30 August 2007

Nostalgia by an Inapt Driver

Lolo Sol's quirks have always been a favorite subject at family gatherings and used to be an alternative pastime when one cannot turn to HBO or to the latest episode of a sappy telenovela due to a power outage which was pretty commonplace during the mid 90s. Now, at the rare occasion that the entire family can get together at dinner time, his quirks remain the constant source of mirth.

Several tales about Lolo's antics have been swapped over the years among family members and even to close friends that I can create an entire encyclopedia about it. Personally, it's Lolo's (mis)adventures with his 1500 VW Beetle that I find the most comical. The so-called (mis)adventures are almost always the effect of misdirected frugality. Lolo was never stingy with any member of the family especially to us, his apos (grandchildren) however, when it comes to himself he just becomes unreasonably sparing.

On weekend mornings, Lolo Sol would always bring me and Eman, my cousin, to a drive around the city and before heading home we would stop by the public market to buy
masareal (sweet delicacy made of peanuts and refined sugar), bibingka (rice cake) and tagaktak (stringy rice cake). On one particular weekend instead of driving back home, he drove to the outskirts of the city to visit an old friend from the army to mine and Eman's delight because that could only mean one thing --- we have the sweet treats all to ourselves! But our selfish delight didn't last long for as soon as we head home, the car gave a feeble lurch, whirred and completely conked out in the middle of a deserted road. As the completely perplexed Lolo tinkered and prodded his beloved Beetle, we remained inside the car drenched in sweat and parched from too much sweets. It took several minutes before it occurred to Lolo that the fuel gauge was busted and he has plainly forgotten to refill his gas tank that morning. Good thing a service van of an electric company gave him a lift to the nearest gasoline station however he had to walk almost a kilometer on his way back.

Barely a month passed when the same turn of events transpired. On our way to the Wednesday novena at the Redemptorist Church, the Beetle refused to budge again in the middle of the highway. Lola, always the faithful one, obliged my sister and I to sing the Ave Maria as an appeal for divine intervention. But of course, no amount of novenas would be able to fill up the empty gas tank.

With Lolo on the wheel, one is assured of an eventful ride. It just seems a tad incredulous that the man who used to drive us around the city with so much gusto now lies immobilized in a hospital bed. A certain ripple of nostalgia makes me want to grab the keys and take a long, aimless drive with my Lolo's reliable old Beetle.

Except that the Beetle is now in someone else's garage. But then again, I don't know how to drive either. Sigh.


Fruit species said...

Now you remind me of the love bug! The lovable Beetle! A nice and interesting blog. By the way, you wrote very well. Cheers from Fruity

Issa Jimenez said...

Hahahh.. Thanks for your kind words. Drop by often!

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