The Ultimate Driving Machine
Monday, June 25, 2012 • 9:04am
I am seated nervously in the examination room waiting for a consultation with a physician. I have never had cosmetic surgery before, and I am a little embarrassed. There is a courtesy knock on the door before the doctor bursts in. He is studying my chart intently.
He looks up to greet me as he enters, then stops sharply, startled at the sight of my deformity.
“Whoooa! That’s some wart! How did you get that thing in here?” he asks.
“I drove it,” I tell him. “And it’s not a wart. It’s an SUV. Can you remove it?”
I have come to this well-known specialist to surgically remove my car from my backside. Sometime during the year, between sports and school and lessons and play dates and commuting and activities and errands, it became grafted to my rear, like a second skin.
“Beach season is approaching . . .” I tell him by way of explanation, hoping he will understand. But it sounds vain and hollow, like I am more interested in a tan line than maintaining an appendage that can drive my family to the beach.
“I don’t know,” I waffle. “Maybe I should just leave it attached. It doesn’t really hurt, and after all, it has a navigation system and a DVD player.”
“Let’s take a looksee under the hood,” says the doctor, stretching a pair of latex gloves over his hands and pulling a lighted scope down over his eye from his forehead.
I hope he doesn’t ask me to bend over. Because I can’t. Not without moving the steering wheel.
The doctor leans in hesitantly to examine me.
“You need to come to the driver’s side,” I instruct him. “I can’t move very well with this thing attached.” I realize how silly this sounds given I have a large 4-wheel drive car under me.
“Open your mouth and say ahhh,” he says. I am confused. Maybe he is looking for the keys. But after he peers down my throat, he methodically pokes his fingers uncomfortably between the seats; mine and the car’s. Now cough.
“Hmmmm” he moans somewhat ominously.
I am alarmed. “What do you feel, doc?”
“Some loose change,” he says. “And a cell phone.”
I laugh nervously, but I think this doctor could do a lot to improve his car-side manor.
“Have you ever seen anything like this before?” I ask him.
“Oh sure. You know Lance Armstrong, the cyclist? After the French Open I removed a 15-speed titanium tumor with drop handlebars and an Italian racing seat from his groin. It was nasty procedure, but now look at him. He can walk!”
The doctor tells me I should be thankful I am not a bus driver. Or a pilot.
Then he pulls up his scope and takes off his gloves. “How long have you had this . . . protuberance,” he asks seriously, taking notes on my chart.
“Actually, it’s not a Protuberance, it’s a Chevy Suburban.” I tell him. “I got it years ago when the kids started school. I never really wanted it, but it wasn’t until this year with all the driving I had do that it, uhm, actually started to grow on me.”
“And now you want to get rid of it?” he asks, surprised.
“Yes. It’s hard to find pants that fit.” I tell him, trying to sound practical. And then, changing the subject: “Do you think insurance will cover it?”
“No, but a garage might help,” he replies.
“I mean the operation,” I say, annoyed.
“Yes, your insurance will cover the surgical removal. Everything but towing fees and title transfer.”
I think about life with a smaller cargo area and less seating area. A slimmer me. A me without unsightly dents. A me with fewer miles. A me I can get in and out of, like the car I wore when I got married.
Somehow, it just feels right. It’s time to reclaim my life. I no longer want to see the USA in my Chevrolet. I want to feel the air on my derriere!
I want to know if there is much pain.
“Well, we do have to make a rather large incision, but we will do our best not to damage the leather interior. You probably won’t be getting a butterfly tattoo any time soon, but you can be out wearing a tighter car in no time. “
“Just in time for summer,” he adds with a wink.
“So what is the downside?” I want to know.
He looks at me gravely. “No one will want you in a car pool,” he says. “And you may have to leave one of the kids at home.”
I think about this a minute.
This can work. My oldest will be driving soon.
Maybe, for once, I can leave me at home.