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The First Time My Mother Tried To Kill Me


I’m entirely certain I was a difficult child. Especially knowing now* what an all-mighty, insufferable pain in the ass I can be, it’s not too surprising that my mother would try to off me. I’m only surprised that she’d wait until I was eighteen to do it.

While the rest of you Pranksters had cars as teenagers, I didn’t. Instead, I bummed rides from you. See how thoughtful I was? I could drive, I just didn’t care enough to buy my own car. I much preferred to spend my dough on cheeseburgers and jaunty hair accessories. Not much has changed.

For my high school graduation, my parents gave me a car.

Before you begin hurling coffee cups at your computer monitor in righteous indignation, I assure you that it was decidedly UN-like the car commercials where the graduate wakes up to a brand-new bow-wrapped Lexus in the driveway.


My parents gave me a two hundred dollar Dodge Shadow in a color I can only call “road chocolate.”


(that is a rough approximation of the Dodge Shadow I owned)

You’d think with a carpool lane consisting of Range Rovers, Porsches, and Jaguars, I’d have been underwhelmed by this dingy road-chocolate colored piece-of-shit car, and it couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

Sure, the window didn’t roll all the way up and okay, I had to put a portable boom box in the front seat if I wanted to listen to music, and sure, the seatbelt didn’t quite….well, buckle, but it didn’t matter. The car was mine. I loved it. Pink puffy hearts.

I’d tool around in my jalopy, cold in the winter and hot as balls in the summer, and once school started, I drove it to and from my college classes.

One particularly hot autumn day, I approached a long line of cars stopped in front of me and began to eeeeeeeeasse onto the brakes. I felt something snap. So I eased more. Then I eased even more. By the time I realized I was fresh out of easing room, I veered off the road onto the gravel shoulder, the brakes were jammed down to the floorboard.

The brakes were d-e-a-d busted.

My mother, probably off buying cyanide to poison me with, didn’t pick up when I walked to the nearby elementary school to use the phone, so I had to call my boyfriend’s mother, who graciously came and rescued me.

I never saw my road-chocolate car again. I went back to bumming rides off my friends until the day I became suicidal and bought a two-seater cherry-red Honda del sol.

It was a bonus: a sweet ride that doubled as a coffin (in the event of an accident).

More importantly, it had a six-disc changer in the back. Even then, I was aware of the things that REALLY mattered in life: like air conditioning and the ablity to listen to all my Britney CD’s AT ONCE.

*teenagers are, of course, certain of their awesomeness and anyone who says otherwise is clearly a Communist.

50 Comments to

“The First Time My Mother Tried To Kill Me”

  1. On June 8th, 2011 at 10:53 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    My first car was an ’81 illegal Honda Accord clip car. Now you’re making me think my parents wanted to kill me, too.

  2. On June 8th, 2011 at 10:54 am Desiree Says:

    ha! i wasn’t allowed to have a job and definitely wasn’t being given a car!!! so i just didn’t learn to drive… ever…

  3. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:06 am Deanna Says:

    In 2002 our friend’s dad tried to kill us all in her 1983 Chevy Citation. We had to throw an old heating unit in the back to weigh it down enough to make turns when it snowed.

  4. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:10 am Jack Adams Says:

    Yeah. I remember the days. Mine was a 1965 Mustang. And like your Dodge Shadow, it was not the cherry ’65 Stang that a kid dreams of. This had a $99 Earl Sheib paint job that I swear was holding the car together. Toward the end, I would have to literally open the hood and throw dirt on the carburetor to get it to turn off. To start it, I kept a long screw driver in the car in order to spark the starter off the batter cable.
    Good times. Good times.

  5. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:13 am leanne Says:

    So here’s what I’m thinking about… you titled this post “The FIRST Time…” and not “THE Time…” Which makes me thinks there is a series of stories (and future posts?)…

    Also doesn’t every kid deserve a used/new-to-them car as a first car? Or at least that will be the story I tell my kids.

