Wednesday, May 02, 2007
When Talents Were Handed Out, I Passed On Car Repair and Sports.
I was stalled on the freeway this morning for about 45 minutes before the AAA tow truck arrived - all because my 9-year-old Jeep Grand Cherokee’s transmission decided to die.
There I was going about my normal ritual of listening to “the history of bumblebee mating calls” or something like that on NPR (not sure since I usually “zone-out” anyways until some interesting topic comes up.) Next thing you know, my car was coasting as if an alien mothership was hovering above me and stole the power (or all of my $3.49 a gallon gas – stupid aliens!)
On the way to the Jeep dealer, my Armenian tow-truck driver was talking into his cell phone the whole trip speaking in his secret language. I had the crazy suspicion he was talking about me. Why? Because he kept glancing my way, and then would whisper as if I wouldn't understand his mumbling. I don’t know Armenian but I can understand when somebody is talking about me in another language (it’s a superpower of mine - kind of like invisibility or impersonating a Bee-Gee.)
When we arrived at the dealer, the first words I hear from the service guy's mouth was “Hey Buddy! Why don’t you just get a new Jeep….I can show you some out on the lot”.
No dude, just fix my car. I do not want a car payment, I do not want to walk the lot, I do not like your shirt. I do not like the Beatles, and I do not like green eggs and ham!!
When the wife picked me up from that horrible place, my stomach sank and I immediately got that feeling as if I were the “new guy with the Tom Selleck mustache” just about to take my first prison shower. I knew they were going to give it to me.
And they did - $4,100 (more than the car’s worth.) But since the guy thought I “was cool” (maybe it was my haircut, or lack thereof) he was going to knock off 10% (still a little more than what the car’s worth.)
Why didn’t they just take my kidney and steal my cookie!? (I screamed to the heavens above...!)
I hate to say it, but I’m attached to the car. I bought it just before the ‘sexy-lady who would become my wife’ moved out here from Paris (not the Texas one.) We drove the car on our wedding day to the hotel and then to the airport for our honeymoon. We packed and moved into our first house in it. We’ve taken it on road trips to far away places and on camping trips to the mountains (we would get rained on and then retreat to the back of the jeep.) We drove our newborn daughter home in it for the very first time (I still remember that day as if were yesterday…) I’m not a sentimental, emotional, sappy guy - but the thing is part of the family.
So while the wife and I were researching options of what to do --buy another car? (No, we’re going to Fiji in a few weeks and the money-tree ain’t producing no mo’!) Sell it to that mechanic at the dealer with two gold teeth who offered $700? (never trust a dude with gold teeth -- unless, of course, there's a grill that says “money”.)
I just couldn’t do it.
Thankfully, a longtime friends’ dad (an amazing guy that I’ve known for years since college who practically knows everything “real guys” should know - like how to change oil or make steak chili) happens to have a friend who owns a shop, offered to fix the car for much less than the dealer.
I jumped at it! Why? Because I’m attached to it, just like old underwear.
I can’t be the only one, right?