I was reading Scope's moving account of the brief life and tortured death of his beloved VW Dasher, and it reminded me of the unfortunate and quite public death of my own piece of crap car in 2004. This is what I wrote about it at the time:
A moment of silence for my dear departed 1989 Honda Accord.
It expired Wednesday at 8:55am, in a humongous intersection smack dab in the middle of rush hour. It died surrounded by family and friends (me). Those family and friends (me) pushed its bloated carcass out of the road amid honks and obscenities. Not a very dignified way to go out. Cause of death was a blown head gasket. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to my mechanic.
The car died right in the middle of the intersection, and I hopped out to push it into a gas station that was blessedly located on one of the corners. As I turned the wheel to push, the car started rolling away from me. I soon realized to my horror that the intersection crowned in the middle and had a slight incline on all sides. The car picked up speed as I ran alongside it gripping the steering wheel, fearful that it would hit something. The car began to roll faster than I could run, so I took a literal leap of faith and grabbed the wheel tightly, jumping and pulling myself partially into the car. My feet were on the pedals and both hands on the wheel, but my considerable ass was hanging in the wind inches from the asphalt. The door flapped back and forth, slamming into me again and again as I tried to gain control of the car. Finally, I managed to get my ass inside and pulled over. I was probably twenty-five yards past the gas station at this point. A couple of guys helped me push the car (uphill of course) back to the station.
It's funny, I didn't have any time to think and so I did the most dangerous thing possible. My instinct was to be more concerned about the car and anything it might hit than myself. Not good. I later imagined the cops calling my mom. "He fell out and ran over his own head and legs, ma'am, but the good news is that he saved his non-operative 15-year-old car from needless body damage."