Favorite cars. I'm not much of a car fan: I'm perfectly content with a car that takes me and my passengers safely and comfortably from here to there. However, a car is like a horse in that the rider should eventually acquire some sort of affinity for his or her horse.

## Batmobile

It doesn't matter which model, they're all cool.

## Ford Model T

"Available in any color... as long it's black."

## Mercury Monarch

This is one of my favorite cars by the mere fact that it was the first car I ever owned.

I had just left the gate of my house to go catch a bus to college, when I spotted the beast. The "For Sale" sign said she was only $400. I don't know if I've ever seen a car for sale at such a low price. She was gray, medium sized, and pretty much non-descript. I was going to continue along on my way, but then it hit me that, at that time, I couldn't afford much more than$400. I slowed down, and realized that I had never thought about owning a car. Public transportation seemed to work just fine in Chicago.

I actually stopped, walked back, and walked around the car. There was nothing obviously wrong with the car. I kicked the tires, bounced on the hood, and considered the possibility while rubbing my finger on my chin.

Then I cupped my hands to peek at the interior of the car, and lo and behold, the interior was maroon!, my favorite color! It didn't take much longer for me to decide. I went to school, withdrew \$400, and approached the previous owners after school. I test drove it and bought it immediately. My mom was surprised that I had so quickly and compulsively bought a car but the deed was done.

Sure, it was nicknamed "The Deathtrap" by my buddy Eddie. Sure, I poured a good amount of money to keep the car running. Sure, I found out (when I was having problems passing the air emissions tests) that the previous owners had purposely removed the muffler because they thought the loud noise made the car sound more powerful. Sure, I accidentally pried off my rear bumper on a Lexus (a whole other story). Sure, my fiancé liked that I was so non-materialistic that I could drive around in a heap. Sure, I eventually had to pay to have the car junked.

But, oh what freedom, what independence, what a step towards adulthood!

## Volkswagen Beetle

Just as no one will ever be as cool as Elvis, no car will ever be as cool as the Beetle. No other car on the road is as consistently eye catching. The look and the spirit behind it is unbeatable. The other reason I like the Beetle is because I had this dream involving a Beetle.

In the dream I was back in high school and somehow I managed to buy a Beetle in mint condition but it had the driver's side on the right hand side. I was wearing sunglasses and was about to drive it (in the middle of a school day) when some odd friend of mine interrupted. He told me to get into the back seat and he would try to see if he could get me to help him with some bizarre problem he had.

I don't remember what the problem was but he was driving me around and I was feeling really cool. At some point we were being tailed by three chicks in another car. We tried to shake them but couldn't so we decided to drive around and look for a cool restaurant where we could sit down with them, and see what they wanted.

There really wasn't much more to the dream other than that, but there was also a tempo, an attitude, and an atmosphere. I have never felt as cool as I did in that dream.

## WWII Jeep

The classic sturdy and reliable vehicle. I like them for two reason. The first is rather trivial and touristy. In World War II, the US left a number of Jeeps in the Philippines. After the war, the Filipinos decorated the leftover Jeeps sort of like Christmas trees and used them as taxis that they called Jeepneys. The colorful Jeepneys has become a Filipino tradition.

The second reason I like WWII Jeeps is because my grandfather, my lolo on my mother's side, got hit by one in World War II in the Philippines. It gave him a limp that he hated but made him recognizable from a great distance. He tried for many years to find the man who had hit him. Why? I'm not sure --perhaps to give the fella a sock in the nose or something.

While I was in high school I went with him, my lola, and my brother to Washington DC. He had a correspondence with his congressman regarding the incident. When we finally got to the congressman's office, his aides showed us their file of the work they had done in order to locate the GI who hit him, but neither they nor my lolo ever did track the GI down.

My lolo passed away a while ago; I'm guessing the GI passed away as well. But I remember spending traveling with my grandparents. I remember how important the Jeep and the limp was to him. It's a thin and wispy tie to the past but its a tie nonetheless and therefore nostalgic.