I find myself not exactly dreading tomorrow, because, you know, it’s a Saturday, and how can you go wrong with that? Still, tonight I am deep in Zen-like mental preparations for a 9 AM duel…with the car dealership.
(Dun dun duuuuuhhhh)
Yes, sadly, the time has once again come to tie the gloves on, step into the ring, and let slip the dogs of war. Honestly, I’d rather chew my own earlobes off then deal with it, but every so often there comes a time when it’s potentially advantageous to bite the bullet. Sure, I hate dealing with car negotiations, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Ironically, tomorrow’s visit to the Dealership of Doom is the result of a decision made something like 8 years and 2 houses ago. How’s that saying go? A butterfly’s wings in China changes the weather in Michigan? Well, ok, it’s not exactly an insect, but it’s close. Several years ago, I chose to keep a car, and because of that I find myself having to consider a new one.
Sometime in the way-back machine, when we only had maybe one child, the Puddinette and I agreed that it would be a Nice Thing to rid ourselves of car payments. In the years prior to this decision, I had been of the opinion that car payments were like opinions: everyone’s got at least one, and typically several. At some point though, I began to see that perhaps this concept was…um…erroneous. There’s a pretty good chance that my wife adjusted my thoughts on this matter with a cast iron skillet to the noggin, but there’s sadly little proof of that.
Regardless, I was driving a Dodge Stratus at the time, one I was relatively content with, and we decided that once it was paid off I would officially drive it until it’s death (forever and ever, amen). In the winter of 2007, with a chorus of Angels singing and a celebratory dinner of carry-out Chinese, we paid the thing off; it became my first wholly own automobile. And there was much rejoicing.
Shortly thereafter, though, we found out that while forever sounds like a long time, it turns out that it’s really only about four months. Yes, that right, the paid-off car I was planning to drive into the ground over the course of decade ended up dead a short four months later. It’s the family luck, trust me. My father is shaking his head in agreement as he reads this. Anyway, long story short, the engine destroyed itself. For some reason, the prospect of my long-term ownership made it suicidal. Normally, you can have those engine things replaced for some not-inexpensive, but still-reasonable cost. Apparently, though, that particular type of engine was cast in pure gold, coated with platinum, and ran on blood of virginal purity. We called several auto repair establishments and the story was always the same: replacing it, even with a completely rebuilt one, would have cost more than the car was worth.
So, with my tail between my legs, I took my sad excuse for a immovable heap to the Honda dealer and begged and cried and wheeled and dealed with my more-scrap-than-car trade-in on a new Accord. Three very quick years later, my time with that Accord is drawing to a close, and dealerships are sending me “offers,” aka marketing propaganda, aka bald-faced lies, to get me to pay them visit. Still, potential for lies or not, tomorrow morning I while rise with the sun, don my shiny breastplate, take up my trusty blade, and salute the windmills in the field. After that it will be nothing but blood, sweat and tears trying to avoid getting conned.
Wish me luck. At least odds are good there will be excellent blog material tomorrow.