I drive a 2005 Chevy Cavalier.
It was my grandfather’s car. He’s dead now.
Last year, my first year with the car, I took it to Jiffy Lube for inspection. The horn didn’t work. I knew the horn didn’t work but I honestly didn’t know the horn working was a prerequisite to pass inspection. I brought the car to a local mechanic in Queens, a guy I drink with, and he explained that fixing the horn would cost more than the car was worth. He wanted to try something else.
He then proceeded to beat the shit out of the steering wheel. I mean, he was throwing jabs like Marvin Hagler. Sure enough, the horn let out a whimper. It wasn’t much but it was enough. I drove it back to Jiffy and whimpered into the parking lot. The attendant heard that sad excuse for a honk and that was enough. Passed.
This year’s inspection was going to be more difficult. I brought the car in on October 3rd. The horn hadn’t made a sound since July 4th. I was fully prepared to bribe the Jiffy Lube guys to get me over the line. For a 2005 Chevy Cavalier with 199,600 miles on it, the car is in damn good shape. Except the horn.
Brought the car in – which you can see above – and had $100 in cash in my pocket. Bribery money. Derek, the inspector, opened the driver side door. Sat in my seat. Put his hand on the steering wheel. And…
It had not made a noise in months. It has not made a noise since. But for that one moment, the horn sounded as if Gabriel was blowing it himself. I don’t believe in God or angels or souls or the afterlife or really much at all. But in that moment, I believe my dead grandfather wanted that car to stay on the road.
Yesterday, at Soldier Field, the Bears passed inspection. They kept the car on the road.
The quarterback did enough. The defense did enough. The coaches did enough. They didn’t change the narrative of this season by beating Jeff Driskel at home. They didn’t lessen the disappointment of this 2019 campaign. But for one week, they have harness the tide of negativity surrounding this organization. And now they’ll have an opportunity to beat a flailing Rams team Sunday night to get to .500 through ten games. At that record they’ll be able to convince themselves, in the locker room, that a season is still there to be had.
The horn doesn’t work. There’s a CD stuck in the player. The passenger side window doesn’t go down. But my 2005 Chevy Cavalier is still on the road. And so are the 2019 Chicago Bears, warts and all.