Friday, June 13, 2008

Car-jacked By My Own Car, AGAIN...
Another tedious installment of my Automotive Repair Adventures...

Last Friday (can it really be a week since I posted here?), I belabored to death the fact that I was becoming immersed in the quagmire of Automotive Repair as related to the Auto's electrical system. A NIGHTMARE. I'd bought the new battery last week, battery light kept coming on, found out it was an Alternator Problem last FRIDAY and couldn't get it installed until Monday. So what they did on Friday was to charge up my new battery as best as they could, and they told me that if I didn't drive over 30 miles total for the entire weekend, that I would (probably) still have enough juice in the battery to return Monday for the installation of my new Alternator. Well, both Saturday and Sunday last weekend were BEAUTIFUL; the sun was out and I wanted to Go To The Ocean. But I stayed home Saturday. (They'd told me not to drive very much, you see.) But on Sunday, Cabin Fever prevailed, and yea, verily, I did cast my fate to the wind and went to the OCEAN anyway, damn 'em all!!!

And you know what? My battery light didn't come on ALL WEEKEND. Well, I was told that "sometimes the alternator was working and sometimes it wasn't". So, my car waited until I had already committed to buy another alternator before It Began Working Properly Again. Sheeeeesh...ain't that the way it always goes? So I made it to the Automotive Repair Place on Monday for my 10AM appointment. Since there was a restaurant next door, I thot that would be a good place to pass the time. So, Eat Breakfast I Did. I killed 2 hours of time in the Restaurant. After which, I thot I should get back to the Automotive Repair Place, 'cos my car would be ready soon. Yeah, rrrright....once I got back to the Automo0tive Repair Place, I was told my car wasn't ready. "Oh well, soon", I (erroneously) thought to myself...(who else would I have 'thought' to, I must ask)...

And so, again I waited. I must admit here that I exhibited great patience thumbing through some of the Dullest Magazines On Earth while waiting there. Finally, after a couple hours of THAT, the Automotive Repair Place's boss asked me if I wanted one of his flunkies to drive me somewhere. I was thinking by this time, "ANYTHING to get me out of this place, if only temporarily!" And they were probably thinking, "we've got to get him out of here; he's driving us nuts.") So the parts runner-guy drove me into town, and said, "give us a call long about 3pm, and we'll come get you". Okay, fine. I'm new to this town anyway, and I had a chance to look around a part of town I haven't been to yet. So I be-bopped around for a while, looking at this, seeing that, buying a little something along the way (yep, I found a couple of cool thrift shops). Long about 3pm, I found myself in a Wendy's hamburger place, and the nice clerk behind the counter let me use his CELL-PHONE to call the Automotive Service Place and get picked up. That was nice of him, huh? And I was amazed at how TINY cell-phones are!

I placed my call to the Automotive Service Place at about 2:35pm; I told 'em to come get me at 3pm, and that they could even show up a little after that, 'cos there was a Wendy's Root Beer Float with my name on it that I was going to savour. MMMM....Root Beer Float....(my Homer Simpson imitation there)...I finished it long about 3pm, 'cos my ride was coming, you see. And, so, in Wendy's, I waited. And Waited. And WAITED. Finally, long about 3:40pm, I just decided, "dammit, if I don't get up and do something, I'm gonna go bonkers", so I figured 'hell with it' and WALKED back to the Automotive Service place. Mind you, I was underslept when I got UP Monday was now going on 4pm, which meant it'd been 6 hours since I'd taken my car in for a job that was supposed to take THREE HOURS. I got there about 4:20pm, and WAITED AGAIN in the Automotive Service Place, reading dull and boring magazines and want-ad papers, and finally, long about 5:30pm, They Were DONE! Net result: I was approximately $400 dollars poorer after swiping my bank card in their machinery. But I had my car fixed...rrrright?

You're not going to believe this: As I got in my car to GO HOME, FINALLY, my drivers' side WINDOW went bonkers! I lowered the window, thot 'something's not right here', tried raising the window, and it kept going up CROOKED, and it had NEVER done that before. Huh? WHAT? My car is white, but at that moment, I was tempted to get it painted "LEMON" Yellow! So I made another appointment, right then and there, to come in Thursday (yesterday), again at 10am, to Get It Fixed. What happened, (they told me), was that a metal clamp that held the bottom of the window came undone. The clamp consisted of two pieces of metal GLUED TOGETHER. How STUPID is that? GLUING two pieces of metal together! So the technician at the Automotive Service Place WELDED the clamp back together. And since they had to rip the door apart to service the window machinery, well, that was another $70 in labor I had to pay. (I didn't have to pay for parts, since it was My Window Part that was welded.)

As far as waiting time for THAT...well, I'd brought my car in at 10am for a window job that was supposed to take an hour and a half or thereabouts...let's just cut a long story short and say that After Breakfast (again at the nearby restaurant), I came back, found out my car WASN'T done, and I Just Went Walking. Where, I didn't care. Marooned without my car once again. I found myself in a Fred Meyer store looking at paperback novels, like the kind the drugstores sell (apologies to Gordon Lightfoot)...and long about 3pm, I walked back to the Automotive Service place..."well, they've gotta be done by now", I (again) thought in error. Everything You Know Is Wrong (or so the '70s comedy troupe, The Firesign Theater, once said). I waited ANOTHER long, tiring hour, looking at boring magazines and want-ad papers until the Warden (er, I mean, the Boss of the Automotive Service Place) said I was free to go. SPRUNG!!!! Yaaaay! Whoopee! I'd only been waiting approximately 5 hours for a job that was supposed to take an Hour And A Half. Precious Moments Of My Life That I'll Never Have Again, and What Was I Doing With Them? WAITING.

So what was the First thing I did once I re-acquired my Automotive Freedom? I noticed the Gas Tank was almost empty. Gosh, if it ain't one thing, it's another. Gag, ack, blech, yow, ackthptff, I did grit my teeth and I did pull into Ye Olde Gas Station where I put $25 worth of $4.35-a-gallon gasoline into Mine Automobile, all the while thinking that if Gas gets much more expensive, they're gonna pull all the Gold Bars out of Fort Knox and instead fill up the vaults with regular, premium and diesel fuel. Makes me glad I don't heat this place with oil. I use space heaters which NEVER go much above 70 degrees.

After all that, I went to the beach. An absolutely gorgeous, almost cloudless day. Ahh, the ocean breezes. I walked slowly, gazed at the pelicans and gulls flying overhead, and soaked in what just has to be some of the most gorgeous solitude on Planet Earth. And with that, I was reminded Why I Came Here. Ahhhhh......


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