Green Mazda Protege

I wanted to tell a little story about Sir Monkeypants’ current car, but somehow “a little back story” turned into paragraphs and paragraphs about the car before that and the car before that, and it practically became a novel. So because I need to write stuff down or else it keeps me up at night, I bring you an exciting (more or less) new serial:

A Brief Memoir Of Every Car We Have Ever Owned

…starting today with the Green Mazda Protege.

I call the Mazda “our” first car, but really it belonged to Sir Monkeypants before we were married. He bought it new off the lot about a year after we graduated from university, by far the biggest expenditure either of us had ever made. He was living in Ottawa at the time and I was in Toronto, and he called me long distance from the dealership desk at the very moment of signing the papers just for a last-minute verification that he was doing the right thing. I knew absolutely nothing about cars but assured him it sounded like a great deal.

The Mazda was a little 1994 four-door sedan, dark forest green with a tan interior. It had a manual transmission to save money, but on the other hand it came with some sort of “sports” package that included a lovely clear glass sunroof and a spoiler across the back of the trunk. I think it’s safe to say that Sir Monkeypants really liked that car. It was fairly reliable, although the air conditioning seemed to need a complete overhaul every three years or so, and one time my billowing hair got tangled in the sunroof mechanism while it was open and broke it (luckily fixed under warranty).

After we were married, Sir Monkeypants tried to teach me to drive it, because I didn’t drive standard, and we got to the point where I could be a serviceable designated driver but that was about it. I was happy to take the bus to work and have Sir Monkeypants drive everywhere else.

Around the time of our one year anniversary, Sir Monkeypants got sent to work in North Carolina for several months, and at the same time, my work moved to a far away office tower on the other side of town. It seemed silly for me to have an hour’s bus ride each way every day when we had a perfectly good car just sitting there, so Sir Monkeypants encouraged me to take the Mazda to work. I did, and eventually we got to be good friends, the Mazda and I.

Its license plate was 594 VTO. I’m impressed I remember that because at the time, I could not for the life of me commit it to memory. Sir Monkeypants made up a little meme to help me and I can’t remember what it was, but I do remember that the “9” stood for my cousin Emma, who was 9 at the time. She just turned 30 in October. SIGH.

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