A police photo of the suspect suspension.
A police photo of the suspect suspension. MRC Des Collines

On Sunday night, in Val-des-Monts, Québec, just outside of Ottawa, a 28-year-old man was found driving a 1999 Toyota Tercel that was in need of some … attention.

Police recounted its problems in a press release: three bald tires, no windshield wipers, and a rear suspension rigged with wooden logs and chicken wire, among other issues. The 28-year-old driver also had an open beer in the front seat, though he passed sobriety tests. According to the Ottawa Citizen, he was given a $481 ticket and had his car—which, again, in case this fact was not emphasized enough, had a rear suspension rigged with logs and chicken wire—impounded. 

We were initially inclined to think of this man as a jury-rigging hero before we stepped back from our desks and considered the facts: Driving a car with bald tires and a suspension made from a tree and farm surplus is indeed wildly dangerous behavior to oneself and anyone unfortunate enough to be on the road that night.

Then we stepped back up to our desks with a sense of wonder. Someone built this incomparable, incomprehensible suspension, and for some amount of time this (apparently sober) man allowed it to cushion his ride over various Canadian roadways. So we are inclined to declare it a wash. Neither hero nor zero, this young man exists in the complicated gray that is life. And, according to the police, he has “learned that it is important to drive a vehicle in good condition.”