If you’ve been reading this blog at all, perhaps you’ve noticed that I rarely mention politics. Believe me, I have plenty to say about the woes of the world; but my professional opinion is that if a person reads something like “Happy Friday!!!” they might appreciate a break from all the geopolitical falderol. Well tonight I’m gonna get on my soapbox a bit and complain about theft. I know that’s not political (well not in this case), but I’ve been feeling a smidgen victimized and I’m a gonna bark a little.
So there we were, my Beautiful Girlfriend and me, minding our own business on the way back from a funeral visitation when we heard this dreadful ker-whump!! coming from under the car hood; which was accompanied by a sudden loss of power and then the engine was running at way too many RPM but the car was slowing down so of course I hit the EJECT button and both of us were hurled out of the top of the car but luckily our parachutes got snarled in some pine trees so we were able to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island on someone’s widescreen TV because they had their curtains open and “wow Honey look at how big their picture window is!! Even from up here in the top of the pine tree we can smell the Farmers Insurance commercials!!” and of course nothing after the words “ I hit the EJECT button” was real but it made for a pretty nice run-on sentence which I shall terminate… NOW.
Anyway… the nasty ker-whump!! was an audible warning that the end was very near for the transmission of our brand new, 2001 Chrysler Town and Country racing van. Thinking maybe our trusted service people on the other side of town could help, I drove the ailing minivan over there and the nice man shook his head and said, “nope… you need a tranny shop.” Gack. So I started to go to the closest one but then I remembered our other trusted service people right near our house. Drove over there and the nice man said, “we’re running about a week and a half behind.”
OK… back to the other side of town we go but uh oh… not much reverse. Not much forward neither. Got it to limp to our house and was hoping to back it into the driveway. Nope. Reverse go bye-bye. OK… let’s see if I can get it up to the intersection and do a U-turn; come back and park. After several startings and stoppings, that worked. By that time I believe I successfully converted what was once an automatic transmission into a metal box filled with tranny fluid and metal shavings. Borrowed my Beautiful Honey Pie’s car to go to work, stopped at the tranny shop on the way home and asked if it was OK to have the beast towed over to his place after hours. “Sure,” he said, “we can have it for you in 3 or 4 days.” “Great,” I replied, “any guess on how much?” “Oh… around $2200, maybe a bit more.”
I figured, hey, we want the car to work… engine works fine, body a tiny bit rusty but pretty good… pretty much everything works; so I signed on the dotted line. Silly me, after I heard all this nice news, I thought maybe I’d check the interwebs for how much this old animal was worth. Stopped at good ol’ Kelley’s Blue Book… what??? $1200 to $2800??? What the heck did I do??? Oy yoy yoy!! It’s highway robbery I tell ya!! This car is stealing from me!!! I must now run outside to eat bark and poop at the moon!!
OK, maybe I won’t go barking at moon poop.
So then I started looking around the interwebs again, this time for a nice, used, certified Toyota Sienna. No more Chryslers for this kid, thank you very much. Sure, they’re affordable… but stuff goes wrong that really shouldn’t. Never had a transmission go bad on a Toyota. I know others have; but from what I’ve learned over the years it’s rare. Chryslers, on the other hand, seem to have a reputation of eating at least one transmission during their life span. But now I’m learning a different form of highway robbery: almost new car prices.
Looks like $25,000 or so will get me a nice used minivan with low enough miles to still be under warranty. $25,000!!! We bought a house with 5 acres of land for $36,900!!! Well OK, that was a couple of weeks ago in 1982. But still…!!!
Just gotta face the facts. Unless some rich benefactor surprises me with the gift of an antique Maserati or something; cars are always gonna take my money. They are thieves.
And car thieves are not my friends.
I’m unreasonably certain that my car hunt will go exactly like this: