So I just found out a few days ago that my beloved little green Audi A4 (which we'd managed to keep in the family, so I felt like it was still around) has gone on to meet its auto-Maker. (I guess that means that when an Audi dies, it goes to Germany??) I was actually SAD when I heard this news -- I've never really been emotionally attached to a car, but I did love that Audi... But I suppose it was getting "old" as far as cars go... it was a 1999 (actually, a 1999-and-a-half... did you know some cars come out in half years?? I had no idea until I got my 1999-and-a-half A4...).
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before: the only reason I even gave the Audi a chance was because I'd just seen the movie Ronin... and the awesome car chases in that movie piqued my curiosity about driving an Audi. (Um, Faisal? Have you watched it yet?? Or do you just not trust me anymore after the whole Galaxy Quest thing? Although, honestly, how can you NOT love Galaxy Quest?? Best. Sci-fi spoof. EVER.) Anyway, one Audi test drive, and I was sold. (I also loved the fact that Audis were pretty rare a decade ago... I felt like I was the only person in Austin who had one...)
I'd only had my new A4 for about a week when I was driving down a highway and a truck kicked up a stone that flew into my windshield. The volume of the subsequent "crack" told me that the glass would not remain unblemished -- I was quite dismayed to see the nickel-sized chip in my brand-new windshield. Rick later found out that Audi glass was known to be softer than the glass used in most cars -- this was a fact that would soon become even MORE obvious...
Not two weeks later, as I sat at a red light in my brand-spanking-new, shiny, unblemished (save for one annoying glass chip), practically-as-awesome-as-the-cars-in-Ronin Audi A4, I watched as a Ford Bronco made a left turn right in front of another SUV... and I watched the SUV broadside the Bronco... and then I watched as BOTH of those vehicles screeched across the pavement directly toward my brand-spanking-new, shiny, unblemished, eeeEEEeeeeEEEEeeeeeekkkk!!!!! (I'm fairly certain some sort of squeaking, high-pitched, half-scream escaped my lips.) Seeing as I'd been completely stationary, frozen at the red-light intersection, there was nothing I could do in the way of reaction. My mug of coffee, which had been safely cocooned in the cup holder, flew across the car and ended up on the passenger seat, and floor, and dashboard, and window... the front left axle was bent, and the driver's side door was rendered inoperable... and the large rear window of the Bronco shattered when it hit my car -- thousands of little projectiles rained down upon the notoriously soft Audi glass, and in an instant, that one little annoying chip turned into hundreds of little chips. Every window on my car was chipped. (Was this some sort of payback for my whining over the original windshield chip??? I will never complain about a chipped windshield again...)
Fortunately, no one was hurt (although I had some nice bruises on my hip from the seat belt buckle, and on my knee from hitting the center console... but if you know anything about me, you know I bruise WAY too easily anyway...), but the driver of the Bronco was uninsured. (Even though he repeatedly insisted at the scene of the accident that he WAS insured. That became a bit of a hassle, although years later -- seriously, YEARS later -- my insurance company sent me a check for the deductible we'd had to pay for the accident.) And the Audi was taken away on a flatbed truck to be repaired, having only been driven for a few weeks.
And this is one drawback to owning an Audi -- many of the parts had to be ordered from Germany, which drew out the repair process for months. I drove some kind of horrible loaner car for almost half a year (I can't even remember what it was... I just remember that it smelled faintly of cigarette smoke and whatever was used to cover UP the cigarette smoke...). And the day I was finally able to pick up my little green Audi -- every window replaced, every scratch buffed out of the paint, the interior cleaned and detailed -- I wanted to wrap my arms around it and give it a hug. When I think back to that accident, I remember how BIG those two SUVs were that came barreling toward my little car... but that Audi was SOLID -- many other cars would've been much more badly damaged, I'm sure. It may have been small, but it always felt substantial, and sturdy, and safe.
RIP little green Audi -- we had some good times... I mean, minus the whole horrible screeching accident thing...