Friday, July 27, 2012

I Took a Walk and Came Home With A Lexus

My normal walk doesn't usually lead me to the car repair store, but it did last week when I had to walk 4 miles to pick up the loaner car after Bertha sounded like she was on her last wheel.  I always marveled that my 2002 Dodge GRAND Caravan SPORT has not needed too much work over the years.  She's paid off and overall has been good to us, minus the brief slippage of loyalty when we had to replace her transmission a few years back. Ever since that repair an unsightly sound occurs when turning on the AC.  It's so loud that on a recent trip to Taco Bell I had to turn off the AC so that the lady could hear me.  If you are concerned about the fact I was at Taco Bell again, please read the first sentence again and know that I try to maintain caloric balance while still enjoying the occasional "run for the border".  

After realizing the duration of the fixing is now going on day 5, they offered a loaner car.  I walk the 4 miles to get my loaner and find at the end of the rainbow is a Lexus. If I got a Lexus every time I took a long walk or any other fancy car for a ride home I might be skinnier. It doesn't matter that it had 196k miles on it, or that there was a rip in the console..from the outside it looks to be a sweet ride.   Come to find out it's a very low ride, as if I'm just skimming the pavement especially after being perched high off the ground for 10 years in Bertha! 

My first night with the Lexus I had an outdoor concert in the country.  I'm dressed up, sunglasses on, sunroof open and feeling like Lexus Loaner car is providing me some much desired respect here on the road.  I haven't felt like this in years! Not to mention the smooth corners I'm taking and the shocks that work beautifully on any slight bump of the road.  SHOOT I must have missed my turn!! I quickly find the nearest turn around spot so I can check my phone to see where my pin is supposed to be.  I pull into the only place in the area, a Saloon restaurant/bar, of course with Harley's lined up and enough long hair to complete a year of donations to Locks of Love.   Suddenly fancy Lexus doesn't seem like the right car for this moment and there is no real turn around.  Movies are flashing through my head where the city chick backs up and dominos all the bikes.   Thankfully, I didn't cause trouble and I found my pin and was on my way.

That's Bertha At The Car Hospital
Bertha seemed to have real problems and Lexus Loaner was getting pretty comfortable with us so comfortable that by day 4 she was now LuAnne the Lexus Loaner.   Strange how I felt like I needed to go get my  hair and nails done and conduct business deals all of a sudden.  LuAnne did several things; she went to the mall, to church, to dinner, to the store, picked up kids and attempted to go to garage sales which really threw her over the edge of "out of the box" behavior.  It was there I realized LuAnn was not for me.   I wanted Bertha back!  

When we went to get Bertha and check her out of car hospital she wasn't ready.  In fact she was on her way to the airport on a test drive.. which I forgot to tell them her gas gauge was broken and didn't work.  He then had an "ah ha" moment as he figured out why Bertha and his 21 year old worker were on the side of the highway with no gas even though the tank said 1/2 full. (oops sorry).   Three more days with LuAnne and we come back to pick up Bertha and she is ready.  I guess the proud moment of her not costing us a lot over the years and her being paid off came to a end when the $2000 bill came to release her.. See when they plugged her into the computer over 10 warnings popped up.. which explains the check engine light on and why we haven't had to pay for much over the years.   At that point I'm thinking ok maybe LuAnne would be better and we can just trade her for LuAnn, but for some reason they didn't want to do that.  

I get my Bertha key and open her up and WOW someone has gotten a spa treatment while she's been in the hospital!  In fact, whoever was cleaning out the car and vacuuming, did it so well I was a little uncomfortable with how thorough they were.  In fact ALL my belongings were in a trash bag in the trunk!  If I would have known they were going to do THAT I would have primped her up a little more.. poor dear.. so violated! I will say she looks fabulous, but seeing what was in that bag from under my seats and what they had to dig through was like going to the doctor for a hangnail and realizing they want to do a full exam and you forgot to shave your legs for 3 months bad.  I still think it's really strange and I almost feel like there may have been something fishy going on with my completely gutted clean car and a trip to the airport and it taking a total of 12 days to fix her!!   Did Bertha go on a trip? Did they take her to do cookies at the beach? Was that why there was gritty sand on the dash? Is this considered elder abuse?  I don't know.. I'm not going to go there.. she is back in my driveway after a brief return to the ER this afternoon.. but all is well now.  Actually, the "doc" called tonight form the shop to see how she was doing! I thought that was nice.  Tomorrow I will once again sit high above the road and hunt for garage sales but in a very clean car and healthy car.

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