I Was a Teenage Honda

My car, Sylvie, is a ripe eleven years old. For the most part, she is a sweet and docile southern lady, with just the right amount of spice to accelerate across three lanes of traffic should the need arise.

I used to assume that car years translated to human years at approximately (C)(5.562) = (H). Over the last few months, Sylvie has set out to prove me wrong. Instead, she seems to think that she is the identical twin of a teenager who keeps inventing excuses to go to the mall with her friends. Except, for Sylvie, “the mall” is the bay of the local auto mechanic, and her friends are the skilled and reliable mechanics who work there.

Witness the following simulated conversation:

“Mom, can I go to the mall with Scott and Kevin?”

“Sure, hon. Do you need something?”

“I need more of my acne medicine [oil change] from the vitamin store.”

“Do you need it right now?”


*Sigh* “Okay.”

“Mom, can I go to the mall with Scott and Kevin?”

“Sylvie, you just went there last week.”

“I know, but it’s been so rainy lately, and I need a new umbrella [windshield wipers] to keep the rain off. The old one squeaks when I open it.”

*Sigh* “All right, Sylvie, but this had better be the last time.”

“Sure, Mom! You’re the best!”

“Mom, can I go to the mall with Scott and Kevin?”

“Sylvie, I told you not to ask me that again.”

“I know, but my printer [transmission] is making the papers all blurry, and I think it needs new ink [transmission fluid].”


“It’s for school, Mom! It’s important!”


“Mom, I’m going to need to go to the mall tomorrow. Is that okay?”

“Sylvie, honestly.”

“I need new shoes [tires]! That’s all!”

“What happened to your old ones? They should have been good for years!”

“I dunno. There’s a hole in one.”

*Grumble* “Fine. Let’s go.”


“Sylvie, I’m warning you.”

“My knees [struts] hurt.”

“Have you been running on concrete?”

“Yes, but that’s where the cross country team practices.”

*Sigh* “Just slow it down for now, okay?”


“Please, Sylvie.”

“I hate you.”

See what I mean? She’s a disaster.

Just wait until she starts learning to drive…


Published by Jen

The author of Snark on the Side is not your average run-of-the-millennial generation. Jen is a contradiction in terms: a graceful klutz, a smart blond, a math-savvy English degree-holder, a southern liberal, and an adult amateur equestrian who doesn’t match her saddle pads. Snark on the Side is a work in progress, born out of years of rambling email newsletters and anthropomorphized Christmas letters, small town observations, and the ever-present irony of pursuing a career with a degree in English literature. Thanks for visiting!

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