by Doug Hawley
2: Auto Therapy
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Carl called me a couple of
days before I got out of the hospital. I was
scared shitless because Carl was the one that put
me in the hospital. Not only that, but he
threatened me as the ambulance picked me up.
Based on the caller ID, I didnt know if I
should pull my earlobe to answer the phone, but
curiosity got the better of me.
Duke, Im so sorry and ashamed about
what I did. I know that we have been having our
problems, but what I did was way out of line. Im
just hoping that there is some way we can repair
our relationship and get back to the way we were.
You know, when I told you that Id be
waiting for you to get out, it wasnt
exactly a threat, and it was more ambivalent than
that. My feelings are a mess.
I was really touched. Even though Carl had
stopped suddenly slamming me into his dash while
withholding the airbags, I too wanted to return
to the great rapport that we used to have. What
had gone wrong with us?
Carl, Ill be out of the hospital soon.
How about we discuss this face to grille after I
get out? I dont think that you can visit me
here. Some more advanced hospitals have car
human visiting areas, but not this one.
We had an uncomfortable reconciliation. I started
off Carl, I must admit, Ive got some
blame here too. I havent done all that I
could to keep our relationship going.
Yes, but you havent assaulted me,
like I did to you.
Now that we agree that we are both at fault,
what do we do?
As far as I know, neither of us has any
skills with couples counseling. Why dont we
find a professional?
OK, do you have anybody in mind?
After some whirring, Carl said I just found
a guy that has top credentials and references in
car human relationships. Are you willing
to see him?
Im ready, get us an appointment.
At the appointment, Dr. Box said All I know
so far is that you have problems and want to get
back to where you were when you first met. Who
wants to go first?
Ill start. When Duke bought me, it
was my first relationship with a human and I
imprinted on him as baby ducks will do on
whatever animal is close. At first, he was so
proud of me. Good mileage and good power, if Im
a little immodest. We both loved it when he
washed me. That felt so good. Wed take
drives and talk. He frequently let me decide
where we would go.
Things changed. After a couple of years I
caught him looking at other cars with what
appeared to be lust. I tried to keep myself up to
date and good looking for him. That is why I
converted to electric propulsion. He went out
with girls that insulted my intelligence and
soiled my seat covers. Our drives became all
business, no pleasure. What hurt worst of all was
the time that Duke left me in a locked garage
with a bunch of dumb cars. All they wanted to do
was talk about The Kardasians Generation
Three. I wanted to kill myself. Worst of
all, before I assaulted him, he was thinking of
getting rid of me.
I havent been an angel. I reacted to
his neglect with jealousy and tantrums. I shaded
the truth about the girlfriends that I didnt
like. I eavesdropped on his conversations, and as
we told you, I ended up assaulting him. We need
Its your turn Duke.
For better or worse, everything Carl says
is true as far as it goes. I have let the
relationship grow stale; Im not putting in
the work to keep it fresh. In my defense, Carl
has been making insinuations about my masculinity.
When he talks about my butt in a mans voice,
it just sounds wrong. Why cant I have
friends besides Carl? He talks to lots of cars; I
should be able to hang out with people. Mostly,
he shouldnt frighten me. I only thought of
changing cars after he started messing with my
attempted sex life.
I apologized ten times about that garage
incident, and Ill never do it again.
Dr Box said OK, Ive got enough to go
on, and Ive got some recommendations. Carl,
when something is irritating you, talk about it
with Duke before flying off the handle. If our
laws were more enlightened what you did could be
considered domestic violence. You have a right to
complain about people that ride in you, but you
dont have the right to choose his friends.
If Duke asks you not to eavesdrop, stop listening.
Duke doesnt get to listen in on your
conversations with other cars. Now this may be
tough, but at least consider becoming Carla. You
and I both know that you have enough memory to
handle that. After all, sex changes are easier
for cars than people, and it would make Duke more
Now Duke, you could just have some relaxed
drives with Carl and just hangout. Or if you want
to save electricity, sit in the driveway. I dont
think that it is asking too much for you to
personally clean Carl from time to time, given
how much he enjoys it. It is your responsibility
to see that all of Carls passengers respect
him. As for your girlfriends, my intuition is
that he may have better judgment than you do.
Maybe you should listen to him.
Do the two of you think that you can do
what Ive recommended and that you both
recommit to keeping your bond strong?
OK, I hope I dont have to see you
again, but Im available should you two need
a tune-up. Please drop my fee in the slot below
I dont know about happy ever after, but were
doing fine now. We sing together and tell jokes.
S/he tells car jokes and I tell people jokes. I
still date, and its gotten better given
what Carl/a can do with the vibrating seats. Both
my dates and I enjoy them, the only downside is
that sometimes the date prefers the seat to me.
Happy days are here again.
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