So today I’m carpooling, not something I do very often – in fact, it’s rare and only out of necessity. There is a pool of company vehicles at the office and I need one for a few days and I don’t want to leave my car there. In North America, we love our cars and lets face it, there is a certain amount of freedom that comes with owning one. I’m at that stage in life where I’ve earned such freedoms so while I’m carpooling today, it’s not really because I have to.
It wasn’t always so…
I live approximately one hour West of Toronto, Ontario and while attending college, had to commute. I did try living there for a short time but the big city wasn’t my thing. I missed my friends and girlfriend (now wife) so eventually moved back home. It took a little while but eventually I found a group of similarly poor students who wanted to share a ride and expenses. We each had our week to drive.
There were four of us, can’t remember their names but I can remember the cars; Renault LeCar, Chevy Nova, Lincoln (forget which model) and my Toyota Corolla. The Renault was a tight squeeze, had a loud engine but had one huge benefit – we were packed in so tight you couldn’t fall over when sleeping. That’s what you do while commuting – unless you forgot to study the night before. The driver of the Chevy was a really fun guy and free spirit who occasionally like to smoke his weed while driving. We didn’t care – we slept. Truth be told, we always wondered whether we performed better those weeks. One thing we did know was that we had to bring extra ‘munchies’ when Chevy was driving. The Lincoln was pure luxury, like being back in your mother’s womb. Even when you really, really needed to study – we slept. The ride was so soothing, never felt a bump and in the summer it had this thing called air conditioning.
Finally there was my car, the Toyota (for a while there was a Camaro too). I absolutely hated ‘my’ week, dreaded it beyond measure. You see, when it’s your turn to drive, not only is there the financial pressure of scrounging up money for gas, which was much, much cheaper back then, you had three other people snoring, flopping about, talking in their sleep and yes, sometimes farting. Surely I never did that?
Today while driving into the office, I happened to notice several cars loaded with ‘carpoolers’. Of course many were sleeping, jaws wide open, head banging against a side window with a little circle of mist that said ‘yes I’m alive’. I smile nostalgically while thinking to myself… someone in that car just farted.
Note: I just noticed that the picture I chose for today’s topic, courtesy of Pixabay, speaks perfectly to this topic. Funny thing is that it was the only free picture available when I ran the search ‘carpool’.