Tuesday, September 7, 2010

she's got a ticket to ride

Everyone, I'd like you to meet Charlie.

Charlie, everyone.
Everyone, Charlie.

Charlie is my dad's 1984 Mercedes Benz 380. Dad bought him when I was 7. He took me to the car dealer to see it; he said he would only buy it if I said I liked it too. I remember us running into this building, and him picking me up so I could see, and me squishing my nose and palms against the glass, staring at it with my mouth open and a huge smile on my face.

Once, when my parents had a big fight, dad decided he would cool off and go for a drive. He didn't come back for dinner, and called 3 days later.

'Hi sweetie! It's dad.'
'Daddy! Daddy where'd you go!'
'Honey, can you put mum on th-'
'OKAY, okay... ahh... Belinda. So there's this place, called 'Sydney'...'

Charlie's seen me and dad through the good times and the bad. Roadtrips to Mandurah, Geraldton, the Pinnacles. I've slept, eaten meals, cried, had injuries, hidden from my brother, and done my homework in that car. Crabbing trips, fishing trips, taking relatives around sightseeing, a couple of minor accidents and many, many legendary parking memories.

See, Charlie's got a big ass. Reverse parking Charlie is like reverse parking a normal car that's been padded with a few mattresses. But my dad is the best parker in the world. Once he parked so close to a pole that when I got out of the car, I couldn't fit my smartrider in between the pole and the car. And not a scratch.

I learnt how to drive in this car. The first time I ever drove Charlie, dad took me to a an enormous shopping center carpark at 8pm on a weeknight, and made me drive forwards and then reverse for 100 meters at 70kph whilst looking out the side mirrors, over and over and over and over again until I could do it perfectly. I don't know who was more scared: me, my dad, or Charlie.

Charlie's air conditioning doesn't work. The sunroof's broken so the rain gets in if you're facing an unfortunate angle. He's done 316 000 k's, the second and fifth sparkplugs are a bit fucked and the fuel tank dial is faulty. The glove box is falling off and when I was little I spilt a large frozen coke in the little compartment between the driver and front passenger seat. When my friend had a look, he laughed and told me Charlie would probably be worth three grand, after looking at similar Mercedes online. And to that I say:


Carsales.com can kiss my ass. I wouldn't sell Charlie for a million dollars.

Cream Cheese Frosting.

  • 250g softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice

    Process cream cheese until smooth, add sugar, mix, then add lemon juice and beat until smooth.

    Carrot Cake.

  • 1.25 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegie oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2.5 cups grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sultanas

    Preheat oven to 180C. Beat sugar and oil with electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs gradually. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, cinnamon and ginger over mixture. Add carrot, pecans and sultanas and mix until just combined. Pour into lined cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with skewer.

    Serves 8. Alternatively, double mixture, bake in two tins and assemble in shape of vehicle of your choice.


    russia said...


    a story with drama, laughs and a big cake at the end.

    Anaylli said...

    Lol, you've got a great sense of humor. Awesome cake!