Why does one person need two cars?

Image courtesy of Del Stone Jr.

So I am restored to two functioning vehicles.

Why does one person need two vehicles, you ask? How does that affect your carbon footprint on the earth? How can you afford two vehicles? And what exactly do you mean by “restored”?

Notice my impeccable punctuation in the previous paragraph. That should count for something. Surely a person of impeccable punctuation should be allowed the luxury of two vehicles.

But if that explanation is insufficient, consider the following:

“Why does one person need two vehicles?” Well, truth be told, one person doesn’t need two vehicles. But that’s where I find myself – with a practical vehicle for today’s volatile and unfriendly fuel prices, and a trusted old friend that can haul a 5,000-watt generator in the back seat.

“How does that affect your carbon footprint on the earth?” When I look at my peers driving gigantic pickup trucks, SUVs and vans, I find it hard to feel guilty I am adversely affecting the carbon footprint of the earth. In fact, one of my peers who drives a Prius recently chided me about my carbon footprint. I reminded him that he recently drove a Suburban. If a Prius is a Xanax for earth-guilt, my Scion tC is a vitamin C pill.

“How can you afford two vehicles?” I refuse to feel guilty about this. Vehicle No. 1 was purchased in 1995 and has been paid off for many years. Vehicle No. 2 was purchased in 2006 and was paid for in cash, which I saved for years.

“Restored.” That means I recently turned in vehicle No. 1 to the shop, which restored it to functioning order – for a price – which I will be paying the rest of the year. Vehicle No. 2 was vandalized at work, but luckily insurance paid for the bulk of the work.

So now I am merely paranoid about which vehicle to drive. No. 1 is old but I only have liability on it. One wreck on the way to work and it’s off to the junkyard. No. 2 has full coverage but if I take it to work, the vandalizer may return.

I dunno. I guess in the pantheon of worries, these are the minor gods.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at delstonejr.com .