Ah, the allure of a fish car. Ever since I've read Traver characterize his fish car with such purpose, the idea has haunted me. Everything you would need to escape the world for a week, maybe a month, already packed and ready to go at a moments notice. A dedicated trout hunting companion on four wheels. Looks aren’t that important, this ride is all about functionality.
I recently chased this dream to its apparent inevitable consummation. At least at this point in my life. I stood on the precipice of greatness that is ownership of a fish car, and was subsequently knocked off by marriage, kind of. It was actually going to be a fish Jeep (even better, I know). I stumbled into the old Jeep Cherokee by accident. It was at the end of its serviceable life, not fit for carting a family around anymore, floor boards rusted out and body in the process, it would have failed in an accident. Being the good samaritan that I am, I took it in. Adopted it when no one else would, saw beauty where others saw only rust, rattles, and rubbish. It runs like a fish car should and asks for practically nothing, except maybe a little too much gas.
Every cog was set in place. Rod rack arranged just so, wader storage, axes, canned food, pop tarts, water, flint and steel, ropes, chains, extra clothes, coats, rain coats, gloves, hats, knives, saw, hammer, nails, more rope, more food, hatchet, shovel, emergency radio?, flashlights blah blah blah. I won’t even go into detail about the rest of the fishing gear stored within.
You see, I may have put the cart in front of the horse on this one, it seems I overlooked one small detail. One catastrophically small detail. Insurance. I can be a pretty convincing guy. I can talk my way in and out of some uncomfortable stuff if need be. As it turns out, I cannot talk my wife into adding another $70/mo for car insurance on a “hobby” (as my wife calls it) that already costs an “exorbitant” amount of not only money, but time. She doesn’t even want to hear about how well the canoe fits on top! Doesn’t want to hear about how the old Cherokees can go through almost anything! Doesn’t care that it would ultimately save money on car washes, since it would never need one...that’s a real reason, right? And what about the fact that my regular car would receive less abuse and less miles, so it would “maintain value” longer. Makes sense to me!
So there she sits. The fish Jeep that was only driven to the river once, maybe twice. The fish Jeep that never was, serving out her days on short trips to work or to town. We would have made a good team, her and I. I wonder what her name would have been? Something special no doubt.
God damned car insurance.