  6. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:15 am Dixies_Momma Says:

    Ahh… the ugly twin to my ROCKIN RED Dodge Shadow Sport! I LOVED my Shadow. It was awesome! CD player, AC, sunroof AND a SPOILER! It was one HELLUVAN upgrade to my Chevy Spectrum.

  7. On June 8th, 2011 at 4:37 pm Marie Says:

    Aww me too! Except it was a 5 speed manual Sundance. Pretty bare bones but I think it did have a spoiler :). I actually loved it, it was fun to drive, especially in the snow.

  8. On June 8th, 2011 at 4:37 pm Marie Says:

    Aww me too! Except it was a 5 speed manual Sundance. Pretty bare bones but I think it did have a spoiler :). I actually loved it, it was fun to drive, especially in the snow.

  9. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:16 am Dixies_Momma Says:

    Oh and funny thing about those Shadows? One key worked in every one of them on my college campus. One of my college boyfriend’s had one (ugly green – no spoiler, so mine was superior) and I would randomly move it around just to get him riled up.

  10. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:19 am Tracy Says:

    My parents weren’t trying to kill me when they bought my my first car, just drive me crazy. It was a 76 Chevy Chevette with the front quarter panel messed up and the radio stuck on one station, country.I have learned to like country music now. Loved that car!

  11. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:22 am badbadwebbis Says:

    MY first car was a road-coffin too…the Honda CRX. I loved that car passionately. However, my younger sister’s first car was a Pinto — you know, the cars with the gas tanks in the rear? This one had been modified to be safer (OR SO THEY CLAIMED) but she ended up having to stop her car once by crashing into a dumpster.

    I guess Mom and Dad DID love me best.

  12. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:28 am Sara @ Life with the Two Says:

    My first car was an ’88 Ford Tempo. Which I drove into the front end of my dad’s ginormous full sized van in the drive way when I sneezed. Totaled the car. I’m scared to think what could have happened had I been going more than half a mile per hour and been in a “real” wreck!

    Also? The “first” thing has me slightly intrigued.

  13. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:46 am Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    I am also intrigued by the first time as well, that there is more than one time leaves me waiting with baited breath for the other time stories.

    And my first car was an 89 Pontiac Sunbird, I loved the hell out of that car. The alternator went on it once and it said I was doing 120 which I believe was it’s top speed while I knew we were not going that fast my friend Lisa was screaming at me to SLOW down we were all going to die. Dram Queen much, and when we called my boyfriend at the time his brother told us he was at The Blue Oyster, so much help, sigh the good old days.

  14. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:49 am Brandon Says:

    Ah, first cars. This brought me back.

    I was one of those boys who bought a $400 van and fixed it up. The first thing I did was put a bed in that badboy. (…which never got used as intended…)

    Glad you survived the inadvertent assassination attempt.

    btw, I love the phrase “Hot as balls.” The next time I see a cute girl, I’m going to tell her “excuse me, I just had to say you’re hot as balls. Can I buy you a drink?”

  15. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:51 am Audrey Says:

    My parents didn’t give me my first car (unlike my older brother *siblingrivalryforthewin*) I had to buy it myself. Luckily my father forced me into the labor force at the age of 14 so I had a hefty enough savings account to buy my piece of crap ’86 Chevy Cavalier that my father predicted would only last a year. It sat in their driveway until I was 16 and had my license in hand, then I drove for the rest of high school. And through 4 years of college in another state. Until my father deemed it a hazard and finally bought me a car to make up for the earlier slight. That one almost killed me when it died while I was going 75mph on a highway. And I still drove it for 7 years before finally giving up the ghost. Used cars are so much fun!

  16. On June 8th, 2011 at 7:12 pm SarahT Says:

    My first car was also a Chevy Cavalier…85 I think. I had the station wagon version. In maroon. Oh yeah, I was cool.

    The second time I was rear-ended because it had stalled and refused to re-start at an intersection, I finally got rid of it.

  17. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:54 am karen Says:

    My husband tried to kill me twice early on in our relationship with his TR7 … both times he was conveeeeeeniently out of town. The first time, the clutch gave out silently and without warning. Little did my husband know that I’d trained as a secret agent in Italy … no, that’s Fiat … in … England? With MI5? … and knew how to drive a standard car without using a clutch. Plus I’d been practicing, which some might argue was why it busted. But when I took it to the mechanic, he laughed his ass off as apparently my husband re-built the clutch and put an extra part in. As in oh, look, an extra piece. Well … hmmm … maybe it goes here?

    The second time, I was hurtling over a bridge at warp neck speeds in a torrential downpour. Flashback: The radio had been stolen, ripped out of the car with wires left dangling. My husband mourned the loss, and tucked the wires back in and left town. Back to the downpour … I was heading downtown when sparks flew and the car filled with smoke, yep ON A BRIDGE at 100Km/Hr (that’s 60mph for imperial types … what’s with the royal measures, dudes?). Of course the windows didn’t open unless you used two hands and a knee, which left only one knee left for steering. I finally got the window open and got my head out and my hair stank like electrical fire the rest of the day.

    Once I tried to kill pedestrians on an overpass (seriously? Who walks over those things!) by not attaching the hard top to said car but that story might be for a different posts.

    Maybe it was the car.

    Or. The Driver.

  18. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:56 am Andie Says:

    I had two different cars before my actual, real FIRST car (meaning, the car I was actually licenced and allowed to drive.

    My parents gave the ex-hub and I their ’85 Oldsmobile Firenza, which ran, but did not stop. A few years later, we got an ’84 civic hatchback in exchange for free tattooing. The former sister-in-law blew up the engine trying to jumpstart her car and the ex pushed it to a scrap yard.

    My REAL first car was a 91 Tempo that I had for about two years, until I discovered the floorboards were rusting out of it and the exhaust fumes were giving us all headaches. The kids always slept on long car rides, though.

  19. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:20 pm VEG Says:

    DUDE! A CHERRY RED HONDA DEL SOL??? Be still my beating heart 🙂

    BTW, I am *this close* to being 36 and still have not had my first car. Apparently I never grew out of the whole bumming rides as a teenager thing. Huh. Explains a lot, actually.

  20. On June 8th, 2011 at 1:55 pm Lauren Elyse Says:

    I am 26 and have never owned my own car. And there is a good chance that I never will. And I am very proud of this 🙂

  21. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:21 pm Becky Says:

    My first car was a Dodge Caravan Extended (yeah it was about the size of a small boat). The radio didn’t work cause the antenna was ripped off, the air didn’t work and the windows didn’t roll down cause the electric motors had quit working…I live in South Carolina (lava hot summers). Oh yeah and some part of the engine was being held together with a pair of adjustable pliers….but my parents let me buy it from them for 50 bucks…I think I was cheated 🙂

  22. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:22 pm Triplezmom Says:

    I remember trying to explain to my young cousin, bitching about her hand me down Subaru’s “momcarness”, that my first car did not have air conditioning, power steering or anything resembling a CD player. She totally didn’t get it. Hardship builds character, right?

    Also, am totally jealous of your Del Sol.

  23. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:32 pm Momma Chaos Says:

    I am totally having my 15yr old read this post.. She has been “car shopping” for the past 6months even though I repeatedly tell her that she isn’t legal for an entire year and who the hell does she think she is? I’m not buying her a car.. Anything slightly affordable she sticks her nose up at, so me thinks the brat will be walking.

  24. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:38 pm Neeroc Says:

    I had friends whose parents bought them cars. I bummed rides from them and saved my money for booze. I was a wise child.

    My mother bought me driving lessons, after 1 – I left the house and 2 – quit drinking. She was a wise woman.

  25. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:48 pm Stacy Says:

    My parents gave me the 1985 mini van. With a bench back seat. Not their best decision.

  26. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:49 pm c8h10n4o2 Says:

    ’81 Toyota Corolla hatchback here. The driver’s side door regularly got stuck, so I’d have to get in the passenger side and climb over; I had the boombox to play my cassettes (yeah, I’m old); it would randomly stall at lights, and I became a pro at jumping out, opening the carb, jamming the choke open, and driving before the green hit; and it had the cracked white vinyl seats that were awful, no matter what the weather. I miss him every day.

