Wanna Ride in my ‘Vette, Baby?

I’ve gotta hand it to my parents. If nothing else, they’ve got a great sense of humor over things. When I complained so publicly last week about never owning a Big Wheel, they searched long and hard for the reason behind their funsuckery. (Yeah, I just invented a new word. Go, me). They were visiting my brother and his girlfriend in Southern California when I posted that entry, and according to Esther, my mom spent the rest of the day wandering around their house asking out loud, “Why did we never let Mark have a Big Wheel?” To which my dad would reply, “Because they were stupid. That big ass wheel looked ridiculous.”

Oh, father. If by “ridiculous” you mean “cool,” then right on. They were ultra ridiculous!

A few days later, my mom sent me an email with a photo attachment. “THIS is why you never had a Big Wheel!” she declared triumphantly. Only, it wasn’t a very convincing argument. This is what she sent me:

I’m sorry, but this little toy in no way made up for my missing Big Wheel!

Oh, sure. I might look happy in that picture. But I was all of three years old and simply didn’t know better at the time! I mean, I’m also wearing these weird purplish-blue shoes, and don’t even get me started on the brown striped shirt. I was pretty clueless (and gullible) back then. Trust me, those tiny six-inch wheels are no substitute for the glory of a Big Wheel.

This morning, we picked up my mom for a Costco run, and when she opened the door she thrust something into my hands. It was a box of Cookie Crisp cereal, which was hilarious because in that same post I complained about how my parents also never let me eat Cookie Crisp when I was growing up, which had – like the Big Wheel – left me feeling all sorts of deprived. So I got a good laugh out of that, especially when she said, “Don’t say we never let you eat Cookie Crisp cereal in your life!” I suppose late is better than never (and I can’t help but wonder if I’m going to find a Big Wheel beneath my Christmas tree this year. Hint, hint).

I suppose I should start complaining that they never bought me that Mini Cooper I always wanted? (In reality, I’ve only “always wanted” a Mini Cooper since The Italian Job came out in 2003, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right)? I’m sure my dad would say Mini Coopers are “stupid” and “ridiculous” anyway, and would point out that I did get to drive a Chevette for my senior year of high school.

(By the way, I used to ask the girls if they “wanted to take a ride in my ‘Vette”. I was always surprised by the looks of disappointment on their faces when they saw my not-so-pimped-out ride).

My first car was a ‘Vette. Are you jealous?

True story: later on I had it painted candy apple red, tinted the windows, and added a groovy red racing stripe to the windshield. Sadly, that didn’t change the fact that it was still a 1980 Chevy Chevette with a broken gas gauge and a propensity for losing power on the freeway. Similar to the fact that, regardless of the number of plastic surgeries she has, Joan Rivers is still Joan Rivers.

I wish I had that “after” picture. (Of my ‘Vette, not Joan Rivers). I’ll have to dig it up and post in in a forthcoming entry.

Anyway, I’ll keep this short since it’s a holiday weekend and everybody’s probably busy barbecuing or camping or recalling fondly their halcyon days of youth spent riding Big Wheels. Catch ya later!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

22 thoughts on “Wanna Ride in my ‘Vette, Baby?

  1. OMG, Mark…that baby picture of you is ADORABLE!

    And yes, I remember those tyke-bikes (I think that’s what they were called). Never had one myself, but always wanted one.

    I adored Cookie Crisp cereal because I love chocolate chip cookies, so it was like eating a WHOLE bowl of tiny chocolate chip cookies with milk – Yummy!

    Love your car! Holy cow, I totally forgot about a “Chevette!” My first car was a Chevy too – a Chevy Nova (in beige).

    Wishing you and Tara an awesome Labor Day tomorrow!


    1. One of my friends from high school used to drive us around in his beige Chevy Nova. Too funny! And it doesn’t really surprise me that you also had a Tyke Bike, Ron. We do seem to have a lot in common. Happy Monday to you – hopefully you’re not working!


    1. You never knew they existed, Jessica? I wish I was so blissfully unaware. Then the fact that I didn’t own one wouldn’t sting nearly as badly!

      Glad you weathered the storm unscathed.


  2. Two of my friends had Chevettes when we were in high school……….we had SO much fun in those things! And yes, one of them was yellow as well!! Too funny! My first car was a beat up 1977 baby blue Ford Granada. I LOVED that car!! 😉


    1. I only wanted a Chevette because one of my friends in South Dakota had one, and it seemed like a reliable, fun little car. The reality was, it was neither – but at least it was cheap!


      1. Yep, my very first car was a ’74 Monte Carlo. I drove the wheels off that thing in high school. The “vette” was my first “married” car. I think my in-laws just wanted it out of their driveway.


  3. I’m getting to like your Mom and Dad more and more especially when you post pictures like the one of you on that little whatever you wanna call it…it’s not really a bike and it’s not reall a scooter…so I…I…just don’t know what it is but TARA had one too!!

    Love the ‘Vette story and Gremlin? Seriously? Why not go all out and really admit your fondness for the Pinto…

    Have a great weekend!!


    1. Really? Tara had the same thing? LOL. I read her your comment and she did not remember that. But I guess with all the other little things in common we share, I shouldn’t be surprised!

      And yes, I really do have a “thing” for the AMC Gremlin. I know, I know…bizarre.


  4. LOVE it! My parents never got me an Easy Bake Oven. Way back when, they were “dannnngerousssss.” Yea whatever. I never let my parents forget. And then one Christmas, as an adult, I opened a gift from my father. It was an Easy Bake Oven. I think I cried. And then I made EVERY-SINGLE-RECIPE!


  5. Ok, the fact your mom bought you cookie crisp is just like my mom complaining when I blogged about her never giving me a curfew, but refusing to buy double stuff oreos. Which, by your definitions, is the opposite of cool, so must be something like “logical.”

    Now, I do need to say I think your blue, purpley shoes are the bomb. I would totally rock those. Sketchers whole new collection will be colors like that! I know – I just came from the preview. *Perks of being a Retail Slave


  6. I had a 1980 Pontiac Acadian which is exactly the same as the 1980 Chevy Chevette! What are the odds? Haven’t read the post about you not getting your Big Wheel yet – when I switched computers I left the emails I hadn’t looked at yet on the old computer to try to give me a chance of getting caught up. I may be able to send them to my new machine in the next day or two if I keep up with my current pace. With my luck, they’ll give me another assignment & I’ll have to go back to work!


    1. It’s always weird when two competing car companies make the same model of car under a different name. I suppose I could have told people I was duped into buying what I thought was a CORvette…


  7. Hey, I used to drive a ‘Vette like that! It had nothing on the Pinto I drove before that, though – the Pinto could do zero to 50 in about 10 minutes – no lie.


Add Your Two Cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: