Saturday, May 07, 2005

Pope my ride!

Today is my birthday. I am 25 years old. A man, technically.

Me on 5/8/85

You might wonder if I feel old. Depends on the situation, really. In college, 25 is an odd age, because you're far older than most undergraduates; among grad students and that dreaded Real World, however, 25 is fresh meat.

There are so many ways to see 25: a young age, a quarter-century, a quarter, two years before the prime rock-star flameout age, etc. It can be seen as both young and old. If properly taken care of, a 25-year-old man can be a very healthy specimen, as I try to be. If properly taken care of, a 25-year-old car is still old. It's all in the perspective, I suppose.

Speaking of old men, cars and what defines "old," I learned that the Pope's car recently sold on eBay for $244,800. The car is Joseph Ratzinger's 1999 Volkswagen Golf, which Reuters inexplicably describes as "old." Maybe I'm being the poor bastard here, but 1999 isn't exactly old to me. The truck I drive is a 1993, which I bought the same month that Ratzinger bought his new car (March 1999). Fading paint and inexplicable squeaks aside, I don't consider my truck old. Yet many people I know think a 2002 car is ancient. Hell, I graduated from college in 2002, and my newspaper clipping of the event isn't even yellow! But I digress.

The manual car has 75,000 kms (47,000 miles) on the clock, air conditioning, anti-theft equipment and alarms.

It was first registered in March 1999 to Joseph Ratzinger, a Cardinal from Germany before becoming Pope Benedict even though it is unclear whether Ratzinger ever had a driver's license.

Do Vatican officials not need driver's licenses? It seems like I have to show mine for every little transaction I make! Man, those zany Vatican Catholics get away with everything, don't they?

I hope Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does have a driver's license. I'm what you could call a driver's license collector; I have several expired ones from myself as well as from family members, both living and dead. I also try to scope out copies of celebrity licenses, though genuine ones are hard to come by. However, I have come across Tupac's and Liberace's, as well as the license of the underrated jazz great Professor Longhair. For obvious reasons, I generally steer clear of valid ones or those that otherwise show current addresses and other identifying information. Unless I can find them, heh heh...

I like to see leaders and famous people drive, because it's one of those activities that normalizes them. Cindy Crawford drives. Al Gore drives. Dubya drives. Even Kurt Cobain drove a Lexus. Sure, their cars might kick ass (and they might consider 2004 "old"), but there's still poetic justice in knowing that the man we now call Pope Benedict XVI once drove a manual Volkswagen Golf. I can connect with that more than I can connect with his hard-right views or his opulent palaces.

Halbe has been quoted in newspapers as saying the dealer told him the car had a "heavenly ride."

Halbe included a copy of the registration in the auction that showed the car belonged to "Josef Kardinal Ratzinger" and had registration plate: "CD 140 XG." The address was listed as "Citta del Vaticano."

I also collect license plates, and envy (sorry, Pope!) whoever ends up with his license plate, CD 140 XG. Now THAT would be an awesome birthday present! (Hint, hint...) Short of that, I'll just settle for a new car. See that? I'm flexible.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!


Nick said...

Dude, I just bought an '05 Silverado about 3 weeks ago. Pretty much the same truck coach Timmy just bought, except mine is Ragin Cajun red. However, I wasn't able to salvage my Ragin Cajun Track & Field sticker. Yall need to get some new ones made, considering it's been about 3 yrs. and now most of the team doesn't have any for their vehicles.

Ian McGibboney said...

Dude, we still have a big stack. It's just that no one knows about them.

M said...

happy birthday

oyster said...

Happy belated!