I Bought A Black Soul To Help Me Live A Better Life

My main car broke down two weekends ago.

The repairs ended up being only slightly painful, but the stress I felt over the break down kicked my ass.

Our back up car, a 2003 Nissan Altima, had over two hundred thousand miles on it. No air.

The driver’s side window fell down into the door, so Randy and Joey took the door panel off to fix the window.

They were not successful in fixing the window.

They were also not successful in getting the door panel back on.

The plastic over the window was taped on with flowered duct tape.

See? I’m not fucking around when I say we’re the Clampett’s of the neighborhood.

Without the door panel, you could only open the driver’s side door from the inside by pulling this little silver knob at the end of a floppy cable.

I had to be driven to work in that car two days in a row. Joey is the usual driver. He’s only 17, he can take the heat. Plus, it’s normal for a kid to drive a piece of shit. As much as I’d like to say I’ve completely stopped caring about what other people think, I did not like getting out of the shit mobile at my new job. How long do I call this my ‘new’ job? I’ve been there just over 9 months. 

After my ‘good’ car broke down, we decided the Nissan could no longer be our back up.

So, I did what any responsible adult would do before buying a car and extensively researched our best options.

By ‘extensively researched’ I mean, I sent Middle Sister a text asking her if she’d buy her car again. Middle Sister does her research. She is thorough and complete when she researches. She responded that she would and then explained how she reached her conclusion.

Why reinvent the wheel? So, we went out to buy a car like Middle Sister’s car.

My money management skills are abstract at best. I was thrilled that I got a decent rate on a loan. I only had to wait 52 years to actually feel like a grown up for a few hours.

I texted Middle Sister when I got home.

Me: I bought a Soul. Not a human soul. 2014. Black.

Middle Sister: Why would you buy a black Soul when your soul is already black?

You can tell we’re related.

I have been driving my new car this week. I’m trying to pretend like the second car payment and increase in insurance won’t be a big deal. I’m trying to be goddamn positive.

Anyway, if the black Soul could talk, this is what it would say to me:

If you maintain me, I promise to break down fewer times than normal. Really, I’m not kidding. Whatever you do, don’t let Randy or Joey take anything off me. Watching youtube repair videos doesn’t make them certified mechanics.

Remember, cars are your friend. Yes, we are guilty of being a financial drain and anxiety  source. Instead of dwelling on negatives, think about good car memories. Seriously, think good things about me or I’ll spray oil on you.

If you let Joey drive me and trash me out, then I’m breaking down on a bridge. During rush hour. Don’t test me. 

Do your Christmas shopping early this year. Last year was a nightmare. 

I have no idea how my car knows about my shopping from last year, but it does appear to have my best interest at heart.




Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Oh my goodness — I foresee an INTERESTING future ahead for you and your black soul. 🙂

  2. You had me at flowered duct tape. I mean, where do you find it? I swear, I have never seen it.
    a distant relative of the Clampetts
    but still related.

  3. Terri Lee says:

    “Oh, and make sure you floss every day, no skipping.” Black souls don’t fuck around. Listen to them! I think you should hang a few Chinese lanterns inside this new car! Just because! Haha!

  4. The son of one of my friends always encouraged her to get oil changes every 3-5,000 miles, because it helps the car. So I’ve been following his advice. However, oil changes didn’t fix the crack in my transmission, a costly expense, but I’m grateful that I don’t have to drive a car I used to drive when my kids were small. Black smoke would encircle the car everywhere we drove. We looked like Pigpen in the Snoopy cartoons and my kids would sit on the floor so nobody could see them.

  5. Name your black Soul. Christen it. Breaking a bottle of champagne on it isn’t the best idea for a variety of reasons, but take a swig of sparkling apple juice, spit it on the front bumper, and declare, “I christen thee…” DO THIS NOW. I’m not kidding here. There’s no evidence for this but I sincerely believe the tradition of naming ships started with sailors who found personalizing the ships that carried them reassuring.

    Then once you’ve done that crank up Lipps Inc. and let your black Soul take you to Funkytown. You’ll be feeling like Mr. Dryesdale in no time.

  6. Kay Lynn says:

    So glad I found you. I’m the sister that does the extensive research; now how do I get my sister to ask for my advice?

