? A-hem, no. I have exactly two children and I am just shy of justifying a passenger van.
And these big SUVs with their optional seating for seven or eight are not fuel efficient. But what can I do? Only four manufacturers have a diesel option for me right now, and the mileage on those babies is only a couple more than good ol’ regular unleaded. What about one of those Ed Beagley Jr. type converted Mercedes jalopies that runs on old fry grease from fast food joints? You know, a frybrid. Do I really need a new excuse to swing through a McDonald’s? The corn syrup car isn’t ready, and if you believe conspiracy theorists, and I kinda do, the government actually has the technology to make cars that run on water, using electrolysis, but they are keeping it from us. (Forget that the thermodynamics don’t really jive, I’d buy a car that runs on water.)