1986 Green Honda Part 1: Rise of the Bats

My blog has become something of a hub for telling old stories about my childhood but thus far most of these stories have been relatively unknown tales that I am recounting but today that all changes. The story of my 1986 Green Honda is one of my more famous tales and has been told and retold over dinners, at parties and pretty much any time anyone has car trouble. But it has never been written down so today we officially document this tale of woe.

It was like this... only green and haunted.

It was like this… only green and haunted.

Now I’ll be spreading the 1986 Green Honda story over several different posts because it’s a long and elaborate tale and today I just wanted to set the stage a little bit and tell the story of the two bats. Now those who have been reading know about my two friends, Danny and Stephen Barnes. I more or less grew up with these guys and spent a lot of time around them. I consider them both brothers and family and whenever I am in town I make an effort to see them but after you read this story you might wonder how our friendship could endure such trials.

As soon as Danny got his license he acquired his first car, a green 1986 Honda Accord. To this day I don’t know where he got it but I can only assume he stole it from some gypsies who then promptly placed a curse on this car. I must further assume that Danny used some ancient Japanese counter-curse because the curse didn’t affect him but completely came into full swing when I took ownership of this car in 2001.

Danny sold this car to me for 500 dollars which seemed like a great deal at the time. In fact, to sweeten the pot, Danny left the subwoofers and CD player in the car which gave me an aurora of coolness that I never would have been able to develop on my own. Now it’s very important that you note the price of the car purchased: 500 dollars. Seems really cheap right? Almost like someone just needed to get rid of the car. Well mission accomplished because like a sucker I bought it.

The Barnes family has long found enjoyment from my status as car buying sucker. You see overtime that 500 dollar car ended up costing me 5,000 dollars in repairs. That’s just repairs. I am not counting the years taken from life from being an overly stressed teenager. The amount of problems and annoyances that came from this car is incredibly high and the Barnes family finds this SO funny. Now imagine you bought a car from a salesman and he gave you a pretty good deal. Over the next few years you became more and more aware of how much he screwed you but yet he constantly invited you over to dinner and laughed at your pain. But not just him. He also invited his parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, his aunt’s mysterious friend and pretty much anyone else who needed a good laugh over to this dinner.

That’s what it was like at dinner with the Barnes family. And they weren’t being malicious or hurtful. They just found it so funny. They just couldn’t help but laugh at my expense. I think everyone in the Barnes family has their favorite story from the 1986 Green Honda and this is Alan Barnes’ favorite story. The tale of two Bats.

The first Bat. 

These stories are going to jump around in time. They won’t be going in order so what you need to know at this point in the story is I had just found out that a new series of repairs was going to cost me an additional 2,000 dollars. I have already put in 1500 just a few months earlier and I was as mad I could be. My mom was working in the garage when I pulled into the driveway. Well I say pulled but it was more like I clunked into the driveway barely moving. The car was popping and fizzing and smoking and so was I. I was absolutely furious and in a rage I have never felt before. I got out of my car and stormed into the garage and grabbed a bat. My mom stood nearby watching me when all the sudden she realized what I was about to do.

“Travis, no!”

But it was too late. I took the baseball bat and with all my might slammed it into the side of the Honda. I think if I had swung like that in baseball a few years earlier I might have actually made it onto the base. Anyway, I slammed the bat into the side of the car and put a giant, ugly dent in the door. But man it felt amazing.

A screenshot from one of our movies. One of the only images of my car. Look at that sexy siding.

A screenshot from one of our movies. One of the only images of my car. Look at that sexy siding. Who would want to dent that?

Now you have to realize this car was already a real P.O.S. So it wasn’t like I was doing a ton of damage to the car. But it was probably unnecessary. My mom stood nearby, disappointed at her son’s lack of control. “Well I hope you’re happy”, she said. Then I said a sentence that would come back to haunt me, “I don’t care. I think everyone should take a bat to this car.” It was like I called out to it, “bat to this car.”

The second Bat

Six months after putting a lovely dent into the side of my car, Trav, Steve and I went to hang out with some girls that Steve had met. Steve was the worst at introducing girls to our group. They always took us to some weird place. This weird place was a cabin way up in the mountains. If this was a movie, we were being taken up there to be murdered but this was life so instead we just being taken up there to sit around and talk.

At one point in the night, Steve wanted to get a CD out of my car so I gave him my keys and he went out and got the CD and came back inside. Now I don’t know if he got scared or if he was just being lazy but he left the backseat door open on my car. While we were inside the cabin my car battery drained and drained and eventually died. The door was wide open.

When we finally came to leave it was cold and late and Steve had to jump my car so I could get home. Surprisingly the jumping of the car went off without a hitch and we were off. Steve and Trav drove home together because I needed to stop and pick up one of my little brothers from a friends house or something. I think it was Miles but it could have been Jordan, I don’t really remember. I remember what shirt I was wearing (my favorite dentist shirt) but I can’t remember what human was with me. Anyway, as we were driving on the freeway in Salt Lake I heard this very quiet squeaking noise.

Squeak.

What was that? I turned my music off and listened.

Squeak.

Huh, that is very weird. I hope this stupid car isn’t breaking down again. It squeaked a finally time.

SQUEAK!

Only this time it was a battle cry and out from underneath my seat came a real living bat. It was just like in the horror movies where it was flapping all over the car and trying to find an exit. Boom. It hit the left window. Boom. It hit the right window. Meanwhile Miles(?) and I were screaming as the car dramatically swerved across three lanes of traffic. Luckily my 1986 Honda Accord was the luxury model and it had power windows. I rolled down every window in the car and after the longest ten seconds of my life, the bat flew out the window and disappeared into the night sky.

A bat came out from under one of those seats! A bat!

A bat came out from under one of those seats! A bat!

I regained control of the vehicle and we drove home mostly in stunned silence. There wasn’t much sign of the bat in the car. Some smudged windows was about all there was to prove any validity to our story.

Once home, I walked into my room, kneeled down and looked to the sky. “Father, I shall become a Bat.” And vowed that I would fight crime dressed as a bat to strike terror into the hearts of criminals… Okay well that last part wasn’t true but you know, it would have been awesome.

As far as my ownership with the Green Honda Accord was concerned these were the only two bat-related experiences I had with this car but I think they were enough to last a lifetime. Next time we’re going to talk about the tale of two fires. It all happens at a Taco Bell. Stay tuned.

This post is dedicated to Danny Barnes, a real turd of a friend.

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