  7. Such a chatty black Soul you have.
    My Sonata merely sings to me.

  8. Jackie G says:

    Flower’d Duck tape !
    A black soul !!
    all sounds very
    HIGH CLASS !!!!!
    to me xx

  9. Katnap says:

    Ohhh that kinda soul (I grew up hearing you can buy ANYTHING in the US). Congrats on your new wheels!
    Replacing one worry with another: breakdowns/car payments. Do you remember those little plastic puzzles in a frame? There’s only one free space and you have to move the squares around to make a picture. Those shitty dime-store annoyances represent my financial life, and my anxiety. Seems like not long after I get the damn picture done, I wake up to find somehow it’s all scrambled again. Happy cruising.

  10. Ha ha…we have loads of cars that are ‘stuck together’ in India! What’s more they’ll often use them in driving schools. 😉
    Wishing you and your Soul many happy miles together.

  11. Michele says:

    Love your blog! Flowered duct tape is now at Home Depot!

  12. Sandra says:

    I would very much like it if your car could meet my car. My car only gives out bad advice (yes, my husband is constantly pretending he works for Mitsubishi!) However congrats on the grown up purchase!

  13. Suzee says:

    Haha….I relate to the heap o’ junk ride. My kids made me drop them off two blocks from school….even in a snowstorm. Couldn’t let the other little weasels see them disembarking from a piece of shit. After all, there were images to sustain. And I was a teacher who cared little more than just getting to work on time, hoping said piece of shit would make it. At the high school where I taught, the student parking lot was full of glitzy cars, while the teachers’ lot looked like a real low rent used car storage area. LOL

  14. I am also driving a 200k+ car. Last week it was 108 degrees here, and on that exact day, the air conditioning went out. I still can’t bear to have it fixed…leaving the country instead!

  15. Bon says:

    Are you going to name your black Soul? I recommend something gothy (I *would*) and full of meaning.
    Dahlia leaps to mind. 🙂

    Your new car sounds like it is going to be a lovely addition. I do agree with the whole don’t let the Boys(tm) remove shit advice. That seems pretty solid, if a bit self-serving on the car’s side.

    BTW, let Middle Sister know that your soul is not black. It is, at best, a moderate slate. Maybe the exact same shade as one of those lovely Cape Cods on the NEastern coast. All weathered and fully capable of withstanding any storm, thank you very much.
    There’s probably a harumph in there somewhere, too.

  16. Lisha Fink says:

    Teenage drivers have a way of sucking a Soul dry. Trust me, I’m on my third. (Teenage son driving, not soul.)

  17. Beth Havey says:

    My car is a 2001 and got me to California two years ago. I love her and work hard to keep her going. Cars do become part of the family. Glitzy cars are not in my future!

  18. Cassandra says:

    Good luck with your new soul. Really we should all get new souls at 50. Just start fresh.

  19. KK says:

    Everything goes with a black soul!

    Hope your car troubles are over.
    Anyway, flowery duct tape is much classier than silver grey, must get some of that!

  20. I never met a trashy car I didn’t like.

  21. I love that your new Soul talks to you. Maybe the voices are coming from elsewhere? I love how you consulted your sister…she seems to do the research, I like it when people are anal and I can glom off their research.

  22. Laurie says:

    Safe travels! I think it would be funny if for Halloween you drove around in hamster costumes as to reenact their commercial…(my attempt at humor :)….)

  23. This made me laugh out loud. Your car’s advise was clever – and true.

  24. Ha! Your Black Soul and sounds like my Red Accent’s kindred spirit. My Red Accent is ALWAYS advising me on shit I don’t care about. Like maybe I should shave the back seat after the dogs have been in it. Great post!

  25. Doug in Oakland says:

    I guess buying a soul is better than selling one…
    BTW, I looked it up and they look cute, kinda remind me of the brand new Jeeps.

  26. Oh my goodness, the duct tape! I hide that stuff from my husband and sons. My granddaughter makes pocketbooks with it:)
    Good luck with the new car!

  27. Wendy of The Rock says:

    Are you walking further than usual… Coz you’re parking in a way distant spot so no bastard opens their door on your new Black Beauty?
    PS I think I’d call her Aretha…R.E.S.P.E.C.T…

  28. stef says:

    Love this. And yes, you should totally name it. Or just go with Black Soul. But keep it clean, because it’d be bad to have a dirty black… ah nevermind…


    I’m still in a rental car, which is better than our old Shame Car with duct tape (just silver). But we were able to buy both our kids new(ish) cars this month, so there’s that.

