a prodigal daughter returns

As my wife lay crippled up with pain on her bed here at our home, our two daughters lived indifferent and uncaring lives in different parts of Florida. And yet I knew that troubling portents were afoot, as the skies over these last few days have been ominously colored towards the evening, troubled skies warning of visitations to come. Sure enough, the youngest came wheeling into Orlando Monday driving an expensive German sports car a $27/day Budget rental, the New New Volkswagen Beetle. The more masculine design, not the rounded feminine New Beetle that had the flower holder on the dash. She finally acknowledged that perhaps she owed some small pittance of time to the woman who gave her life and toiled unceasingly to bring her up in this world.

That's the nice thing about being a parent. I now know all the possible ways to guilt my children into doing just about anything.
She still drives the 1994 Volvo 940, not least because she can't afford to buy a new one. But even if she could she wouldn't buy the New New Beetle. According to her it handles horribly, has a number of horrendous blind spots, and has a wider turning radius than the Volvo. When I put 10 gallons of gas into it before we returned the car, a quick mental calculation showed it got little better than 27mpg. My Prius easily doubles that. As a trailing Baby Boomer I remember the Original Beetle and wish I still had one. It was certainly smaller and lighter than the New Beetle and the following New New Beetle. It was a true "peoples car", not the bloated expensive things Volkswagen the company sells today.


  1. I once had a New Beetle (not the new new one, but the one with the flower) for a week. It was fun compared to my Diesel I usually drove. But of course the original one, aaahh, that was better. Brought me all around England and Scotland before it died in Germany.

    Nice photos of daughter & car - the GX1 I suppose?

    1. They will never make a car like the original with its rear-mounted air cooled engine that you could just pull out. Or watch it fall out of the back. But that's another story. I actually had some nicer closeups of her, but she didn't want them up. Something about not looking good after four hours of driving. I thought she looked just fine, but then I'm her dad. Yes, it's the GX1.


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