Disposable Car - Guest Post by Ken Hagerman AKA 'The Barba'

Today's guest post is from Ken Hagerman. Ken is a missionary in Paraguay. For reasons you won't understand, unless you speak Spanish, Ken goes by The Barba. He blogs here and tweets here.

Take it away, Ken and Barba...

It all started innocently enough. It was just a little playful banter on Twitter. Young @Arthur2Sheds tweeted:

I responded with some ridiculous quip that is nearly, almost totally, based in the truth of our car experiences, and Sir Arthur of 2 Sheds thought it comical. I tell you, tragedy and comedy are sisters in the same dysfunctional family. He threw down the gauntlet of a guest post and, in my machismo, I couldn’t let the challenge pass. What follows is the fallout of that exchange.

Being nearly legendary in armchair engineering, I propose the invention of the disposable car. “No need for such a contraption,” you say. I will enlighten you to the gargantuan need for just such an item.

A disposable car would hold almost no value, so security isn’t an issue. A disposable car would have no repair cost; just throw it away. A disposable car could be replaced at a moment’s notice, no need to ever be without transportation. Still not convinced? Read on…

I could fill a very sad, very big book with my apocalyptic automobile stories. In 2008, just two days after moving to Paraguay, we purchased a used Mitsubishi Montero, aka the Mission Mobile. It turns out our complete ignorance in Paraguayan business practices would haunt us.

Who would have thought? About a year in, the motor in our Mission Mobile defecated its contents next to an empanada stand on Route One. The good news was that a friend’s stepson was the best mechanic in town. The bad news was our town was very small. The worst news was the guy belonged to a cult. I made sure every time I went to check on it that I was well hydrated. I couldn’t risk a Kool-Aid snafu.

A disposable car could have spared my family the cost of repairs and the angst of waiting three months to get the Montero back.

Yes, it took three months. The first time. The second time the engine went into cardiac arrest, it cost us four months. No matter, it gave me time to track down the reason we still didn’t have a title for the car after 18 months. It had collateral damage. By that I mean, it was used as collateral in three outstanding loans by the previous owner. I can’t blame the guy--he was fleeing the country. He needed money to fund his trip.

A disposable car would alleviate this problem by not qualifying as security for a loan, unless you care to buy a sandwich on credit.

The third time the Montero’s power plant pooped out was the drive home from picking it up at the repair shop. I towed it to a friend’s house where it still sits today, 14 months later. The good news is that I may get the title for it soon. The loans are paid and the transfer is underway. Four years and counting (Author crosses various body parts for luck).

A disposable car wouldn’t have a title, thus saving buyers tons of trouble.

Life dictated that we have a car so we bought a little VW Golf to fill the gap. Apparently the original owner was Magneto of X-Men fame. The car has a residual magnetism for other heavy, metal objects. I’ve been hit by a bus three times, by other motorists three times, and we were even sideswiped by a three-wheeled motorcycle once. I avoid the hospital parking lot at all costs for fear of a wheel chair incident. Did I tell you about the first time we rebuilt the Golf’s motor?

If the disposable car were a reality this entire story would not exist. We would be liberated from the stress and aggravation of those moments. However, we would also be without God’s provision and deliverance in those things. We would not have seen Him acting on our behalf and for our good. We would not have learned those valuable lessons or understood He is in control in every detail.

Still, a disposable car…

What new convenience do you want to see invented? How has modern convenience insulated you from God’s interaction?