QOTD: Were You a Lone Wolf?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd were you a lone wolf

This past weekend’s Canadian Thanksgiving afforded me the opportunity to converse with non-Twitter “normies,” thus allowing me to learn a thing or two about how such people live their lives. Of particular note was what goes on in my friend’s son’s high school parking lot.

No, I hadn’t heard reports of illicit activity, though you can be sure it’s happening. Damn sure. Instead, my interest lay in what his fellow students drove, and if they drove. Recalling my angsty, awkward high school years during the height of ’90s nihilism, it seemed my school’s student lot would double nicely as a BHPH lot stocked with nothing but aging GM relics. Granted, the school was a rural one, and its student body was hardly a bastion of wealth and privilege. My friend’s son’s school, on the other hand, is urban, and Soundgarden is no longer burning up the charts.

How would these two student bodies differ in their vehicle use, I wondered?

Upon hearing that the only students who drove their own cars were those whose parents bought them said cars, I recoiled in horror. Apparently, many of them are nice (read: new) rides. Not only that, but the severe lack of students driving their own beat-up, self-bought vehicles makes the likelihood of anyone at that school having a set of keys (fobs?) in their pocket a rare thing.

One can imagine the lack of impromptu off-roading during spare periods or lunch hour. What do these kids do with their free time — spend it on social media? Protest problematic speech? Explore strange new feelings? Smoke copious amounts of weed in the park a block over?

How will they learn to rock a sensible sedan out of unexpectedly deep mud?

I take solace in the possibility that this scenario might not be a nation-wide thing; that outlying schools probably have a heap of mildly interesting, aging rides populating student lots, many of them bought with pocket change for the purpose of ushering eager young minds across swaths of sparsely populated countryside in all types of weather, and under all manner of driving skill.

My mind also considered the idea that being the one student in a circle of friends with access to a car might eventually prove annoying. It’s your job to ferry Kayden and Brayden and Kyleigh and Kayla everywhere. No one else’s. Plans hinge on your availability. It could be a bit of a drag, though it’s better than having no vehicle access.

Were you this hypothetical student — the only one in your high school peer group with their own vehicle, or regular access to one? How did that work out for you?

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 16, 2019

    I remember coming home from college for Christmas break and going to the grocery store with my mother. One of my classmates worked there and was bagging our groceries and asked me if I was in college which I said yes. This was during the Fall of 1973 during the Arab Oil Embargo. My classmate told me one of his biggest regrets was not going to college and he told me that that cool blue 69 Olds 442 convertible he had in high school was traded in for a used VW Bug. He was a nice guy but he would come to class exhausted because he worked all night to pay for that 442. He is now retired having worked for one of the airlines but he is now working as a security guard for a Lexus dealership. I was appreciative of my father for letting me drive his Chevy II to high school. I kept the maintenance up on that Chevy II and I kept it washed and waxed. That red Chevy II was so shiny that you could see your reflections in it. I still take care of all my vehicles just like that and I recently gave my nephew my 99 S10 5 speed extended cab to my nephew after driving it 20 1/2 years (120k original miles. My nephew has a 2014 Ram Cummins and his wife a 09 Accord but he plans on keeping my S-10. Today I am going to the courthouse to transfer the title on a 2012 Buick Lacrosse that I am buying from my neighbor who is the original owner (the Buick has 45k miles on it and it runs like new). I plan on keeping that Buick for 10 years and it will be my retirement car when I retire in 2 years.

  • -Nate -Nate on Oct 16, 2019

    GREAT stories ! . I had a pickup truck when I was 12 that I'd resurrected so by the time I moved to California and began High School in 1970 it was only a matter of time before I got my own car, I had to pay rent, food and clothes etc. so it took me close to a year to find a battered 1960 VW #117 Beetle (with holes in the canvas sunroof) for $50 ~ $10 down and $10 a week, the battery was bad so I had to push start it every where I went for the first two or three years but I managed, gasoline was .32 CENTS the gallon . Like most kids I was ignorant and so I thought I was being grown up by having my own job, apartment, live in girlfriend and car, all at age 14, no driver's license until I was 16 . The H.S. parking lot was mostly 1960's cars, average 10 year old hand me downs and the ever present $50 beater, one kid had a nice 1956 Cadillac convertible, another a black and white Metroploitan Nash convertible with big "Bud Man" stickers on the doors...... High school was fun until it wasn't due to work and life so I left and lever looked back . I don't recall any shootings there but a some fights and a stabbing outside of my Biology class one afternoon . I guess I was a 'loner' because I never carried anyone but my two male friends and of course, my G.F. who had her mothers 1965 Lincoln, a HUGE BOAT that was nice but ponderous and thirsty . -Nate

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