  27. On June 8th, 2011 at 12:57 pm Vinobaby Says:

    I had to wait until my sophomore year of college to get my own wheels. And then I inherited my parents old BEIGE Ford Taurus. My parents were willing me to die of embarrassment? Yeah, real cool. I covered the back with Grateful Dead and other wannabe hippie stickers and dubbed it my “undercover car.” When I got to the real world (with a real paycheck) I traded that bad boy in for a red sports car…much more my style. I want it back. I’d have to tie my kiddo to the roof though…


  28. On June 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    I had a turquoise Plymouth Sundance in high school. Which was the Plymouth version of the Dodge Shadow. Man that car was a piece of crap. But oh the independence and freedom.

  29. On June 8th, 2011 at 2:19 pm Martini Mom Says:

    My first was a 1972 bright turquoise Mercury Comet, making my “new” car three year older than its driver. No power steering, brakes, etc. Only a.m. radio. In the winter, the windows would frost up on the INSIDE. But the kicker was the driver’s side door, which would swing open every time I made a right turn. I had to drive around with one hand on the wheel and the other clutching the door closed.

    My parents really loved me.

  30. On June 8th, 2011 at 2:20 pm JenniferB Says:

    Yeah, this is approximately what my first car looked like: , also in road chocolate, as you so eloquently named it. 🙂 It was a stick shift, and I don’t recall it having a radio, but I loved it dearly. I wonder what happened to that car. My memory is blank. I have no idea. Ugh, the wonders of motherhood amnesia. Oh well. Thanks for the laugh and stroll down memory lane, even if yours was slightly different than mine. 🙂

  31. On June 8th, 2011 at 2:22 pm Liz Says:

    My first car was a 1968 (or ’78) Ford Fairlane station wagon, rusty white with peeling fake side paneling. And yes, my friends were lining up for rides because my car may have been a POS that randomly caught fire and had dodgy brakes, but at least I had a POS and they didn’t. My step-dad added an extra throttle so I could adjust the choke, but it was awesome to open it up on the highway and fly. The metal-monster had a V8 engine. I drove it all through highschool, until halfway through my senior year when it caught fire outside my workplace and singed my step-dad’s armhair and eyebrows off. He bought me an 80’s version of the same car for $800. At least it was a sedan instead of a wagon. My mom wanted something larger and more metallic, you know those old land-yachts, right? and my step-dad wanted something small and sporty. That was their compromise. I loved it, because I appreciated that the same friends were still bumming rides from me and still didn’t have their own POS cars. Second car was a right tank, no injuries after crashing it into a mountain at 60 mph in a rainstorm. The car just needed new rims and the fan casing removed, and it drove home again. Seriously.

  32. On June 8th, 2011 at 2:28 pm Ina Jones Says:

    So after reading some posts I have to share my first car. An 84 toyota corolla. My mother had lovingly used duct tape to “fix up” the interior for me. This car was such a piece of dung that the homeless guys I used to pass on the way to work everyday made fun of it. YES. People who didn’t have a place to sleep even knew how fucking shitty this car was. Oh and once the radio (that didn’t work) just burst into actual flames while I was driving. Fun times.

  33. On June 8th, 2011 at 3:37 pm Kristy Says:

    I was always grateful for those-who-were-cooler-than-me and had their own cars as teenagers. I finally was given my mom’s car when I was at college, but about 3 weeks later the engine blew up on me. Ugh.

  34. On June 8th, 2011 at 4:27 pm Barbara Says:

    My Dad paid $50 for my first car. It didn’t run, but he was a mechanic and fixed it so it would. Then before I ever got a chance to drive it, he sold it for $700.

  35. On June 8th, 2011 at 4:59 pm Krissa Says:

    Fascinating. So she must have gotten more and more creative with every attempt, because the brake line cutting thing, while it has it’s uses, it has SO been done already.
    Can’t wait to hear about the next time she tried… or would it be the last time she tried?

