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One Flat Coyote on the Centre Line

Cruising across Canada in a Classic Chevy

Karen Goa

© Karen Goa 2009

All moral rights asserted. Smashwords Edition.


The Chevy wallowed in a gruesome stain sprung from its ancient innards. Primer-patched and furred with rust, the old brown and white mongrel hunkering in my parents’ Saskatoon garage needed a quiet lie-down in a corner, not a forced march across Canada.

‘It’s so – fifties. A real old – classic. Look at all that chrome– ‘ Stuck for words, I clutched at the wretchedly obvious.

‘All that rusty chrome.’ Ken, my driver-husband and soon-to-be panel-beater, poked the thing in the flank. A tarnished flake fluttered away. ‘Feck. What have we done?’

Bought a classic car, sight unseen, over the internet, that’s what. Some advice for anyone thinking of doing the same: throw the laptop out the window and handcuff yourself to the nearest heavy object until the urge passes. What were we thinking?

Sleek curvy lines and chrome bumpers, sassy tail fins and dual exhaust. The unbridled V8 power of a Detroit thoroughbred. That’s what we were thinking. Celebrating Ken’s fiftieth birthday cruising across Canada in a car of similar vintage sounded, in the laziness of a New Zealand summer, like a special but not too strenuous way to see parts of our homeland we’d missed while living there, and revisit some favourite spots. Not for us a Samoan sun-worshipping session or sipping wine under a Tuscan sky. It had to be a road trip.

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