So, the day before yesterday I was trying to get out of a gas station parking lot and wound up in an enormous pothole. As I made a hard right out onto the road, the car made a weird noise like a can opener. I’d never heard a car make that noise before. Driving along, I noticed my alignment had suddenly gone wonky and I was having to turn the wheel 15 degrees to the left to go straight. Arriving home, making a hard right into the driveway, it made that noise again.
So yesterday, I went to the library and checked out some books and spent $3 copying pages out of books for future Executed Today entries. And though I was very tired and inclined to just go home and nap, I decided to take the car to the shop. I had a shop in mind which I HAD to go to, even though it was across town: the mechanic, Chip, had fixed my hood for free. I wanted to repay him by giving him paying work.
Alas, it turned out I had no work for him to do. Chip listened to my description of the problem and said, “Uh, I think your car might be done.” He went out, took one look at it and pronounced the patient dead. It turns out the whatchamacallit got torn off or something and the right front wheel could just plain fall off at any time. Such as when I’m driving 65 mph down the interstate, for example.
“Is it safe to drive it back to my boyfriend’s?” I asked.
“Where does he live?”
So I called Dad — voicemail — and Michael — voicemail — and then Michael’s father, who picked up, and agreed to come and rescue me and take me to his house. I had an appointment the next day that I could just walk to from where Michael’s parents live. Then I called Mom and told her about the car. She kind of freaked that I drove on it for a day with the wheel in danger of falling off like that. I myself am very glad I chose to take it to the shop on Thursday and not wait till Friday or, God forbid, Monday. I might have got myself killed.
I called Dad again. This time he answered. The car is in his name and I wanted to know how he wished to take care of it. Dad said, “I don’t want to tow it. See if the mechanic will take it off our hands.”
“You can have the car,” I told Chip. “Just take it off our hands, you’ll be doing us a favor.”
“Let me find out how much I can scrap it for. I’ll pay you.”
“You don’t understand. You can have the car FOR FREE.”
“No, I can’t do that.” Chip called some guy who ran the scrapyard, then said to me, “They say I can scrap it and get $200 for it. So I’ll buy it from you for that.”
As near as I can understand, Chip is still not profiting from the transaction. He buys the car from us for $200, then takes to the scrapyard and gets…$200.
As we both observed, the numerous books scattered inside the car, as well as some clothes I keep forgetting to donate to Goodwill/have dry cleaned, may be worth more than the car itself. But Chip’s letting me clean it out.
None of us are surprised that the car is dead, though we’re surprised how it happened. We’d been expecting the motor to go out any day now. The car was not unusually old (it’s a 2000 model) but it had been through a lot.
So tomorrow I’ll have to go car shopping. Maybe I’ll get a Volkswagen. I like Volkswagens. They’re cute.