I have a friend who is a great dad who does all kinds of stuff with his son. Last summer, he drove his son Up North for a scouting trip with a vehicle with a small problem of unknown origin. He then spent the rest of the summer trying to coordinate repairs with Cletus The Undermotivated Mechanic from his home base in the suburbs. It was pretty ugly and exorbitantly expensive by the time all was said and done. However, it was blogged hilariously for all to enjoy*.
I am driving Teen Son and a few friends to a big conference Up North this weekend. Up North is three hours away. Upon leaving, Spouse said, "Uh, you may want to check out the brakes. They seem a little off." He took my sporty little Vibe, which I had lovingly maintained the last two years I have been the primary driver of it, and left me with the minivan. Since Out East is rather spread out, it was a prudent choice on his part to exchange the large, gas-guzzling vehicle for the nimble, less-thirsty one.
Now that I have a college degree, I know to approach problems with smarts. Since I am old, I've learned it is often smart to learn from other people's mistakes so as to avoid making them myself. The brakes on the van were most certainly off and I had no desire to experience Cletus in the flesh so I dropped the van off this morning with my trusted mechanic.
Pixies, I don't suppose I need to tell you that "the brakes may be a bit off" turned out to mean "Ma'am, all four of your brake pads are shot, your front rotors are rusted and pitted, and you need new struts, shocks, and your tie rods are loose."
The original estimate was for $1500. Oh, and Spouse tells me that the car payment is very nearly 90 days past due. He hopes that I can get it straightened out with the stimulus check.
Four days ago, I was over the moon because I had bypassed obstacles left and right and earned a bachelor's degree summa cum laude with honors. Today, I used the $300 in graduation gift money I received from family to fix the front brakes on my van. The rest will have to wait for the stimulus check.
Rather than cancel the trip, I am going to borrow my mother's car. I will owe my mother a favor, Pixies. That is never a good place to be in if you are me.
So any sneak attacks in your neck of the woods? The Clue Stick Brigade is fully stocked up on cluesticks. For other whiners, we have the leftover margaritas from yesterday are in the blender, and I have some leftover blueberry cake and chocolate chip pancakes from dinner.
As always, prizes for Style, Old Skewl, and clever turns of phrase.
Let the whining commence!
*Sadly, I can't link because my friend no longer blogs.