Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 18: What's in your car

Okay, so the book wasn't in my car. The rest was.
It took me some thinking to come up with a book to go with this prompt, which was to work with materials found in your car. I already covered another book from the 'So you want to be a Wizard' series, but this is the very first (and I just gave the full title). In it, the two main characters are young teens who discover wizardy through a manual, and go through a dangerous trial in an alternate dimension New York. This other city is inhabited by all kinds of monsters, including living, predatory cars. One of these actually befriends them, after they help it, and ends up giving them a lot of help.
There is something strangely anthropomorphic about cars. Maybe it's just that the arrangement of headlights and grill-work can trigger that face recognition thing in our brains, or maybe it's that they've taken the role that once belonged to a living animal, the horse. Maybe we're just set up in a way that we anthropomorphisize anything we work so closely with and rely so much on.
Yeah, he's showing his age a little.
I love my car. It's a 1984 Chevy Cavalier, and my registration insists it is two colors; blue and blue (the sides are a shade darker blue, a subtle fashion statement?). My girlfriend's father got the car for us, from a terminally ill relative who had it from new and kept meticulous records. We owe him so much, it's run longer and better than anyone expected and it's worth a lot more to us than the kelly blue book value. We were told the car's name was Baby Blue, which was a little too cutesy, but we got it around the time B.B. King and Eric Clapton came out with the 'Riding with the King' music video and that clicked in my head, so we just call it by the initials B.B.
Along with the car, we inherited the contents of his trunk. This includes a heavy tool chest. The chest contains, of course, tools. It also contains a lot of old screws, nuts and bolts, dozens of those little hex wrenches you get with 'some assembly required' stuff, paperclips, and other odds and ends.
It's the other odds and ends that are really interesting.
I made the model car above with paper bags (I have a bunch I need to take to recycling), a scrap of plastic, and some chopped up water bottles for the tires. The headlights are automotive fuses, but in the picture up above you'll see the car being menaced by monsters, which also came out of the tool box. Yes, that's a plastic dinosaur, and a plastic spider ring like you see around Halloween, and a... well I'm not really sure. The silver thing looks to me like some kind of baking soda capsule submarine. I really don't know. I didn't include the wooden whistle, the bookmark of laminated Swiss coins, broken Tonka truck, or the old 1 cent stamps because they didn't seem very menacing.
There used to be a wooden paddle in the trunk that said 'heat for the seat' and showed somebody with their trousers down about to be spanked, but I gave it away.
The man we inherited this car from, and his wife (who is also now sadly passed on) never had any children. Why their car trunk holds so many things that would lead one to believe otherwise, I don't know, and it's a mystery that will probably never be solved.
Anyway, using junk from the car to make a model of it seemed an appropriate tribute, and I'd like to think if it ever came to life and we were stuck in a nightmare city, he would come to my aid. Also, the fact that the paper car's bumper and my real car's bumper are crooked on the same side is sheer accident. Er, that is, my one and only fender-bender from a skid on the car itself, and lucky chance on the paper model.


  1. Love the car, Rey! (I'm such a papier mache fan, too.)

  2. Does it count as papier mache? It's just two layers of paper bags glued together, cut out in flat shapes, kind of like I did the black stallion for the earlier prompt. There's no underlying form or anything, it's pretty flimsy. Also, I just today realized I was going to put on side mirrors and totally forgot...