Jellie Bean: A Eulogy For My Car

I loved Jellie Bean for a grand total of five weeks. We had a brief courtship. I met her online in the very beginning of January 2011, and it was love at first sight.

Sort of.

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Welcome home, Jellie Bean

Dawn, my ’98 Pontiac Sunfire, died suddenly on New Year’s Day, after our 5-year relationship, and I was in need of a new car. Jellie Bean was cute and sweet, though hard to compare to Dawn, the car that was named based on the frequency with which she saw the first light of the morning while on her way home from the bar (or a cute boy’s house).

Jellie Bean was a fresh start. An adult car. She wasn’t sexy or a bold hue of teal; she was reliable and an unobtrusive shade of Pacific blue.  She wasn’t going to draw the unwanted attention of police officers looking to ticket a little speed racer. Because I wasn’t a speed racer anymore. She wasn’t going to get into accidents. Only two years old, with 30,000 miles on her, she was the newest car I had ever owned. I loved her.

I test drove Jellie Bean and purchased her on January 3, 2011, wiping a tear away as I said goodbye to Dawn in the Toyota parking lot for the last time. And Jellie Bean and I began our life together.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver's seat of your new car.

This is what it looks like to say goodbye to your beloved car from the driver’s seat of your new car.

We started out hot and heavy, driving to work, shopping, meeting boys for dates, heading to the bars. We did everything together. And then, it snowed. Poor Jellie Bean was covered from head to toe in white powdery shit after Snowmageddon 2011. For two days, she was abandoned under several feet of snow. I believe it was at this point she decided to ruin everything. Yes, I’m going to go ahead and blame my vengeful car, and not my poor driving skills, for the bad luck that came with owning Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That's Jellie Bean.

Those little strips of Pacific blue? That’s Jellie Bean.

Her first accident was a few days after I rescued her from the snow. I was heading from work to a date around sundown. Driving west on a street with a 40 mph speed limit with the sun in your eyes, snow-covered roads and mountainous piles of snow doesn’t exactly make for the best driving conditions, and I was far from speeding. But the guy in front of me? Came to a HARD STOP slightly over a hill to make a right turn. Jellie Bean didn’t stand a chance.

After a few weeks courting a rental car, Jellie Bean was returned to me, good as new. We had a beautiful couple of months together as we got to know Brian, tried on a couple of jobs, and traveled the suburbs together.

As fall set in, and deer season rapidly approached, I never once considered my daily commute passing a deer-heavy forest. At least not until one came at me like a race horse. Poor Jellie Bean took the brunt of that mishap, as well. I had never regretted a purchase so much in my life as I did with Bad Luck Jellie Bean. She was out of control.

I took that opportunity to become intimately acquainted with Brian’s car, which he so graciously offered up to me.

And so it was that Jellie Bean, upon return to me, and never as good as new after the deer kicked her ass (when I opted for the insurance-recommended body shop instead of a quality place), became our secondary car. When we moved in together, I would drive Brian’s car as often as possible for fear of more unnecessary bad luck.

But nothing lasts forever. Due to a few unfortunate circumstances (namely some douchebag with bad car insurance rear ending him), Brian’s car became less available to us. Since moving into our new house, Jellie Bean has been our primary car.

Well.

Was.

When your car is parked in an unmarked flood zone, you may come home to this unfortunate sight.A few weeks ago, Chicago had a bit of a rain shit show. You may have seen pictures of my car. Poor Jellie Bean was drowned in a rain-sewer-made lake on June 15, 2015.

I cried a little for her then. And I’ve cried several times about it. Because I’m an emotional wreck most of the time. And while she was full of bad luck, I had just paid her off in February. We had years left before she was supposed to leave me. I was also really fucking pissed. I was pissed at the village I live it. I was pissed at the rain. I was even pissed at that stupid fucking car for letting it happen.

I was especially pissed at whoever thought to wrap caution tape around my driver’s side mirror, because couldn’t someone come in and tow all that shit before the water rose to the point of destroying my fucking car?

What a car looks like the morning after a flood

What a car looks like the morning after a flood. I swear the sun was laughing at me. And that caution tape? Was definitely there before the water receded. Someone could have saved Jellie Bean.

