kaigou: first I'm going to have a little drinkie, then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you. (2 execute all of you)
[personal profile] kaigou
Yesterday I flaked out on errands because it was 4pm already, a torrential downpour, and the start of a three-day weekend. Given this city's penchant for water-soluble driving skills, the last thing I wanted to deal with was a whole highway of the oblivions, in rain, on a friday afternoon, when everyone's getting into the holiday mood. Bleah.

So instead I went out at 10pm to get cat food, and that's when my clutch cable snapped, instead.

On the other hand, the 10pm trip was supposed to be short, because CP was going to head out with the car in time for a midnight get-together with friends -- which means if the cable was that close to snapping and it hadn't been me, it probably would've been him, instead. On the side of the highway, in a torrential downpour, at two in the morning.

All things considered, better to have the cable snap in the grocery store parking lot when you're not even out of first, yet. Unfortunately, stupid modern computerized cars means you can't even start the car unless the clutch pedal's down -- as opposed to the Porsche or the Austin-Healey, which you could start in neutral without the clutch pedal down. And that means no starting the car at all, once the cable's snapped, and that means no point in even trying to remember the specific ratios for shifting sans clutch pedal. Damnitall.

Fortunately, a neighbor is as much of a night owl as myself, and willing to drive the whole whopping mile and a half to get me, my chocolate, and my twenty-pound bag of cat food, and deliver me home again. At which point I then end up awake all night and wired because the idea of my car sitting in the grocery store parking lot is rather, well, bothersome. It's my car, man. Mine! I've taken that car off-roading in Utah! And nearly slid down an icy mountainside highway with it, in Maryland! And hauled it through the backwoods blue-roads of Pennsylvania at three am on the way home from NYC because I'd overshot the Turnpike and was too blasted stubborn to stop and ask directions! All sorts of good times!

Sigh. But anyway, when I finally drag myself awake this morning after maybe three hours' sleep if I was really lucky, CP badgers me into calling triple-A. They'll tow, but that means he has to ride over to the grocery store and wait for them. He does. They get there. They flat-bed the car back (at least that much, since I hate the damage a bad tow-job can do), and the next step is figure out car rental.

Which I procrastinate on, because that means getting picked up, going over to the car place, dealing with people, dealing with all of it, and I'm still cranky and sleep-deprived and not thinking clearly. Procrastination until about noon, when CP informs me that apparently all car rental places CLOSE AT NOON ON SATURDAY.

Oh, bloody freaking hell. You have GOT to be kidding me.

Nope, the only rental places apparently open are down at the airport -- twenty-nine miles away -- and if the alternate is being without a car until Tuesday, well, then. It's not like we don't have the Harley, so we're not totally trapped (and our neighbors offered rides if we needed, if the holiday weekend made rental car impossible).

But wait! One last place open! At the Sears... about five hundred freaking feet from where the car had popped its cable and then sat all night. For crying out loud. I don't usually use Avis -- they're not the worst but they're not the best but whatever -- but at least they usually have Chevy Cobalts, which if I absolutely must drive American, at least it's not a guzzler like most American cars. (The Cobalt is relatively decent mileage for an automatic, all things considered.)

Except they're out of Ceos or Cheos or wahtever their smallest shoebox car is -- me, on the phone: "no, thank you, I really do not want a 'complimentary upgrade', see, to me, offering me a larger vehicle is not complimentary, it's offensive" -- and they don't even have any Cobalts. But they have a Chevy Malibu.

Oh my god, it's my grandfather's car and it's parked in my driveway.

CP: Too bad it's not a hot rod.

Me: A what? It's an old man's car. Like, grandfather old.* Old people drive cars like that. It's a sofa. On wheels.

CP: It used to be one of the cars everyone hot-rodded.

Me: Yeah, RIGHT. The name alone! Malibu! Old people!

CP: Hot rods.

And then he named some other American car that was frequently post-prod modded, and I realized we were talking maybe '70s, and that anyone who hot-rodded their Chevy in the seventies would be an old man by now and then I recalled my manners and shut the hell up. Doesn't help that, uhm, CP is a grandfather, so, uhm, maybe not the best reaction, there. Although he's the least grandfather-ey grandfather I've ever known.

Still, there's a damn silver four-door so-very-not-economical sofa sitting in my driveway, while my little veedub is sequestered on the street for the tow truck to come back for it on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, clutch cables are relatively easy -- it's not like we're talking the clutch itself, after all -- and it's sure as hell not like it's a mid-engine with front-wheel drive that requires the cable be strung through the chassis, blind.

All the same, maybe it's time to casually peruse the local Honda dealer again, but maybe I should do it with the rental car. Last time I did it, my veedub suddenly came down with the flu and required a good seven or eight hundred dollars' work, so I try not to upset it too much with conversations of replacement while within earshot. I am not above lying to my own car as I pull into a dealer's parking lot.

However, I'm still not entirely sure how to explain to my little veedub that I'm no more happy than it is about that sofa skulking in the driveway.
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kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
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to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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