Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Car Story

I'm doing it again folks. Writing a multi-part story. Except this time, it doesn't have anything to do with having a baby (thank goodness). But you know, whatever. I'm feeling kinda goofy. I did drink Diet Coke today so you better watch out. I'm not usually caffeinated although I kinda like it.  Here we go....    

Car Story, Part One

For a time, we were a four car family. Well, lets back up. For a time, we were a two car family—as is standard in Middle America. I’ve always dreamed of living in a place where we could be a one car family but alas, this is not 'I’m-So-Awesome-‘Cause-I-Live-in-a-Big-City-Story'. That will never be our story. Sigh. I’m OK with that because I love our life, but I’m not going to lie, I watch Sex and the City a lot these days and day dream more than I care to admit about expensive high heels and taxis. Anyways, our car story had, for the entire span of our 3 ¾ year marriage, previously consisted of a 1995 Cutlass Sierra Oldsmobile and 2001 Plymouth Neon. 

We were getting to a point in our relationship with the said cars where long car rides were no longer a good idea and where the Mrs. of the family profusely complained when having to ride in the Olds (which she often called The Buick for reasons unknown).  

This is mostly because a.) The passenger side door did not open from the outside b.) It had automatic windows that usually got stuck when in the down position which was especially problematic because c.) It did not have a working air conditioner and we live in one of the hottest areas of the country.  Furthermore,  d.) The engine frequently over-heated despite the Mr.’s repeated attempts to play mechanic.  

Yet the Neon was no dream, either.
It didn’t really like going over 70 as it would get all shaky and feel like it might fall apart. Also, the Neon was not manly enough for the Mr. as it was rather small and had no vroom.  Those cars probably would have been driven to their pending deaths if it weren’t for the fact that both the Mr. and the Mrs. felt leery of driving a wee one (whose arrival was imminent) around in either car.

The time came when enough money had been saved to make some car adjustments. After some Craig’s Listing, we found the family sedan of our dreams.  2007 Toyota Camry, baby. Oh yeah.  Around the same time, we acquired an Acura with significant body damage, just as many years as the Olds, but with many more miles.  We snatched it because it was $800 and in much better mechanical shape.  Plus leather seats and a moon roof.  Holla! (No, I did not just misspell hola).  We were in car heaven.  Things were really working out.

We had plans of doing some more Craig’s Listing (only in the opposite direction) and getting back to our two car family status. Only we moved. And then had a baby. And then had the holidays. Plus it gets dark so early in the winter. Suddenly, being a four car family was much easier than being a two car one, especially since our new house had a very spacious drive way that made having some extra vehicles no big deal.  As a result, we were a four car family for way too long. About seven months, actually.     

The Mr. made some meager attempts at selling the Olds, but no one was biting. Well, one person kept biting every time the ad was posted. He would always explain how he used to have that very same car (which he dearly loved), only it was recently totaled and his insurance company was only offering him X amount of money to replace it, which was several hundred dollars less than our asking price. Yet this man never asked to come see it and never made Brandon an offer. The conversation always awkwardly fizzled out.  He was still out his car and we were still stuck with ours.

Then, when the Mrs. was ready to momentarily leave the new baby to prepare the Neon for market, the battery was dead. Of course. When the battery was replaced, the wrong size battery was installed. When the engine started, wires were crossed and there was a lot of smoke. When the correct battery was installed, the car still started, but the check-engine light still came on. And the radio didn’t work. Grr. It was ultimately determined that the alternator now needed replacing. The Mr. gave it an honest–to-goodness attempt to fix the problem, but quickly discovered that a Neon's alternator is apparently in the most awkward and cumbersome place ever and then decided that wasting a Saturday gathering the know-how and the supplies for an alternator.  Phew. The Mr. did some Googling and found a local mechanic who seemed affordable, likely because he was the greasiest, tannest, skinniest, pot-smokiest, talkiest, Vietnam vet who ever did work out of his double wide trailer (but he was really cheap). 

Part Two: To Market to Market


-tAy- said...

hmmmm. I was just going to post a where is the next post but then I noticed the lack of comments . . .I wouldn't feel super motivated to post the next part either. But rest assured, I did read your post and was waiting on pins on needles for the next installment.

Shelley said...

I'm with Taylor. What's to become of the Neon and the Buick. plus Alison writes well and regardless of the topic, her posts are always highly entertaining.

Alison said...

Thanks for checking guys! I truthfully just haven't written it. I'm actually working on it now!

Sharon said...

Count me one, I read it too. And I'm waiting for the second part.