I said goodbye to Jellie Bean a few days after they declared her a total loss. My lovely little Yaris. I had to wear a mask and gloves just to open the door because she was so toxic and poisoned inside. I cried again, hoping it was for the last time, but her I am now, with tears on my keyboard, pining for a car I must have loved the whole time, regardless of how unlucky she was. She was mine. And she was paid for. A year early.

It's always hard to say goodbye to a car, but it's even harder when that car was flooded suddenly.

It felt fitting that I said goodbye in that same Toyota lot I met her in. And strangely coincidental that a few weeks after meeting Jellie Bean, she was covered in several feet of snow and a few weeks before our final goodbye, she was covered in several feet of water.

Goodbye Ms. Jellie Bean. You will be missed. You were loved. And I hope it was one hell of a ride while it lasted.

After my car flooded during torrential rain storms, I said goodbye to her...and started dreaming of a pink carDo you name your cars? How do you feel when you have to say goodbye to a car? Have you ever experienced horrific flooding?

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Comments

  1. Hahaha! That damn car was possessed! So glad I libe in Manhattan and have not owned a car in 15 years! Mass transit rules.

    • She really was completely possessed. We’re dropping down to one car since we live in the suburbs and both commute to the city. We really only drive anywhere on the weekends lol.

  2. Wow.. That totally sucks.. But the whole way thru your post I kept hearing that insurance commercial.. “You had a car, you named it Brad…” 🙂 I’ve named only one of my vehicles, my gray Jeep, appropriately named, “The Gray Ghost.” – I say get the pink ride, it’s cool! 😀

  3. Ohhhh poor girl! That’s so sad that Jellie Bean was SUCH a bad car!

    My first car was a Ford Fiesta who I don’t think had a name, but when I got my new one (a red, sporty Ford Fiesta, inherited from my boy-racer Grandad), Hollie, I wasn’t sad to see the first one go, cos I gave it to a family who really needed a car 🙂

  4. My new ride is named Molly Weasley. Because of course.

  5. I love that you name your cars too.

    • It’s totally a thing I blame Katie for. I didn’t name my first car for a couple of years, and she just…named it. So I learned my lesson. Name your car or someone else will.

  6. I’ve never named my cars. Maybe that explains all the accidents.

  7. Princess Judy says:

    I currently drive Tommy T. Toyota (the “T” is for “the” …I mean duh! LOL). Before that was The Toad (silver gray drove like a fat river toad [that didn’t quit]) very sad when that one went at 12 years old but Toad was a Daihatsu and they hadn’t been imported in years so parts were hard. Before that was the unnamed asshole car we all said was cursed. It was a bright red Honda Civic hot hatchback that apparently was freaking invisible. I had near misses and almost collisions in that thing all the time, and not just me, other drivers experienced the same thing. In fact, little bro was driving it in his usual, lay the seat way back manner, when someone drove up the road at him at a high rate of speed. He jerked the wheel, the car spun, hit a tree on the driver’s side which collapsed into the space that would have been any other driver who sat up to drive. Then the my a-hole car flew through the air, rolling 5 times before landing upright on all 4 wheels. Dead. The car that is. The driver and the passenger, very much alive. I say a nice quiet drowning is a better way for a car to die. Sure it is less dramatic but no one has to fear for life and limb or pay for property damage (oh hey, the other guy… did not stop). Why did Jellie Bean turn on her lights? Like a last gasp for help? “Hey guys! I’m over here!”

    • Omg that’s terrifying! And, apparently when your car is underwater all the things are connected by the water and turn on. But I like your answer so. Much. Better.

  8. Oh my, that was one doomed car. Poor Jellie Bean. I’ll pour one out tonight in her honor.

  9. I totally get it…cars have so many memories. But sometimes it feels good to start over, you know? RIP Jellie Bean.

    And my cars are always “Bessie.” Like…James Bond is always James Bond.

  10. Joe Paredes says:

    Sorry for your loss,is good your able to kind of laugh about it. No ,I don’t name my rides, this is my first truck I buy since 1996. Always had a company’s truck. The would replace it every 1 and a half years. So, there was no point in naming them. Now that I bought my own truck,I’m not able to drive it. It sit on my driveway,playing with the mockingbirds a very sad song. Brand spanking new,extremely low milege,already paid for, and just sitting there. Love your blog ,makes my day when I read it. Keep up the good work. All the loves.

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