If you read yesterday’s post, then you know I am winding up to tell you what foolish thing I did this last weekend. It is always at times like this… when I have money in my pocket and the opportunity to use it unwisely that I fall down. Impulse and the ability to ignore what I know I should not do play a major role. Desperation was the hook here and I was caught like a hungry bass on Sunday morning. The bait… a car when I had none and craved to have one again.
Bullwinkle that I am, I met Boris on Craig’s List. He had a car at a price I had in my pocket. The photos looked good. Our conversation seemed sincere and honest. He set the hook when he offered to drive it to me. You can see how nice that would be since I had no way to get to the car. Perfect! We made our agreement and I did as I always do when I meet a stranger here… I directed him to a local restaurant that has many people coming and going at all times. Yes, I do this to my dates, DH being the only exception.
My son cooks here. I know all the employees by first name and even some of the Native Americans selling their fish in the parking lot. It is a very public and safe place.
On top of that I had Rocket J. Squirrel with me and Max. What could possibly go wrong? There was the car. No Borris. But it was the right car. I opened it up and checked out the insides. It was in good shape, but did have a set of laughable hooks… as in I Know What You Did Last Summer… instead of traditional door handles. This appealed to my personal sense of humor. I was undaunted by the crack in the windshield. Up here this time of year everyone has dings and cracks in their windshields from the winter freeway treatments.
Rocky got busy doing the right things… checking under the hood and making sure the frame was straight. Meanwhile the Bullwinkle went inside to find Boris. I passed him in the foyer, but after a quick look around inside stopped to ask if he was Boris. He said he had been waiting quite awhile and they had a plane to catch. (Yes… I know you are saying ut-oh over that comment.) They were on their way to be in a wedding and simply could not be late… so we had to hurry. His nice wife was waiting in their other car. I waved and her and yes, did have enough brains to put their license plate number firmly in my head as I waved in her direction.
Rocky was shutting the hood as we walked up and he said that it looked okay but we needed to listen to it. The guy jumped in the car, turned it on and it sounded wonderful.
Rocky nodded at me and was about to say something when the wife yelled to hurry up… they had to go. I exchanged the money and got the title part done. He jogged over to his car and they zoomed off.
There was a bit of trouble with shifting the car out of park. It took me a few minutes to figure out that there is a release button at the base of the shifter. Rocky, back in his own car by now, waved and drove off. I put it into gear and heard the most awful noise as we began to creep toward the exit. Well crap! I was alone with Max who was more than concerned and swearing. Meanwhile the car continued to sound like a giant garbage disposal as I turned onto the street and headed for the motel down the block where X is remodeling. I did not have to announce us. The car did that. X looked up and walked over, as I sat, now quietly idling. He quickly established that I was the idiot who had just this moment purchased the broken car.
When he stopped laughing uproariously at me… and yes, he was delighted… he got down on his hands and knees and did a remarkable thing for someone who had just laughed at me and who I had so recently divorced. He stuck his head under my tires and told me to pull forward. I was musing over the idea of cranking the wheel at laughing man when he directed me to now pull slowly back. Again I was entertained by the idea of being able to say “Ooops! Offficer… I swear it was an accident! It made the most gratifying… I mean… horrible popping sound.” But I took too long with that fantasy and opportunity passed by as he stood back up.
“Well you’ve got bad CV joints. I’m not sure you can even make it home.” He shook his head and continued to laugh until I gave him my best death ray look. He says with a more sober face “Well, it’s not a total loss. That’s an easy fix and not very expensive. But you’ll be lucky if you make it a block.” He began walking back to his job, shaking his head and cackling.
“Hey! Maybe you should look at it again!” I shouted after him, but he was onto me.
I put the darned humiliation into gear and headed out onto the street. This time after a block… at least it was after a block… so the X wasn’t completely right… it got even louder. Fortunately for me, I passed Just who turned and watched me drive past with an open mouth. I had not an hour before run into Just and his minion and worked out a deal to fix the Aspire the following month when I could afford it better. My automotive display softened his heart toward me. When I called after the big, big noise that soon followed and it was clear that I needed to park the piece of wrecking yard fodder, Just jumped right in to help. He promised to have my Aspire fixed by Tuesday… and kept his word. He also promised and followed through on towing my new lawn ornament to my home.
But I am ahead of myself. The big, big noise happened and the engine made it clear that there was too much revving and too little moving to keep up with it. So I pulled to the curb… immediately in front of the school where I work and parked it. When I looked up, a blue pick up truck was stopping. There he was… N, the mechanic from the place that had rooked me last. Talk about ambulance chasers! But, I am being unfair. He said the same thing that X had said, did not try to get me to give my car to his shop, and then drove us home. That was very kind.
I called Rocky as soon as I got inside. Better to eat humble pie as fast as possible. He was not only sympathetic, he felt that he was responsible. “I had a bad feeling about how fast he wanted to get away. I should have insisted that he go for a drive in it.” Then he agreed to drive me to the market and to school and pick me up the next day.
So I fell. Splat! But like Bullwinkle, I hopped back up and there was no serious damage. Just is repairing both cars. The Aspire now shifts beautifully. We even managed to work out a trade so that I did not have to pull anymore money out of my pocket for the parts and labor. All things considered. I am lucky. I can always sell the new car once it is repaired and recover my money that way.
As for Boris… well in Oregon we have a serious lemon law and lawyers who specialize in it.
Of course the lawyer will want a cut, so the question there is how much is vengeance worth?
I sure wish I had a Way-Back Machine.