January 16, 2007 at 3:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unsafe at any speed

I always thought my rearview mirror was only held on by duct tape. I bought the car used, and that’s what it has always looked like. A few heavy strips of black duct tape holding the driver’s side mirror in place. Not in any sort of useful angle. But well enough so that cops don’t think they need to ticket me.

The edge of the mirror started to wear through the tape. And after a few months, I noticed that there were only maybe 4 or five inches of actual tape holding the mirror in place. And then was gradually reduced to 3. And then it appeared to be held on by a corner of tape and some snow and ice that had gotten jammed in there. I started to get paranoid when I drove. I’d keep glancing at the mirror after any big bump, to see if I’d left it in the middle of the road.

Notice that I did not actually fix the mirror at any point and stop this process.

Today it looked particularly precarious, basically about ready to fly off when I made the turn from Irving Park onto Ashland. So I pulled over and decided to yank it off myself for safekeeping. At least I could tape it on later and not have to buy a new one.

I was surprised to find out that, in fact, it was held in by a bunch of cables, which back in the day must have controlled the tilt of the mirror. It looked like a loose eyeball, but it was definitely not about to fall out and shatter like I’d imagined.

Now I will reveal something about my own particular brand of dorkiness. My first thought was: This has to be a metaphor for something.

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