The Ballad of Betty the Lancer
Nearly 9 years ago she came into my life, a labrador black pearl of awesome.
I sat behind the wheel with 5 kms on the odometer, little did I know what kind of adventures Betty and I would take on in the following ~190,000 kms she had.
To some people, a car is just an appliance.. it got you from point A to point B. To me, my car… Betty, was a force… a spirit, a liberator… she became very much a part of my identity.
Growing up, I’ve maintained that who you are is not defined by who you are with… but I made that exception for Betty. I became “The Lancer Girl” because of her, I learned how to race, I joined car clubs and did car shows with her, and without her I would not be sitting here.. in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with the life that I live now.
Betty started her life simply as a dealer trade from Edmonton, leased by a very excited little Asian girl. She was quickly modified and taken from stock.. to lowered, a small bark.. to a roar.. and as much as that little Asian girl could afford in between. Betty would often get taken to Secret Street where she and her driver would race, and race, and race…
Betty would then find friends of similar make and model through MitsuNation.net, until Betty’s driver found an amazing co-driver… and from then on, Betty would always have a Graphite Grey Pearl friend to sympathize with.
She was often taken to shows, and even won a trophy for her efforts, she was photographed for small magazines and then one day, Betty and her little Asian friend decided to move to BC.
Life wasn’t easy for Betty in BC, she went from show car to commuter car, sadly, she then became the appliance.
… and then that’s where things decided to change, she became tired, not the car she used to be… but still, that little Asian girl carried a smile on her face every time she could corner hard or hit the MIVEC.
I sit here, reflecting on how many things have changed in my life since I turned the key on Betty’s ignition… the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, because that day I decided that I wanted that black Mitsubishi Lancer.
Life didn’t work out the way I thought it would, and so did the demise of my precious car, Betty.
In a split second, everything can change. One second you’re enjoying conversation with a friend and bopping your head to a song that reminds you of someone special… the next, slow.. agonizing second, you realize that there’s a car coming at you and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it – time slows down in that moment, and then suddenly time goes fast – airbags deploy.. ears ringing.. the friend you were just talking to – screaming in the passenger seat. You pull yourself together, and manage to get out of the car. Someone’s driven into what was the most important thing to you, the one thing that was constant in your life.
She sits now, in a claims bay at the local insurance appraiser, no longer mine. She’s taken most of the damage, saving me from worlds of hurt. Her front end crumpled, interior all broken – the little black pearl of awesome, now a mangled mess of metal.
I took what I could from her, and walked away – looking back at my car for the very last time today.
She was everything to me, and now she’s gone.