Archive for October 11th, 2011

Oct 11 2011

The Bench Seat

Published by under Country Life,Family

Stand back – this car thing seems to be catching.

About two days after Miss Scarlett’s belt melt, Megan’s car started making sounds that more like the Waltons’ truck than ever, along with other, even more ominous sounds. There are about a quarter of a million miles on that car, and those have been rainy/dusty/dirt roads/barely paved roads/potholed and serpentine miles. These things are very ageing for a car.

Basically, it’s the Keith Richards* of cars.

Unlike Keith, though, the car has been benched for the moment. Or possibly forever. The main problem is that we lack the money to get another used car (no-one in my family has ever bought a new car. Or even thought about it).

Astonishingly, in these dire economic times, used cars are surprisingly expensive. At least, used cars with less than 150,000 miles on them which have not starred in fiery accidents. Anyway, they are pretty much out of our price range, unless we get a loan from a friend which we won’t be able to pay back in the immediate future, thus jeopardizing said friendship.

So it looks like two choices: buy a beater which may last a year or two, when we’ll be back in this position again (not, you’ll all agree, a pleasant place to be); or fix the many things wrong with the original car for about the same cost. In both cases, we’ll be hoping that there will be no expensive and Walton-esque encores.

What, you are asking yourself, about Rob’s trusty truck?

Well, Rob’s truck is only somewhat trusty. It’s more than 30 years old, or 250 in car years. When it’s damp – yes, on the Coast, land of fog and dew – the brakes stick and act up. The windshield wipers don’t work and are not fixable by the boys (or they would be fixed). Then there are minor annoyances, like the fact that you have to open the door by putting the window down and opening it from the outside. But don’t put the window down too far or it will stick there. Fortunately for you, it won’t be raining.

Unfortunately for us, though, there has been early season rain, so Megan and I have been sharing Miss Scarlett. We work the same days, but she works night and I work days. So I get home at 5:00 pm and take the car to Megan’s. She gets home sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 am and brings the car to me.

The nice thing about this is that we can catch up with each other and the car is already warm and the windows unfogged by the time I set off, a definite bonus. Yesterday it was foggy and rainy, a horrible combo which made me wonder why rear window wipers are not on every car.

So I guess we’ll see what happens. Hopefully something will come up.

*Sometimes I worry that I’ll wake up one day and my dissolute youth will have caught up with me and I really will look like Keith Richards.

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