I see you've chosen the 1990 Honda Civic. An excellent choice. In 2004, this particular vintage of Honda Civic represented an affordable solution to my transportation needs. It got excellent gas mileage, and, in spite of its advanced age, was quite a workhorse.

The fact you have chosen my Honda Civic is quite flattering. And, I must say, you have one-upped me. Whereas I once paid a reasonable price for the vehicle, you have elected to take it for free. Clearly you are a more experienced car shopper than me.

I can tell that we share a lot of common ground. It's true I could have upgraded to a better car, but I was comfortable driving an older vehicle. It might not have looked as pretty or featured all the same bells and whistles common to modern cars, but it got me where I needed to go. You could have stolen any number of vehicles on my street, but you chose the most modest one. I can see you are not motivated by greed or vanity. I can respect that, though I worry you might be limiting yourself professionally.

I'd like to clear up some misconceptions you probably have about me. First of all, I was totally planning on throwing that bag of trash in the backseat away. I just hadn't gotten around to it, but rest assured, it was high on my list of things to do. You know how it is, junk just accumulates. I work hard, so I don't have time to take every straw wrapper or fast food bag to the dumpster. That's not to say I'm a slob. You just caught me at a bad time.

You're probably also holding the dirty exterior against me. Out here, in this dry California climate, it seems impossible to keep the car from getting covered with a fine layer of dust, dirt, and the myriad particles that fall from the trees I often park under. Now that me and my car have parted ways, I will forever live with the regret that I didn't let her shine more often. I hope you'll do things differently.

I guess you probably think I'm a cheapskate, what with the empty gas tank and all. I was planning on filling that up. In fact, I was going to fill up on the way to work. But, being in a hurry as you were, you snatched it away before I could even leave for work. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. I can only imagine the disgusted sigh you must have uttered when you illegally entered my vehicle and saw that pitiful gas gauge halfheartedly pointing at "E." Thankfully the mileage is still pretty good, so it shouldn't cost you too much to fill up.

Do me a favor and check the pressure on the rear passenger side tire, will ya? It's got a slow leak for the past two years. There should be enough quarters for the air pump, but you'll have to sort through all the pennies first. I was going to do something about that penny situation, too. Time just gets away from you.

You probably also noticed that I'm dangerously overdue for an oil change. "This weekend," I kept telling myself, only to delay it further. I know, I know, that stuff is important. Fine, I admit it. I'm a bad person. Happy now? Did you steal that high horse, too?

Sorry! I got a little carried away. I didn't mean that.

Let's face the facts: my car is yours now, and so are all its problems. You stole yourself a real doozie for sure, and it's too late for second thoughts. Now don't panic, because I'm here to give you the straight scoop. First of all, don't sweat that trunk light on the instrument panel. It's been on for years, and not because the trunk is secretly open. It's just a busted sensor. You'll learn to ignore it in no time.

I guess you're a bit peeved at the sound quality coming out of those speakers. I never got around to buying that boss sound system, so it's a bit rustic. She does all right when it comes to playing NPR, though. I left it tuned to that station for you, so don't hesitate to crank up some All Things Considered or Fresh Air. You probably noticed only the driver side has audio. Give the radio a swift kick and those other speakers will start singing. Problem solved.

That rough shifting? That's just the transmission slowly dying. Ignore that one, too. It'll go away in time.

I have not left you high and dry, friend. Under the front passenger seat you will find a Chilton's manual for the exact make and model of vehicle you have stolen. This hardy tome may prove invaluable should you elect to address the car's many shortcomings.

Just a word of advice: I wouldn't rely too much on that road atlas of mine. I picked that up 5 years ago, and so it might be a bit dated. You'll want to invest in a new one if you plan on doing some serious traveling. Sorry it's in such rough condition, those things get kicked around the floorboards a lot.

Boy, I hope you're not allergic to dogs. I'm gonna level with you: many a time has this car transported one particularly hairy golden retriever. Hairy, and burdened with more than his fair share of skin ailments, I might add. You know how those old dogs get, where their fur gets all dry and oily and gross and your hand is covered with that flaky slime after petting them? Well, the backseats are probably coated in that stuff.

There may be a vomit stain or two. I'm not too proud to admit that I drunkenly vomited in the general direction of the windows while careening down I5. Don't worry, buddy, I wasn't driving at the time. Come to think of it, the dog also threw up in the car on a few occasions, but I'm pretty sure I cleaned most of it out. That dog never could hold his liquor.

One last thing... a slight favor, if I may be so bold to ask. I left a pair of genuine Teva sandals in the back. Granted they've been sitting in my car for over a year without me ever so much as touching them, but I imagined I might one day find myself in a situation where sandals would prove useful. If you could return them I would be grateful.

Well, I guess that about does it. You're a vehicle owner now. You're my vehicle owner, in fact. I'd hoped this moment might have more ceremony, like me handing you the keys. But then again, you seem pretty capable of getting around without keys, so I guess they'd just weigh you down.

Anyway, best of luck! Hopefully the old gal serves you as well as she served me all these years.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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