Agility Spaz

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Death of a Spazmobile

Today, the Spazmobile went to Car Heaven. Without going into too much detail about make and model, I should mention it was a coupe. Two doors, low trunk line, and my dream car until Viva came along. I found out last summer that agility people could identify me as a newbie from a mile away simply because of the car I drove, which was not exactly designed for carting dogs around. Actually, the Spazmobile did a noble job of carting. More challenging was the act of getting Viva and her assorted gear into the Spazmobile in the first place. Friends observed on more than one occasion that eliminating Viva's crate might have rendered life considerably more simple. I tried that once. A certain fuzzy someone managed to get her head caught in the steering wheel, causing prolonged honking. Really prolonged. The crate may be less convenient than a free-ranging dog to coax into a coupe, but for us it was clearly the safer and ultimately quieter option.

Due to a recent spate of inclement weather characterized on one particular morning by baseball-sized hail, however, the crate and the dog and I are in search of new wheels. Hailstones literally smashed the Spazmobile to smithereens. I've never seen such a storm, nor do I hope to ever again. Houses, cars, streetlights -- everything took a beating, and the city is lucky no one was seriously injured. Compared to Hurricane Katrina, an hour's worth of even sizeable hail with two tornadoes in its wake is in essence a picnic, but we did receive official catastrophe zone designation and have been playing host to the various tents and trailers sent in and set up by the national insurance companies. For some reason, they add a slightly surreal tinge to the impending onset of the school year. Ahh, the new school year. Not the most ideal time for an academic to be searching for a new car, especially when half the county's population (including most of the college's faculty and staff) is searching with you.

That said, the folks at Bloomington Subaru have been angels. They've found me a mighty fine Forrester, one that handles so much like a car (as opposed to a truck or SUV) that I think my days of driving a coupe are over. Agility people will have to watch me run before they'll know I'm a neophyte.