The Hellhole

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My car died on the way to work today, in the turn lane to the interstate on-ramp - quite a busy place at the height of rush hour. It cranked fine, ran fine and suddenly, when I stopped at the light to await my left-turn arrow, it emitted a high-pitched, horrible squeal and died. It would not recrank. Scared to death as angry drivers ignored my flashers, honked and gave me The Finger, I phoned Alan and All-State. Both were shortly to my rescue.

The dealership could not find anything wrong or any error codes from the onboard computer. It refused to recrank for me, but cranked right up for them once they began diagnostics. I assume it's something I tore up which went undetected from my mishap on Christmas Eve, but who knows. I'm very afraid, because of the high-traffic areas and a few very sketchy areas I traverse during my commute, to drive a car with a mystery problem which may or may not recur. It's a moot point for tomorrow, anyway, because Service Guy Barry (I expect as a result of knowing my uncle, from the previous 'car trouble' posts) refused to give my car back to me. He said he wanted more time to examine it and that he didn't feel right giving it to me to drive when he wasn't confident I'd be safe. This probably means 'when he wasn't confident that something bad wouldn't happen and then Uncle Artis would descend on them like the wrath of God', but I wanted him to keep looking anyway.

Luckily, my friend Anne who works across the street from me has agreed to let me hitch with her tomorrow, so that's all good. Still, this frustrates me on many levels. I don't want to drive an unsafe vehicle or be frightened that I won't make it to my office or home, but I really REALLY don't want to buy a new car either. We've enjoyed several years of no car payments and I'd very much like to keep it that way a while longer, continuing to make larger swaths in our debt than would be possible with a car payment. Adding to my frustration is that there is no car currently manufactured that I particularly want to buy.

It's irritating that back when I had very little money, there were tons of cars I wanted and now that we could buy most anything, I don't like any of them. I don't mean that to seem like I'm bragging on our finances - that's not what I mean at all. It's not as if I can ask for a matching Ferrari when we pick up Alan's Aston-Martin; I mean only that in terms of normal cars that average people purchase, I could have a Chrysler, Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota...but I don't like any of them.

I liked my Corvette (still do) but I don't like the new model look. Ditto with my Sebring - I strongly dislike the revamped model. I don't want a sedan or SUV, have no use for a minivan or truck. Still, Alan had me sit down with him and go through several automobile manufacturers' websites tonight to try to find some possibilities, in case I have to trade my sweet little convertible *sniff*.

I didn't like much of anything, and suddenly I had an idea! No, really, this was a good one!

"I WANT A HEMI CUDA!" I exclaimed. "Find me a Hemi Cuda, Alan!" And Alan, ever the obliging husband, did so.

The first one was a fully restored 1974 for $81,500. Hmmm, no. Then below that, I saw a listing: A 1971 CONVERTIBLE HEMI CUDA!!!! I had no idea they even made convertible Hemi Cudas! SQUEEEE! My troubles were over! I could have the bitchinest of bitchin muscle cars and my love of convertibles would be sated to boot!

Uh. You know why I didn't know they made convertible Hemi Cudas? They only made 9 of them, EVAH, and this one was fully restored to original specs.

$182,500.00. ONE HUNDRED and EIGHTY TWO thousand and change. Um.

"So," I said to Alan. "I guess I'm not getting a Hemi Cuda, huh?"

"Not unless you get busy with those scratch-off tickets. I don't think that $1,200 you won last February is gonna help much."


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