  29. I had to do that the week before Nashville and it has sucked! That extra $500 makes me throw up I’m my mouth every Fucked month! Monday some woman plowed my husband in the ass. Unfortunately it wasn’t totaled!

  30. Haralee says:

    I have to agree with your sister, the black Soul is a bit redundant!

  31. Linda says:

    I have a respectable-looking white Dodge Grand Caravan. The water pump went out and my brother spent three weeks trying to fix it before we spent $400 for a back-up van to drive. The backup van is a Ford Windstar that has an exhaust leak, causing it to sound like a muscle car from the 70’s. When I let off the gas, it sounds like popcorn popping. The paint on the hood is oxidized and peeling and four different shades. The side door is missing the inside panel and I have no idea how to open it. The outside handle quit working so now it can only be loaded and unloaded from the back, which usually involves me crawling around the van on my hands and knees. Oh, and did I mention there is a bungee cord holding the hood down? On the up side, it came with a really cool Batman belt buckle in the console that we are using as a hood ornament. We call it the BatVan and after almost two months I have finally stopped trying to hide under the dash while I drive.

  32. Being from the same town as Darryl Hall, I’ve always been a fan of “blue-eyed soul.” But a black Soul seems to suit you!!! Good luck and keep talking to your car…we need friends wherever we can get them. Hilarious as usual, my friend.

  33. Marianne says:

    As my revered Granny used to say, “If it has tires or testicles, it will eventually give you trouble.”

  34. Marcia says:

    We (by that I mean hubby) have fixed a few things with those youTube tutorials with good success. And now that I know about flowered duck tape I think we can make our old cars last indefinitely!
    P.S. Your sister is a hoot; does she have her own blog?

  35. I’ve had 2 Kia, both good cars. Some day I want a soul.

  36. We think that our cars are our friends, but you should hear what those lying so and sos say about us when our back’s turned.

  37. I’ve found I keep calling it “my new job” until it becomes “my shitty job.” You’ll know when it happens. No need to rush the process. The next phase will be “looking for new job,” quickly followed by “crap, I start a new job Monday.” Then you’re back to square one.

    Side note: Until I got to the “Not a human soul” part of the story, I thought this might be about the pervasiveness of human trafficking. As clarification, I didn’t click on it because I wanted to find out how one goes about buying a black soul, (I’m not in the market for any souls … regardless of color). I clicked on it because I thought it might include tips on things like “Here’s how YOU can help put an end to soul trafficking” or “What to do if you suspect your neighbor is selling souls.” In any case, I’m glad it turned out to be about buying a car instead. Except that now I want a new car. Now that I think about it, it was probably a mistake to click on this post.

    Not really … i greatly enjoyed it. 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      Hahaah…I would never post something as heavy as human trafficking, however, I am willing to make a public declaration that I am firmly and 100 percent against it.

      • For the record, I too am 100 percent firmly against posting “How to get started in human trafficking” articles on the interwebz. (We should be besties!)

        As a side note: I just found your huffpost article: “The Power of Our Menses Magic” and as I’m currently in the throes of surgical menopause at 48, I’m wondering if I need a womb to kill crops, or can I get this done using only my vagina? I’ve got some very pesky ferns taking over my landscaping (not a euphemism), so any info you can provide would be much appreciated.

        • Michelle says:

          we should just go ahead and say we’re best friends. Although, if any real life friend questions this, then I will say…uhhhhhhh….I don’t even know that girls name.

          • Oh see … I was going to go the other way, and tell all my friend in real life to suck it! I’ve got an INTERNET friend now! Her nom de plume is “Michelle,” but she’s actually Oprah.

            But you know … you’re way works too (I could totally be Jennifer Aniston).

            Oh, and if you really are Oprah… tell Gayle I said hey.

          • Michelle says:

            I’m not as cool as Oprah.

  38. oh gerdammit. I wish I could edit my comments. I meant “friends” and “your” above… but what’s a little shitty grammar between friends?

    (Okay, I’ll stop crapping up your comment section now).