  36. On June 8th, 2011 at 5:13 pm Jennifer Bohrer Says:

    We all shared a 68 mustang. Dad bought it as a fixer. It had been stolen and dumped in a creek, as he was towing it home the line broke and it hit a power pole, so never could get the wheels alined after that. It took him months to repair it. We had to dry the moldy stinky seats out in front of the furnace in our dining room…blasted with a can of cheap air freshener when it got too stenchy…gsg. The Stang was a sweet ride …fast and tight on the corners. We all learned to drive in it…memories…

  37. On June 8th, 2011 at 9:00 pm Sarah Says:

    My first car was an 84 Buick Regal, “Suzy Chiquita LaBamba”. I split the $500 price tag with my mom. I loved that car. No a/c, only am/fm radio, the back windows didn’t roll down (made that way) and the paint was gone to hell. I would have driven her a lot longer than 2 years if the mechanics I went to told me all I needed was a new starter.
    I gave it to a guy I thought I was in “love” with and it caught on fire during a demo derby. That’s what he gets for not telling me about his new girlfriend himself.

  38. On June 8th, 2011 at 10:22 pm Alexis Says:

    My parents never tried to kill me as far as they know, although the time they left me lying face down on the floor immobile and gave me a wicked kidney infection as a result was close enough if unintentional. My relatives on my dad’s side have tried many times, but I won’t go into that here.
    I’ll tell you about one of my adopted aunts. Her father had never built a thing. Not a doll house, not a bird house, not a book shelf. Nothing. So he decided that the first thing he would build, unassisted, of course, would be a bunk crib for his onr-year-old and his newborn. The newborn (my adopted aunt) was, thank God, in a bassinet for a month or two, but shortly after the parents put my aunt, the newborn in the bottom bunk of the bunk bed crib, the older baby, who was quite portly, collapsed the upper mattress directly onto the three-month-old. God only knows what damage it did because their town didn’t even have a hospital. The parents called the town doctor, who asked, “Is she crying?” The answer was obvious, because she was shriekiing like a three-month-old banshee. “She’s probably OK, then,” the doctor said. He never actually checked her for head injuries or anything else.
    Then, about nine months later, the parents went grocery shopping. The parents were trying to unload the groceries while the kids were all (I don’t remember how many there were, but I do know there were a lot of kids) getting into the grocery bags, looking for any cookies, candy, pop tarts, sugar ceral, or their favorite treats, Sucrets. The two year old found some razor blades, which were individually paper-wrapped and shaped like juicy fruit or Wrigley’s gum. The two-year-old handed one of the razor blades to the one-year-old (my adopted aunt), who deftly unwrapped it, popped it into her mouth, and began chewing away. The two-year-old figured out it wasn’t gum, but by then there was already blood running down the one-year-old’s chin. The parents used a knife, of all things, to get the razor blade out of the baby’s mouth. They decided she’d either get well or she wouldn’t, and there was probably nothing a doctor could do. The biggest threat to her survival was dehydration because she wouldn’t eat or drink because it hurt so much. She wouldn’t know about any of this were it not for the fact that the siblings remembered it and told stories about it. She also wouldn’t know if she’d had chicken pox, mumps, measles, croup, or anything else if she hadn’t been old enough to remember when she had the illnesses because the parents stopped keeping track after their first three kids.
    You are not alone, my dear aunt becky. My adopted aunt can totally relate.

  39. On June 8th, 2011 at 10:24 pm Kristin Says:

    My first crap car beats your first crap car. I had a shitbox blue honda civic…otherwise known as the death trap on wheels. You could literally here it coming from miles away.

  40. On June 8th, 2011 at 10:28 pm Alexis Says:

    My grandparents didn’t give to him, but had my dad drive on a regular basis to run their errands and tranport their younger children all over Christendom, a Corvair. Wasn’t that the car Ralph Nader described as “unsafe at any speed”?

