IN THE EARLY 1970s, when I was married to my first wife and had a toddler, I bought a VW Bug convertible. It was so much fun! Totally unsafe, but who cared?
Airbags? Nah! Viable seatbelts? Nah! Padded dash? Yeah, right. It was hard steel. But we really enjoyed it, especially with the canvas top flipped down.
One afternoon in a summer rainstorm in New Orleans I was driving alone up Magazine Street (driving up, not down. There’s a difference.) and the puny wipers were doing their best. Janis Joplin was singing Me and Bobby McGee on the radio.
It was the first time I’d heard that song, and I still associate it with the interior of my Bug convertible in a sweltering New Orleans afternoon deluge. I gave the car to my wife after we split up, and she rapidly ran it into the ground. Sad.*
The world’s last Bugs were manufactured only in Mexico over the last few years, but that has come to an end. Sad again. And the only place the final cars will be sold is on Amazon Mexico. You can pay the full ride, or you can fork over 20,000 pesos for a layaway.
That’s about 1,000 U.S. dollars. Layaway is alive and thriving in Mexico.
Now, let me return to that rainy afternoon in New Orleans when I’d only been married once, had a cute little girl named Celeste, and I drove a white Bug convertible.
Imagine the rain.
* My second ex-wife scored even better. I gave her a house! Voluntarily. Or stupidly if you subscribe to my mother’s point of view.