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Is My Car Gay?

Flickr Creative Commons user Marjorie Lipan

Across the US, gas and oil prices are going up, and people may paying a little more attention to their traveling habits.  And so commentator Julie Zickefoose is forced to ask a completely unrelated question: is my car gay?

As you might suspect, Cash for Clunkers went over big in my part of Appalachian Ohio. Clunkers R Us. So much so, that I had to drive three hours to find a dealer that had a model left on the lot that I wanted to buy. Since I knew that the bottom will drop out of this $3 billion program very soon, I decided to act without further delay. I left our old green Ford Explorer on the lot with its outspoken bumper stickers, its 178,000 miles and all.

I made them promise not to take it to the back lot to execute it until after I drove away in my new Subaru Forester. Although it occurred to me to throw myself on its hood and really let 'er rip, right there in front of the three skinny salesmen taking their cigarette breaks, I kept it together.

Truth be told I am too high on new car upholstery fumes to care now. To get into a car where everything works! Where both back doors open from the inside! Where the back hatch can be unlocked with a key! Which does not stink of mouse piddle! and has no candy wrappers anywhere at all, no DumDums stuck into the carpet, no slashes in the upholstery, no straw woven into the cargo zone, no horsefly carcasses stuck in the windshield crevice! No nasty stains, no mouse fluff or mildew in the air conditioner, and less than 200 miles on the odometer! Oh! It is too rich. No one could deserve such largesse.

A car that goes when you tell it to, with verve and alacrity and speed.. A car that corners instead of careens. A car that will take me to town six more times on a fill than the old one would. A car with heated front seats and sixteen pre-sets for my favorite radio stations. Little matter it that there are only five stations to choose from. I am in love with my Subaru Forester.

But there is another angle to my joy. My husband is looking for a rainbow bumper sticker, and one with a lavender equal sign. I know him well enough to know he will apply them in the dark of night and let me drive around for days without knowing they are there. I have been the butt of endless jokes from my friends, male and female, having to do with a possible sudden midlife change in my sexual orientation.

I keep checking. Despite his shenanigans, I am still nuts about Bill after 18 years together. I have unrequited crushes on Johnny Depp, John Cusack, and Adam Lambert. OK, minus a half point for that last one. Really, I don't feel any different. I wanted all-wheel drive, decent fuel economy, six airbags, a moonroof, and a lot of cargo room. Is that gay? If any bumper stickers go on my Forester, I'll make a lavender one with a rainbow on it that says, "I just like the car, OK?"

If you're as baffled as I was, just Google "Subaru Forester Lesbian." You’ll find 24,000 returns. It’s out there. I don’t know how it started, but I’m not making it up.

Whatever. If you see a green Subaru rolling along an Ohio highway with a raised fist sticking out of the sunroof, it’ll be me, driving out loud, driving proud.