Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Red Neon of Justice... or ... My Life is a Sitcom... or ... Cars are such a hassle...

My current ride
"The red neon of justice" - 2002 dodge neon

Sometimes I think life would be simpler if we all lived in urban areas, relied solely on public transportation and mass transit and didn't have the need for cars at all.

I'm joking.

Sort of.

This week was filled with car troubles. There's nothing more stressful than car troubles.

You see, I'm not good with cars. I'm not good at taking care of them. I don't keep them clean. I am bad at keeping up with maintenance.

However, after an almost disaster involving ZERO oil in the car over the weekend (my fault) I vowed I was going to be better. My car was super clean, I got an oil change, and I was 100% committed to turning over a new leaf.

And then karma got me.

As if to punish me for all of my past grievances towards my car. Problem after problem occured.

You see, my dashboard light kept going out. You know, the one that lights up your gauges and such? My Dad replaced the fuse two weeks ago and it went out again last week, so he replaced all the bulbs over the weekend.

It went out again on Monday. Lovely.

As I got up from my seat to leave Statistics (joy!) class on Tuesday in Kalamazoo, I realized that I couldn't find my keys. I emptied out my bag and purse to no avail. I booked it over to the parking lot knowing, KNOWING, that they were locked in my car.

I get the the car and they are sitting on the seat. Nice, Joanne.

I tried every door, and on the last one - OPEN! Saved! Phew!

So I happily pull out of the parking lot thinking to myself how I need to not be in such a hurry all the time and really think about what I am doing (and where I put my keys!)

I felt lucky.

I had no idea what was coming next.

I got about half way home when all of a sudden there's flashing lights and sirens behind me. A state cop pulled me over. Now, I've been pulled over before for tail lights and the occasional speeding ticket (oops!) but this time I had NO IDEA why I was being pulled over. In fact, the weather was pretty bad - rainy and windy - and I had been driving safely and cautiously in the right lane. Really!

Well, the state police officer (who was a really nice gal!) had pulled me over because ALL of my rear lights were out. Every single one! She had me put on my hazards and sent me on my way.

But it wasn't over yet.

So I'm in the home stretch, about 15 minutes from home, pondering my lack of rear lights (that had been checked and working the night previously!) when all of a sudden my car starts FREAKING OUT. Lurching and sputtering and jumping. Yikes! I try to pull off the side of the road and I'm in a construction zone (of course!) so I have to weave my dying car through construction barrels to get off safely.


Travis came and got me, and we had the car towed the next morning. Goodbye $75 in towing costs.

Turns out it's a transmission problem. Sweet. The car is getting a diagnostic at a second garage today and we should find out details this afternoon. If I need a transmission - it could likely cost thousands of dollars - and in that case it would be bye bye neon.

I feel bad that just as I was starting to take care of it - it may now be at the end of its life.

Sorry neon.

So, wish us luck! Hopefully we can get all this car nonsense figured out over the weekend. See... didn't I tell you cars were a pain?

And in honor of the neon I figured I should pay homage to the rest of my past rides. What a charismatic bunch... (note: all of these photos are google images, not photos of my ACTUAL cars) Please join me in a moment of silence as we review the cars that have served me well over the years...

"The Blue Flyer" - 1998(?) pontiac grand prix
The first Eversden car purchased in the US. Driven regularly by every member of the family at one point in its life. Recently donated to the purple heart foundation. RIP blue flyer.

"Henry Honda" - 1987 honda civic
Broke down on I94 on my way home to see a Croswell Show. Had a sweet CD player and velour seats. RIP Henry.

"Willis the truck" - ???? toyota pickup
Taught me to drive a stick shift, took me to my first year of college and all too frequently transported way too many people crammed into its front seat, and sometimes in the bed, too. Thoughtfully decorated with car markers by the BMB boys my freshman year. I loved that truck. RIP Willis.


Beth said...

OMGosh, I totally remember riding around in the Grand Prix and Willis! Memories!!!!!

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