There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working. -Robert Half

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dinner Conversation 3: My Car.

My car has some problems. I bought it used with 116,000 miles for $2500, but I've probably had to put about $2500 more into it for repairs and upkeep. I like my car, I really do, but I do not like how sometimes it won't start or how it shakes violently when I stop at stoplights. My sister named it Snow______. This means that we alter the name to fit the season. For example, it has the prefix "Snow" because it is white, and for each holiday we change the second word: Snow-pumpkin, Snow-turkey, Snow-easter egg etc. Weird, I know.
Papa likes to hear about car problems so he can think of what could be wrong. When I first moved in, I told him that my car shakes and makes a squealing noise, so he went out and looked at it and then came back inside and told me I'm driving his car to work so he can take mine to Neil, the mechanic. The only mechanic that Papa trusts. In the world.
Anyway, after he took it in, my car was gone for 3 weeks. I have no idea what they were doing to it that could take so long. I guess they had to order some pieces or something and then Papa told them to take their time so they could make sure they fixed everything.
I got it back and it worked fine (honestly, I couldn't tell a difference), but Papa said he could tell it ran better. He must know something I don't know.
Papa always makes me report to him how my car is doing. He also asks me a lot if I've checked my oil, and the bummer about this is I can't lie because he always has checked it and knows how high it is. Unfortunate.
Recently, my car has done this really fun thing where I try to start it and it won't start. Awesome. Sometimes, I've had to sit there and turn the key upwards of 10 times before it would finally start. Usually it started after a few tries, but I was always worried that it won't and I'll be stuck somewhere. I love it when this happens because since I live in rural Missouri, most people know about cars, so I'm sure they just sit/stand there and watch me, thinking "Stupid city girl. Can't even start her car. I bet she doesn't even know how to check the oil." So, I told Papa about this problem and he NEVER BELIEVED ME BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED WHEN HE WENT TO TRY IT. Annoying. So we took it in numerous times, but they could never find anything wrong with it, so just sent it back home. One day, after being stuck at WalMart for 20 minutes trying to get the engine to turn, I finally had to call Grammy for help. It was then that I realized that Papa was at WalMart at that very moment, which shouldn't surprise me because he goes about 4 times a day. Grammy and I think he just likes to go and sit down there in the little food area. So Grammy and I walked around through WalMart looking for him and I told him that my car wouldn't start. This is where everything gets worse: Papa goes out to see if the car will start and IT STARTS! I was so mad. I drove home screaming and crying and cursing my car, vowing to get a new one.
After this incident, Papa took my car back in to see Neil. This time, Neil decided to clean the engine, and I guess that means that he flushes out all the bad stuff that accumulates when driving and it makes lots of black smoke. Neil said that my car was one of the top 10 dirtiest cars he has ever cleaned. Papa thinks that is really funny. He said that when they cleaned it, he could see the smoke all the way over at McDonald's (surprise, surprise, Papa was at McDonald's...) which is about 2 miles away. Everytime we talk about it, he just laughes and says "Top 10." After this cleansing session, however, I haven't had any problems with my car starting. Neil said that people who drive really slowly have dirtier engines than fast drivers, so I told Papa I have no idea why my engine was so dirty! His should be dirtier than mine!
Papa says I drive too fast. I don't. I drive the speed limit, or sometimes a little over. He says that there is no need to drive faster than 55 mph. I told him I have the need for speed and that requires me to drive faster than 55 mph. Driving with Papa is very leisurely. It consists of people passing you on 2-lane highways, lots of braking and reading. I always bring a book because it takes a long time to get places and I need something to do. This has helped me immensely on my quest to conquer the Classics.
In conclusion, Papa says that cars are the worst investment and I shouldn't get a new one until I'm out of graduate school. I'm not sure if Snow-Valentine will make it 2 more's hoping!


  1. Cute story! My FIL is just like that. He can either diagnos or fix the car. I wish I had that talent.

  2. Haha...when you first wrote the name of your car: Snow______ I thought I was supposed to insert a curse word! LOL I'm horrible!

  3. Oh, Snow-President. What a trickster. I'm so glad Papa laughed at your dirty engine.

  4. I remember the day you were stranded at sad.

    I like Snow-Cupid better...maybe you will get hit with a love arrow? :)