I once had an old Chevy Monza hatchback, a ’75. It came with a banged-in fender that didn’t seem worth fixing. The rest of the body was so rusted that, well, what would be the point?
I realized that car needed rock and roll. Until then, and since, my radio dial just stays on CBC. It might flip from Radio One to Radio Two but that’s it. But not for a Chevy Monza. I had to search for a rock station that I could tolerate listening to. It’s what the car wanted.
The car got something else in its life with me. It was the exact same colour of orange as the City vehicles. One day I came out to find very large City decals on both doors, the same as City dumptrucks, pickups and cars had. As I told the City workers that came to my door a couple weeks later to remove the decals, I don’t know where they came from. The City workers used a blowtorch to take them off, which didn’t do a lot for the car’s paint job.
But for the time the decals were on the car, it was fun. I could park anywhere. I got very odd looks from City employees who saw it. The condition of the car really was a disgrace. I avoided driving it anywhere near City Hall, but the City officials still tracked me down and sent men to take my decals. The car died forever not long after that.
I went back to CBC with my next cars. There’s only been one car since then that demanded its own music. That’s my Mini Cooper S, and it’s only sporadic. On sunny summer days, it wants old rock and roll. The car and I welcome the first warm, sunny day with the Beach Boys. I crank the volume and roll down the windows. “Daddy took the T-bird away” and “Little Deuce Coupe” speak directly to my foot and gear-shifting hand. I got six gears and I want to go through them as fast as possible.
Other than the Beach Boys, girl groups and Jerry Lee Lewis, the Mini is happy to listen to CBC Radio One and Two. But hot summer days need summer music. And summer music makes me think fondly of a poor, battered up old Chevy Monza.