We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

~ George Bernard Shaw ~

Happy Wheels in Your Driveway

January 12th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 13 secs

My happy wheels looks more like a lemon these days. But that's okay.

What kind of car do you drive? Is it the proverbial “ye olde worlde it gets thee from A to B”? Or is it the car of your dreams (assuming you have cars in your dreams)? Perhaps the question should really be, “What kind of car would you like to drive?” Either way, having a set of happy wheels would certainly tick the box.

Funny how our ideal of happy wheels reveals our differences in personality so much. Some will delight in gleaming steel, a free revving engine, and perfectly polished paint. While others love to luxuriate in sumptuous leather seats, enjoying every convenience conceivable, immediately close to hand. Illuminated vanity mirrors, cupholders, and stowaway storage to spare can be enough for some to qualify a car for the happy wheels award.  Whereas, there are those who will insist that only a particular model will do, because nothing can quite drive like it.

So how come I am still behind the wheel of a creaking old auto we call “The Silverfish”? For that matter, why do any of us drive something less than what we picture to be the best? Perhaps you could sum it up in saying most of us, having champagne tastes, are somewhat limited by a ginger beer budget!  That would explain why, instead of happy wheels, most of us settle for acceptable wheels.

I still recall my very first happy wheels encounter. There, in a country paddock, half-hidden in the grass, was a mild-mannered mini van, painted in dark blue house paint. I was assured it would go, if a battery could be found. Plus, I almost had my license. So naturally, that night I pictured the rusty old mini in my mind as my ideal set of happy wheels, and dreamed.

You might long for something larger, smaller, more stylish and swish. But having your own happy wheels is much more than a matter of molded plastic and steel. Having the ideal happy wheels parked in your drive is about you, and how you perceive a car ought to be. Should it be humble or proud? Maybe racy or refined? Or, perhaps your set of perfectly happy wheels would be something you’ll never ever own because it will always be more than you can afford to buy. That alone keeps it forever exotic and exciting. Whilst, the thing parked in the driveway does what it must, by definition it fails the happy wheels test. Unless we change the way we see it.

When I look at The Silverfish, I look past the dings, skip the scratches, and don’t bother about the worn out bits. Its faded paint, and telltale rust tell a story of a whole lot of living that went with it over the past ten years or so. A reminder of babies, trailers, and trips, along with countless work visits and a few fabulous vacations. It’s all there beneath the faded paint. Perhaps that’s why I’m still fond of the clanking beast. Though it’s nothing much to see, The Silverfish is still my preferred set of happy wheels for now; a reminder in the driveway of so many cherished memories.




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