ran when parked

green wrecked truck

What is the law of physics that says that a 2″ tall plastic Batman figure that was easily avoided when the lights were on is going to be stepped on both coming and going to the bathroom when the living room is dark?

And what does it say that I didn’t pick it up the first time I stepped on it?

I’m thinking about the phrase “ran when parked” this morning.

That’s an optimistic way to sell a car.

It’s even more optimistic to buy a car that’s advertised like that.

I’m always checking out the cars in the want-ads.

I know at this point that a bargain is rarely a bargain. I have enough experience to know that something that’s cheap is something I’m going to pay for over and over as I break down and worry about how to fix it.

My psychic well-being is worth something.

But this whole thing about “ran when parked” is so enticing.

It says, “This was a good car at one point. This car ran like cars do run. It ran like the wind….started every time…took us exactly where we pointed it.”

“This car ran when we parked it years ago.”

“This car could run again.”

“This car ran when parked….”

And here comes the subtle and never completely expressed sentiment that draws me in every time, the sentiment that is never stated and probably never intended, but that swirls in the back of my mind every time I read “ran when parked”.

The hidden sentiment is this:

“This car ran when parked. I’m not smart enough to make it run again. That simple dream is beyond the capabilities of my rudimentary mechanical abilities. But a genius at fixing things could do it. A genius could do it.”

“A genius could resurrect this fine automobile.”

And I think, usually with a lot of undeserved confidence driven by greed and the excitement of getting a really cheap car , “Yeah…a genius. That’s what it would take. Those other guys don’t know what to do…but I do. I would. It would take a genius. It would take a real genius to get that car back to a driveable state.”

“I’m just the genius who could buy that broken thing and make it go again.”

“I have TENACITY, after all. I’d grab that problem and shake it in my mouth until my head fell off.”

“I’d worry that car to death.”

Of course, I don’t buy these cars. I might have before growing a family….but I can’t do that now. I can’t put Jenny through that.

Our cars need to run. They need to serve a purpose.

I don’t need more projects.

So, other than being an untested ego boost, other than being an untried conceit, other than my mechanical abilities being something that usually only invades and conquers when the wrenching stays up in my head…other than that consistent misconception and ever-present self-deception swirling up in my brain…I don’t mess with the “ran when parked” cars much.

To twist that sentiment a little…personalize it…I know that I don’t want to be one of the “ran when parked” people who barely inhabit the planet. For some of us, that’s as far as we go. Maybe that’s why so many people pass away after retirement? They “park”…and that’s all she wrote.

I’ve got to figure out a way to keep rolling smooth right up until the time that I can’t “keep it between the fence posts” anymore.

I can’t park this life.

And….I need to learn to buy things that are “right” right now.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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