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Car Stuff [message #4232] Tue, 15 November 2005 06:18
Eric  is currently offline Eric
Messages: 641
Registered: January 2003
Location: San Francisco
Senior Member
I typed this up some time ago, but I don't believe I ever posted it. Since Ellen's asking about character birthdays, I thought it might be useful as a starting point of sorts:

Figured I'd summarize this here in case someone else found it useful for fanfics or wanted to add something I missed or reach further conclusions.

At the start of the story (and probably at least since the start of school in fall '96, since it's a routine thing by the time the story starts), Mike and Debbie have cars and driver's licenses.

(I think it's safe to assume that everyone driving in the story is legal, unless we learn otherwise in the future. But it's almost certainly true in those two cases: obviously Mike's parents and Debbie's mother know about their kids' cars, and in their jobs, it'd be very embarrassing--or worse--if anyone learned they had children driving with a forged license or without a license.)

So does Lisa. (And so does Bobby McPhearson, since the things he's arrested for don't include car theft or driving without a license. But I'm not going to list other incidental players here as we go on. I'll also skip Rachel and Jack and Susan and others who are obviously older than our main cast.)

Travis very probably does; if he'd taken the bus to the mall on November 1 he'd most likely have asked Lisa or somebody for a ride home, though he could have already arranged to have someone else pick him up. Anyway, we know he has a truck by the time of his date with Valerie on December 13.

In January, Kim's driving her mom's car. Later that year, the text strongly implies that the car she's driving at that time is hers, so presumably in the meantime she either buys one of her own or (more likely?) buys or "inherits" the same car from her mother.

In February, Pam's driving a minivan. We eventually discover that it belongs to her parents.

In March, Amanda brings a car to the weekend gaming session and drives Tuck from Mike's to Debbie's. Sabrina has a car, because unlike everyone else there she doesn't need a ride back from Debbie's after the homework/Debbie's taxes gathering.

Earlier that month, a minivan materializes for Da Boyz' revenge attack; though Book is driving it at the time, it's Dan who's particularly concerned about their changing the license plate, and we learn on a later occasion that Dan "occasionally borrows" a minivan from his mother. A minivan turns up again on the May 4 excursion to tap Nickerson's home phone, with no reference to the owner or driver. (Dan is present, along with Mike, Jill and Tuck; we don't know whether Book is there.) By the fall, the vehicle Da Boyz are using is definitely Dan's responsibility.

(Actually, this is the one point where there might be a question about driving legally: is Book driving the van on March 22 because Dan's underage and not licensed yet?)

In April, Kathy drives Debbie's car, since she can handle a manual transmission. Does she have her own car at the time? It doesn't seem likely; there's nothing explicit in the narrative about her driving anywhere on her own until the Homecoming dance in October, and there's at least one day where we find that she didn't bring a car to work.

In May, Julia brings a car to Debbie's end-of-school dinner, and we encounter it several times after that. (Actually, Julia was driving it earlier in the month, when she and Tuck met for dinner and a concert.)


[Updated on: Tue, 15 November 2005 07:14]

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