Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vehicular Irony

Last month the Muffin Man and I sunk some serious cash into my beloved yet antique 10 year old Dodge Durango to have its falling apart transmission rebuilt. There was a day in our not so distant history that we would have opted for something shinier and newer, with a long warranty. The Muffin Man loves to shop for cars. You know how some people think of this task somewhere right up there with having their toe nails pulled out, not the Muffin Man. He is a born salesman and can haggle and waggle with the best of the very best car salespeople. It's blood sport for him, I've seen him walk away from a decent deal just because the guy was not a sales person's sales person. I've seen him puff up, beat his chest and swagger off every lot east of this town's beltway. I've had friend's divorce and his first comment to me is...hey, if she needs help buying her next car have her give me a call. Yeah, she's becoming a single mother, divorcing the louse and setting up her own house all by herself, I'm sure the first thing on her mind is call Perrin's husband when I buy a car in three years. God love him, his heart was in the right place.

So the ink on the check for the new transmission is barely dry. Probably because the check had too many zeros on it. This morning car disaster strikes again, my car won't turn over and start as I have Liv in the backseat ready for preschool and the pooch in the front seat primed and ready to have her nails professionally ground to the quick at the groomer. (I am now paying more for my puggle's pedicures than my own, but that is another story for another day.)

How could the car be broken? To add insult to injury it wasn't the same sound made a few short weeks ago when the transmission was on the fritz. Oh no, that would be under warranty, so it surely couldn't be the problem.) I immediately steal the Muffin Man's car out of the other side of the garage and head off to preschool in complete denial. No, that isn't completely true, I left the pooch and the preschooler to their own faculties as ran into the house to shout at the Muffin Man that the car is broken. Can I deal with morning routine and borrow his car for poochy pedi's and preschool drop offs. He agrees while mumbling something about a family that is sinking him slowly and sadly into the poor house and bread lines akin to 1923.

Upon my return back to the cul-de-sac the Muffin Man informs me that the problem is not a battery, no clicking sound, and is probably a fuel injection issue. Fuel injection issue...speak English man! Speak Green Dinero English, what are we talking here? The next three year's worth of car repair budget was spent 3 weeks ago.

He shakes his head at me as only a man saddled with a shrieking wife who knows not one damn thing about cars except how to pick a color can. Then he takes his jeep up the street for fuel injection cleaner, whatever that is. I run after him asking if I should call AAA and the Dodge dealer. He waves his hand at me silently telling me to step off, I slink worriedly into the kitchen to research why the ice maker seems to be in the fritz too. It's true, I couldn't make this stuff up.

As he comes home his mood is brightened with his fuel injector cleaner in his hands. He states that either this will work or we will need to go shopping for a new Volvo. They are now apparently $10,000 off asking price down the street, how does he know this stuff? Clearly this is joke since we both know quite well $10,000 off or not, a new Volvo will never be within our reach for us as long as we are housing two very expensive little creatures who are systematically eating up our savings in yogurt cups by the thousands and coloring on our walls.

That launches us into a quick but philosophical discussion about why this is the absolute best time in the history of car sales in the United States to purchase a car and we are beating our heads and wallets trying to save the old Durango for yet another 5 years. Did you ever hear the Car Talk Click and Clack brothers on NPR talk about selling an old car? One brother states that in 40 years he has never actually sold a car, they just all turn to dust in his driveway. Yeah, this is us. My seven year old Ava, will probably learn to drive Flintstone style in this car.

It appears that the Muffin Man has helped us dodge (yes, a pun) disaster at the Dodge dealership by purchasing fuel injector fluid. Or, I suppose the real test will be when I drive it up the street for preschool pickup. But apparently as of this writing we are back in business.

In the end, hopefully we will NOT be shopping for a new vehicle at the very best time to haggle a great price on a new car. Instead we will be purchasing a new ice maker for the fridgedaire.


B-squared said...

Oooh-weee....looking good over here! Like the new background.

As for cars, we had a similar experience a couple of years ago with the 12 year old Jeep, where you wonder if you're spending more than its worth. For us, it ended up being yada, yada, yada, new Subaru. Good luck! (Is a minivan in your future/!) ;-)

Traci said...

I'm going to read the follow up and then I have something to say!