“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Well, Mr. Franklin, I would like to add something to your line of certainty.
I think it should read:
“In this world nothing is certain but death, taxes and the ridiculous coincidence of something going terribly wrong with your car the minute you potentially start to pay off your credit card debt and even begin to entertain the idea of buying yourself a treadmill.”
I was driving to work a few weeks ago on one of those chilly autumn mornings that I love so much when I realized that the heat in my car had turned to air conditioning. It was 43 degrees out and my car was blowing cold air.
The next day – a balmy 47 degrees – 27 minutes into my commute the same thing happened. I turned the heat off and cranked my heated seat up as high as possible (High maintenance? Who, me?).
After it happened for the third day in a row, I made a car appointment.
Standing at the Service Desk, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping I get the competent woman down the end with whom I always deal. But I don’t. I get Jesse.
Jesse: “What are we diagnosing today?”
Me: “My heat isn’t working. The air starts out warm, then after a little while the system decides it’s time for air-conditioning, so it blows freezing cold air on me, even when it’s set at like 85.”
Jesse jots down some notes.
Me: “Oh, and can you please replace the top brake light on the driver’s side? And can you replace my windshield wipers? I can’t see anything when it rains, especially at night. Oh, and I got a notice about a brake recall in the mail, can you check that out, too?”
Jesse scribbles furiously, asks me the milage, and sends me on my way.
Jesse: “I have some bad news.”
Jesse launches into a long story using big words describing what’s wrong with my car.
Just bottom-line it for me, Jesse.
Jesse: “We need to replace your water pump and timing belt. And also reconfigure the heating and cooling system.”
I don’t know much about cars (and by “much”, I mean “nothing”), but that sounds like a lot of work.
Jesse (punching buttons on a calculator): “Looks like it’s going to be 1100 if my math is right.”
Eleven hundred? Dollars? WTF?
Jesse (still crunching numbers): “Oh no wait (heh heh) my math was wrong.” I would certainly hope so. “All told it’s going to be $1230.”
Jesse: “It’s a lot of work. It takes a long time. But there’s good news!”
Me: “You’re not going to charge me for my brake light?”
Jesse: “Um, no. The good news is, this could have been a lot worse. You brought it in at the right time.”
No, the right time would be when I had $1230. Now is definitely NOT the right time, Jesse.
Jesse: “We’ve run into a problem with your car. The water pump we put in had a crack in it, so we have to get a new one. We won’t get it today. We have to keep your car overnight and work on it tomorrow. Oh, and we don’t have a loaner for you.”
On the phone with Mom.
Me: “The heat wasn’t working in my car so I brought it in to be looked at. Turns out it’s going to be like $1200 to fix it.” (Insert compassion from Mom here.)
Mom: “That much? Where did you bring it? Too bad you didn’t know someone cheaper. Well listen to what happened to me. Last night I set the thermostat at 66 degrees, and in the middle of the night I woke up sweating to death. Turns out the thermostat jumped up to 70 degrees by itself. It’s like it has a mind of its own.”
Is she kidding me?
Jesse: “Turns out we ran into another problem with your car.”
Me: “Like, you found something else wrong with my car, or you put in another faulty part?”
Jesse: “We put in another faulty part. We’re having another one sent here, it should be here tomorrow. So we’re going to have to keep your car overnight again.”
Where are they getting these parts? The salvage yard?
I’ve wanted a treadmill for YEARS. And I haven’t worked out in, like, MONTHS. I finally get close enough to getting one (I was standing on it in the store! Albeit, I was wearing stiletto-heeled boots, but I WAS standing on it) and it's not going to happen.
So basically, it’s my car’s fault that I’m once again putting off exercising.
Oh well. Maybe next year.
Pilates Update For Week 3
Number of minutes I was late to class due to traffic: 15
Class attendance: 6
Number of farts emitted from the old geezer in the back during the single leg stretch: 1