  41. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:17 pm Nico Says:

    Thankfully, my mother never made an attempt on my life – because knowing her unbridled … rage, and a passion for always following through, she would have surely succeeded on her very first try.

    No, no – my mother didn’t want me dead. That wasn’t her style. She’d much rather take her pound of flesh from me by way of psychological bitchcraft.

    Which reminds me, I haven’t called her in awhile.

  42. On June 8th, 2011 at 11:27 pm Tracie Says:

    I didn’t get my first car until I was eighteen.

    When I was about 16, I was riding with my dad in his car, when it went crazy, and would no longer move forward. It would, however, drive in reverse….so that is how my dad drove it for about two weeks, in reverse.

    Clearly I am lucky to be alive.

  43. On June 9th, 2011 at 2:02 am Alexis Says:

    Tracie, what you described never happened in my family as far as I know, but I can just see my grandfather driving his car in reverse because he refused to get the “”drive” gear fixed. I can truly relate even though I haven’t experienced it.

    Remember that part in “Forrest Beuhler’s Day Off” when Cameron thought he could take the mileage he’d put on his father’s prized car off by running it in reverse with the rear wheels elevated, but things went wrong and he crashed it through a glass wall at a pretty high elevation? that’s my mom’s favorite movie, so I’ve seen the scene a million and a half times.

  44. On June 9th, 2011 at 8:57 am Tracie Says:

    Ooooh! I haven’t seen that movie in years! But I do remember that. How funny.

  45. On June 9th, 2011 at 9:37 am Angie Says:

    My Ford Pinto is dead jealous of your Dodge Shadow. I think when my car died I’d have rather had a brake failure resulting in my hospitalization. There was something far more horrifying (reputation wise) when your car dies a slow death while moving down the street with a thick white cloud of engine oil smoke spilling out the back… .

    On a positive note, there were no mosquitoes in town that summer.

    Ok back to ignoring my day job! TY for keeping me giggling!

  46. On June 9th, 2011 at 10:05 am Opto-Mom Says:

    What I want to know is, “How the fuck does Britney Spears have 6 CD’s?”

    Oh, and I’m glad you survived and that you’re alive to entertain us all!

  47. On June 9th, 2011 at 9:05 pm Colie Says:

    My first car was a Toyota Tercel I bought for $500 bucks. It was duct taped together in places and you had to lift the hood and slam it down to get it to start but holy shit I loved that car!

  48. On June 9th, 2011 at 10:21 pm Barb Youchah Says:

    Oh my freakin’ God I’m laughing so hard, my first car was an 86 Dodge 600 in a faded shade brown and we called it Myrtle the Brown Turtle! You’re the best thanks for bringing that one back 🙂

  49. On June 12th, 2011 at 4:21 am Belligerent4The Band Says:

    I had a sweet whip in high school as well. I bought a 1994 ford escort for $1.00 off my uncle. That bitch was the ‘sports edition’ which meant it had a spoiler on the back. Which coulda been fly IF MY CAR WASN’T 4 DOORS. What asshole decided to make a ‘sports edition’ anything with 4 fucking doors.Moron. Anyways, as with any 1994 edition ford that was ‘red’ the sun faded it to a keen magenta/persimmon combo that varied depending on the light. My escort had the uber annoying automatic seat belts, the grey with rainbow stripes interior and contained an engine that I’m fairly certain was similiar to a wound up elastic. But my douchey boyfriend at the time was kind enough to buy me a matching red cd player out of the crutchfield magazine.That thing was phat.Too bad all the tissue paper speakers were blown, that wasn’t very well thought out. Oh and he made me buy expensive dunlop tires too. Combined I think the cd player and tires were worth more then the car. Eventually the engine fell out going up a hill on one of the busiest roads in the area, literally fell the fuck out. I didn’t think that could really happen.

  50. On September 6th, 2012 at 1:02 pm Old Blue - Mommy Wants Vodka Says:

    […] time to get the Band Back Together, motherfuckers. I spent hours stupidly driving the thing (I say stupid because it tried to kill me) around town and back, exploring roads that I’d never been down before, and when I’d […]

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