Image credit: Craigslist

Here, check it: this is a 1996 Honda Civic that someone made into a “limo” and wants $1,000 for on Craigslist (ad saved in case it gets removed).

This is the description that went along with the ad:

Civic limo

Has rebuilt title

D16y7 non VTEC

Very slow

Led dash lites and is lit up inside

Burns oil

5 speed

Made from a few cars has EF rear end

Crazy car but will get around has caravan seats with belts in rear

Exhaust is open header to 2 inch pipe dumped at first rear axle with a turndown very loud

Dog walks tho in the rear

Eats a tire In about 150 miles

Lots of great parts tho trans is a lower mileage pull a part special no grinds

Obo will trade for guitars or bangs lol make an offer

Guitars or bangs? Tell me more!


The hot desert sun burned into the back of my neck. I could feel the tendrils of sweat snaking down my face, but I didn’t shift to get more comfortable. The scope of my rifle, pressed tightly to my eye, was unwavering. The heat from the baking desert landscape radiated up through my clothes, warming my front.

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It had been three days since I’d eaten. The hunger gnawed at my ribs and I pushed it away. I couldn’t be distracted now.

In the valley, the herd of mule deer nosed at the dirt, looking for any sort of scraggly vegetation to chew on. Their hooves kicked up little puffs of dust as they walked. My target, the only fawn of the herd, trailed sullenly behind its mother.

Pressing my rifle more tightly to my shoulder, I trailed the fawn in the crosshairs of the scope, exhaled and squeezed the trigger.

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The crack of the gunshot echoed off the valley, scattering the herd. But the bullet found its mark, a little behind the fawn’s front shoulder. Slightly below vertical middle. It collapsed heavily and didn’t get up again.

I kept the rifle trained on it a second more, but the fawn didn’t move. I stood up, brushing the sand from my front.

Parked behind me was the old Honda Civic that I’d purchased before the Influenza wiped out 95 percent of the world’s population. Civilization really comes to a screeching halt after something like that happens.

And, it wasn’t like the remaining five percent was going to step up and run the world for the next chapter of our history. You learned that getting a gun and getting moving were the two things that were going to keep you alive.

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I hacked apart the Honda and added extra panels before welding the whole thing back together. The extra storage was important and it had six wheels instead of four because if one went out in an emergency, there would still be five left. The spiked front bumper I added on after I had to escape a band of cannibals intent on flaying me for soup. I robbed them of a meal and a few intact shins while I was at it.

I tossed the rifle in the passenger seat and started the car. The D16y7 non-VTEC engine buzzed angrily as I drove carefully down the valley to the fallen fawn. Once I reached it, I strapped it to my hood and searched for an elevated place to bed down for the night.

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With a bellyful of deer meat and a warm fire crackling merrily under the stars, I sighed contentedly and leaned against the Civic, pulling a battered guitar from the depths of the car and struck a mournful chord. A coyote yowled from far away.

Scuffs and chips decorated the wood, but as this was the last thing my wife gave me before the disease took her, it was the most precious thing I owned. Music is what used to connect us, and it connected us still even though she was gone. “Whatever you do,” she whispered from lips wasting away, “Don’t play ‘Wonderwall.’”

And then she died.

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Not a day goes by where I don’t think of that.

I played a few tuneless bars of an unknown song when, in the distance, I heard a responding chord progression. Sitting bolt upright, I strained my ears against the night, trying to listen for more.

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Nothing.

Tentatively, I played the same few bars again and laid my palm across the strings, choking off the notes.

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There! The same chord progression. I stood and picked up the rifle. “Who’s there?” I called. “Show yourself!”

Minutes passed. I didn’t lower the rifle. Eventually, the crunch of boots announced the arrival of the stranger. He was unarmed and carried only a guitar in his right hand. He stepped into the firelight warily, hands out in front of him when he saw that I was armed.

“Evening,” he said, keeping his eyes on the gun. “I don’t want no trouble, I just heard you playing over here.”

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It was useless to ask who he was—names didn’t matter these days—so, instead, I asked, “Where are you from?”

The man gestured vaguely back eastwards and the name written on his guitar flashed momentarily, illuminated by the fire.

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I lowered the rifle, all wariness forgotten. “Is that a Gibson?”

“What? Oh, yeah. Here, have a look.” He held it out to me.

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“Wow,” I said, running my fingers along the body and up the neck. The finished wood was remarkably smooth. I flicked a string—the note was full-bodied and rich, making my guitar sound nasally by comparison. “This is a beautiful instrument,” I said, handing it back to the man.

He was looking at the Honda. “Is this a... Civic?” he asked.

I said yes.

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He gave a long, low whistle. “It’s barely recognizable.”

“Thank you,” I responded, pride coloring my tone.

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“Is it for sale?”

The question caught me off guard. “What?”

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“Is it for sale?” he asked more loudly, examining a dried bloodstain the fawn left on the hood.

“Oh! Uh...” I hadn’t thought about buying anything for a long time. The concept of currency was long dead. “Money’s not really useful to me...”

“How about a trade, then?” He held out his guitar.

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Shiiiiiiit. That would be a tough call. I needed the Honda. But on the other hand, music was the only thing that made me feel close to my wife. And it was a Gibson.

I deliberated for second more. “Okay,” I said finally. “You’ve got a deal.”

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“Awesome, man.” He held out the guitar to me and I handed him the Honda’s keys. I emptied all of my belongings from the Honda and piled them neatly near the fire.

I watched him climb into the driver’s seat and adjust it to his taller frame. “Careful about third gear,” I cautioned. “It sticks.”

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“Thanks!” He started it up and revved the engine slightly before sliding it into gear. The red of the tail lights faded into the direction he came from and I watched them go, a little wistful.

It would be hard to survive for a few days without the Honda, sure, but abandoned cars were strewn all around the roads. All I had to do was find one that ran. I sat back down in front of the fire to examine my new prize.

Something was wrong. The strings were upside down. I check again and swore.

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The Gibson was a lefty guitar.