A Transportation Trade

SAMSUNGCan’t help but wonder what the native, kayak-building people would have made of this deal.

Recently a friend of mine had his 1993 Miata (two-seat convertible sports car for you non-gearheads) slightly smashed up when he was going a little too fast and the car ahead of him stopped a little too quickly. Result: dented fender and torn front bumper cover, plus the retractable headlight got sprung into the eye-wide-open position.

We stood in a parking lot looking it over not long ago. My thought was, you unbolt the wrecked parts, bolt some new ones on, maybe get a paint job and you’re back on the road. He wasn’t one hundred percent convinced.

SAMSUNGThen his son made the same mistake in the same car a couple weeks later. The previously-battered parts got additionally messed up. The turn signal popped. This time around the hood took on a slight crimp, too.

By now the extent of the damage was taking a mental health toll on my pal. He asked if I would just take the car and drive it away so he wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

My wife and I don’t need another car. We’ve already got a stable of questionable vehicles — a 1996 Volvo, a 2000 Saturn and a 1994 Ford pickup. But given the price point, and my ridiculous enthusiasm for wrenching on old cars, I couldn’t say no. Helpless in the face of my addiction.

To balance the scales, I arranged a transportation trade with my friend. I take the car, he gets a skin-on-frame kayak. At the moment this seems like a more-or-less fair deal to me, but then again I haven’t skinned a single knuckle on the Miata yet.

My wife recognizes this transaction as a pathetic justification for building another baidarka. Of course she’s right.

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