Today, the unthinkable happened. Today, I missed the Audi. It was the first beautiful day in Portland since August...oh, 1997... and it was a perfect day for a convertible. Notwithstanding the new transmission (the only one in the country), new clutch, new brakes, new battery (two of those), new alternator, $700 window and $500 blinker switch (and the extra kidney and cornea I had to auction to pay for those things - boy, Beto really misses those)... Notwithstanding that the tow companies knew us by name and our mechanic sent his kid to the Ivy League on our invoices, alone... I still missed the car... but just for today.

You would think I would have learned about VW-related cars, given the 1974 VW Bug with the exploding floorboards, failing brakes and the heat that seared your ankles and left the rest of you frost-bitten, or the VW GTI with its $500 headlights and 6 mufflers, that was stolen and stripped of everything including the windows, and excluding the radio... nope. No how, no way.

Today I still wish I had the car. Of course, that nostalgia would promptly end the next time we had to roll the car off the road and wait for a tow truck or live in panic at each new rattle, thump or wheeze.

The good news is that we were never alone in our misery -