Saturday, June 26, 2010

There aren't enough cocktails in the world

Hi there! Remember me? Wondering what's been happening since last Friday? Wondering if Jamie is still sitting on Beverly Blvd? If she got towed? Burglarized? Vandalized? Mysteriously stolen so I could collect the insurance money? Well, get yourself a beverage and a comfy seat, it's going to be a long story. But trust me, you'll want to read through for the punchline.

Let me first say that this week at work has been incredibly busy and stressful, so worrying about a car was not at all what I needed. In fact, for the first three days this week, I was so stressed about work stuff that I didn't really think about Jamie at all. But then, after all the meetings were done and I could breathe a little, I started worrying. What the hell am I going to do about this crappy little car that keeps breaking down every few weeks? Sure, I'll get her to Max, he'll change the spark plug, but it's just going to keep doing the same damn thing over and over. And AAA only allows me three tows a year. Well, fortunately, the universe felt a little sorry for me and granted me a reprieve in an offer of a loan to help with the down payment towards a new car. Yippee!! I started to scour the dealerships online looking for deals and helpful financing. I was, dare I say it, getting a little excited. [that should be accompanied by some foreboding-type music and heavy foreshadowing]

I took the two buses to Jamie today, called for a tow, and when Adonis arrived (his name, I swear) he promptly told me "You know your tire is flat. Do you want me to change it?" What? I guess all that sitting left Jamie with a flat tire. I told Adonis just to put her up on the tow truck. I'll have Max do something with it. (Adonis brought the rollback truck, fortunately) So, off we head to Max's where the first thing out of his mouth is "you know your tire is flat?" OMG, YES! The tire is flat. Can we move on?

It was the #2 cylinder this time. Small comfort that it wasn't the same one that was just fixed a month ago. Max told me (finally) that this will just keep happening until I rebuild the engine. I told him, "Look, I just want to get her running again so I can drive her straight to a dealership and trade her in on something else. I'm done with this car." Max then proceeded to lecture me (yelled at me, really) about going to a dealership looking desperate and how they're going to take advantage of me, etc, etc, etc. He advised I keep driving Jamie while shopping around for the best deal, or try to sell Jamie on Craigslist and then take that money to the dealer. I yelled back, "And what do I do when she blows another spark plug in two weeks. I can't keep doing this, Max!" It was quite a sight, our little spat. Back and forth we went about me being stupid and looking desperate. What can I say, I am desperate. And I didn't want to get into it with him about how my credit is the worst and I'll be lucky if anyone gives me a deal for this car and what I have to put down.

So, he changed the spark plug and put the spare tire on for me. He offered to loan me a tire from his stock of used parts but I'd have to bring it back to him when I get a new tire. Well, that's sweet, really, but that's just one more thing. I don't want to get a new tire. I don't have another $100 for that. No Thanks, I said. Max checked the oil and added more "on the house" but advised an oil change soon. Honestly, despite his warnings, I really just wanted to drive to the dealerships I narrowed down and say "what'll you give me?" I paid him and got in the car. Jamie felt a little funny to me. Not quite misfiring shaky, but not quite her usual idle. "She's fine" he said. "Are you sure? It doesn't feel right," I said. But assured that she's just fine, I backed out of his garage and drove off. [cue more eerie music]

I made it 12 blocks before a beeping noise drew my attention to the instrument panel and the Temperature gauge light, then to the temperature gauge to find Jamie running at 260 degrees!!!! I pulled over, popped the hood, and checked the coolant. Then I called Max. Okay first I screamed "FUCK" at the top of my lungs, then I called Max. He told me to drive it back to his place. "It's in the red!!!!" I cried. "She'll be okay. Just bring it back." Remembering a little technique Daren had to do when his old Neon's thermostat was off, I turned the heater on full blast, windows down, and drove as fast as I could back to Max. Jamie managed to stay out of the red but hovered nearby.
Yeah, so it's the water pump. Uh huh. I know. You're saying, "What the hell? What else could possibly go wrong? Why does the universe not want Laurie Ann to get a new car? And where are the hidden cameras because this shit is not funny anymore." Okay, that may be what I'm saying. You're just saying "Sweet Jesus, I'm glad that's not me."

Max said he'll fix it for $500, minus what I had just spent on the spark plug and tire change. Needless to say, this is cutting into my down payment money big time. He also offered me his Passat as a loaner until it's fixed, which is super nice of him, but given my luck, I didn't want to chance it. I asked for a ride to the Orange Line instead. Max did insist he'd pick me up tomorrow to come get the car, which he stayed late today to fix. I'll keep you posted.


Annika said...

Oh, honestly. You poor thing. You know my number if you need a ride someplace, even if it's just to my place for a cocktail.

Maybe the universe wants you to go back to riding the bus. But really, the universe might have waited for cooler weather in that case.

Anonymous said...

Oh Laurie, I do feel sorry for you, but have to admit you made em laugh!

It will get better.