I shall preface this story by telling you that my boss is a big classic Volvos guy. He has, I believe, 6 old Volvos that he maintains, polishes, and cherishes. He loves them. He and his Volvos were even featured in a newspaper article in the Providence Journal a few months ago.
Unlike the above picture there was nothing fun about my afternoon in the 1967 Volvo Amazon Kombi. My boss and I were on our way to Woonsocket for a meeting. I had been feeling sick all afternoon--kind of feverish and weak--so naturally I had difficulty opening the heavy car door (they made them out of real metal back then, none of that plastic crap we get today). I could barely get it unstuck to open it and, to my regret, struggled to shut it.
My boss and I start driving down the street and I get this feeling that my door isn't shut all the way. I look in the mirror and see that the door looks shut, but I'm pretty certain that it's not. Well we hit a bump and the door becomes ajar! I can see in the side mirror that the door was no longer flush with the side of the car.
"What do I do?! Stay calm. Play it cool," I tell myself. I have already learned the hard way that it's illegal to open a door in motion. [I was pouring an old coffee out of a friends car in high school, trying to help her clean up the car, and gather the mound of trash. Even though the car was rolling to a stop at a light, Mr. Officer didn't care]. So I realize that I can't open the door and re-shut it and we're about to merge onto the highway!! I decide that I have to tell my boss. I'm not sure how we're going to fix it, but the last thing I want to do is to cause his door to get ripped off on the highway.
He just laughs.
I try to tell him that I'm serious and this could be a grave matter, but he doesn't seem phased. The combination of more bumps and 70 mph has caused the door to be visibly opening!! He suggests opening the door and shutting, but that will be certain death for the door. I decide that the best option is to tighten my seat belt and hold the door handle. If worse comes to worse, I'm letting go. I'm not getting sucked out of the car! It looks flush once again so I decide to lock it and hope for the best. We hit a bump and it again is creeping open. The lock is obviously useless. The door is obviously not shut. Well the increasing speed forces me to switch my tactic from my right hand to the all out, across the body, left hand, using my body weight, grab.
He's still laughing at this point, mind you. I am not.
There is nothing funny about ripping the door off your boss' pride and joy. There is nothing funny about getting catapulted out of the car. As I'm holding this door for dear life I look at the door handle and realize they didn't make handles in the 60s like they do today. No, No, No. The car was made better, but the door handles were not. This thing is probably screwed on to the vinyl door liner and that's about it. It's probably been replaced 10 times by now. It's probably no stronger than Velcro. Great. Not only am I going to get his door ripped off on Route 146 and run over by a semi, but I'll have to turn to him afterwards and hand him his door handle as a consolation gift and tell him that I at least managed to salvage something. How's that for staff morale?
At this point I don't know what's going to fall off first, my arm or the door handle, so I change my strategy. I'm going to roll the window down and hold the door in by force. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Luckily it was an unusually warm day for fall. Desperate strategy works. Not only do I prevent pulling the handle off, but I manage to pull the door shut and hear a click. I again, locked the door, which worked so uselessly before, but was worth a second try. I sweated and hoped that it remained shut for the duration of the ride. Fortunately, it did. I didn't intend to be an awkward passenger, but let's just say my boss was not getting a shot at eye contact from me for the rest of the ride; I had a mission and it required complete focus on that side mirror.