No, I’m not referring to the actress who played Catwoman on the Batman series from the ’60s. I’m referring to my car, the Barcelona Red Prius who has come to mean as much to me as Dirk (my iPod, for those who don’t already know). Like the Roomba before her, Eartha has made my life easier, more relaxing, thanks to her eco-friendly attitude and space-age features.
Eartha earned her name threefold:
1. My first car, a 1980 T-roof Firebird that was also red, had been named Bertha by my sister before getting handed down to me ten years later.
2. She’s environmental (as much as a practical car these days can be).
3. She talks to me, a la K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.
And now she lets me park for free. I could already benefit from the California HOV stickers by taking the carpool lane, even when riding solo, but now those same stickers are a free pass for any meter in Santa Monica. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, at least, not until this weekend, and then only after plunking a buck fifty into a meter for half an hour of stop time. But at least I know for the future.
Considering the separation anxiety I went through upon trading in Coche (my unflaggingly loyal Honda Civic), I can’t imagine what it would be like to give up Eartha. And now that Dirk has been resuscitated and has hooked up (literally) with Eartha to keep me in pure, commercial-free sound no matter where I roll, the thought of losing either makes my skin crawl. Toyota should have called the extended warranty a life insurance plan.