Wow, two posts in as many days!!
Yesterday was all about my car. I drive a crappy little ’91 Ford Escort that I bought from some very good friends who made me a killer deal on it. Incidentally, it’s the first car I’ve owned since 1997.
I grew up in Washington, as most of you know, and the nice thing about that state is that if you find a car that runs, you can go ahead and drive it. No doors? No hood? Leaks gasoline? Go ahead, drive it…just wear your seatbelt (if you have a seat). That’s the way I’ve been living since I could drive. I’ve owned a ’71 Chevy Nova that got 12 miles to the gallon (got it for free from my mom), a’78 Datsun ($400), an ’81 Honda Civic hatchback (my favorite and most expensive car ever. $600), a ’79 Honda Accord hatchback ($300), and a 1980 Toyota pickup (free from my Grandfather’s passing). None of which would pass the LA county Emissions test. And all of which have since gone to that big freeway in the sky (I totaled three of them, only one in an accident. The other two I just drove until the wheels fell off…the Civic literally).
The reason that I bring this up is that I had to go and get my car smog-checked yesterday. But first I had to go and get two new tires for it (I blew a tire on the 10 freeway the other day at 5:00 in the morning). In retrospect, I should probably have gotten the check first, but being optimistic, I opted for the tires first. This made the smog check a hell of a lot more nerve racking. I don’t know what I would do if the car didn’t pass. I can’t afford to have it fixed until it does. I could barely afford the tires. I didn’t want to be stuck with a car that I could not drive with $110 worth of new tires on it.
So there I am at the “Just Tires” place. It wasn’t that bad. I got a kick out of watching the tire guy try to figure out the broken seat belt. It’s sort of embarrassing. I Jerry rigged it with a bolt that I found, I’m not sure if it works, but it looks like it does, and that’s the important thing. Don’t worry about the tire guy, his life wasn’t in any real danger. He only had to drive the thing about 20 feet and if he had gotten into a bad accident in that short of a distance then he has bigger problems than my seatbelt. Besides, I was more embarrassed watching him try to close the door without a handle.
It’s a tire place so, of course, they tried to sell me four tires, but I held my ground at two. I’m a freaking rock! I also told them to put the new tires on the drive wheels and then just use the best of the other three for the rear wheels. I don’t think that they could possibly have appreciated my joke fully until they saw the other three tires. By all counts, given the condition of my tires, I should be dead by now.
My major concern was being ripped off. So, like a good little surfer, I checked the prices of tires on the internet. I was going to hold fast at $40 a tire. I got them for $31 without saying a word. Damn. You try to be tough… I realize that I’ve told you what I paid, and that it’s an invitation to some jerk out there to say, “you paid what?! Man, you got ripped.” There’s always someone. You could buy the Hope Diamond for a dollar and a quarter and someone would say, “Oh, man, you should have come to me first, I could have gotten it for a buck!”
So, yes, I paid $110 dollars for two new tires. But in my defense, that included stems, balancing and rotation! So there.
My car drives a lot better with new tires, I noticed as I drove to the “Check only” smog-check place. It was shaped like a little pyramid. I think it would have been funny if the smog guys would have been dressed like Pharaohs…but they weren’t.
Getting a smog check is, like I said, a very stressful situation. I could have made myself a little calmer if I hadn’t watched the machine at work. The whole time I kept thinking, “oh crap, it’s in the red! I didn’t pass! Oh, wait…now it’s green, I passed! No, it’s red again…damnit!” I’m sure that’s what it would be like to watch your blood work being processed for an STD test (maybe not?). If you don’t understand the process, then you just shouldn’t be a witness to it. You’ll only give yourself an ulcer. And that’s a whole new set of blood work.
The point of my story is…my car passed! Yeah.
I don’t know what I was so worried about. I mean, my car hasn’t been with anyone since the last time it was checked.
That’s good parenting there.
Fun Fact: My car is a blue (and rust colored) Ford Escort Pony with a pink pin-stripe and her name is Daisy.