Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Driven to Distraction and Round the Bend
On another day closer to the lunatic asylum, my very good friend from AAA informed me my car was finally repaired and it would cost a me a mere $1,900 to be again driving on the open highway a dream vehicle that, I recently discovered in a poll of 33 small cars was ranked number 33.
The news made me choke due to the box of mints I was forced to swallow in the absence of something stronger – Crème de Menthe in the cup I used for my tooth brush, perhaps,
“Sure this isn’t AA,” I spluttered, mints flying across the room and hitting unsuspecting colleagues. “I could use your services.”
The car fiasco proved to be such a Catch 22 that I considered just junking it and getting something else. But every time I landed nervously on a parking lot, I got collared by a representative who would come sprinting out of his representative box like a greyhound from a cage and try to get me to sign a deal for a car I had never seen before asking my name. I got to the stage of driving by the car lot slowly, leaving the engine running and sprinting back into my car before the rep. showed up or prowling the parking lots at night, a practice that carries its own peculiar risks.
So after a day or two of dithering I found myself agreeing to the repairing of all the twisted valves caused by the shattered timing belt, that was replaced about a year ago because I didn’t want it to shatter and twist all my valves.
Twisted valves is never a pleasant topic of conversation, especially if this information is imparted by an old lady while you are waiting at the doctor’s surgery flicking through some of the arcane magazines they have there. Baku Weaver’s World – that kind of thing.
I thought of getting heavy with my mechanic but he’s kind of heavy anyway so I guess I’ll slip away quietly and find another mechanic and stop boasting to people about how I’ve found a guy who’ll fix my car on the cheap.
Sadly I have been driving a rented Toyota for a week and notwithstanding some of those telltale signs of a rental car (why do people who rent cars see fit to stub out cigarettes on the seat?), it has been so great to drive a car that’s Japanese and has no discernible American parts. I know there are a few worrying stories about Toyotas and gas pedals but this Corolla seriously rocks. It even has electric windows.