Monday, August 28, 2006

In Cars....In Cars....

Usually I can do without every blog in the universe discussing how much they hate other drivers, traffic etc. Yes, I know, we all hate people who drive: too slow, too fast, without signaling etc. etc. etc.
However, I will join the fray for just one appearance and say this: The left lane is for people who want to drive faster than YOU! If you aren’t going faster than EVERYONE else, you should probably get out of the left lane.
I really need a bullhorn so I can provide helpful driving tips to other people. Really, such helpful advice such as “If you use your turn signal, other drivers will have a better idea of what you are doing and can accommodate you!” or “This is a no asshole driving zone. Please stop driving like an asshole. Thank you!”
Whew, I feel better now.
A little over a week ago, Xtian got into an accident. Right off the bat, he’s fine, not even bruised. So, very lucky there. I shall explain how this accident occurred. Xtian was driving a company truck in San Francisco. He was slowing to a stop at a, duh, stop sign. Before able to complete his stop, he was hit from behind with enough force to throw the truck into the car in front of Xtian. The guy who hit Xtian jumps out of his car screaming about how the whole thing is Xtian’s fault. Meanwhile, Xtian can smell the booze on his breath and just starts muttering, “you’re so fucked, you’re so fucked.” The guy who hit him realizes that he is indeed fucked and tries to get out of it saying “Well, there’s not much damage here, I don’t see any reason to call the police or report it” while trying to start his car. It’s about this time Xtian hears a baby crying. Oh, on top of this guy drinking while drunk at 10 am on a Friday, his two-year-old kid is in the car. The guy’s car is so damaged that it won’t start.
It’s looking like the guy is going to bolt, when a cop just happens to drive by, pulls over and pretty much immediately arrests that guy.

So for those playing the home version, that’s the about 15th car-related incident Xtian’s been involved in since I’ve met him. I don’t mean to make it sound bad, especially since about 3 of them were actually caused by Xtian, but come ON! Is this kid made of rare-earth Magnets and therefore able to pull 3000 lb. vehicles to him? And even more remarkable, never had any *knock wood* permanent damage. Just amazing.

And in keeping with today’s vehicle theme, I shall close by complaining about lube and oil changers.
I’ll admit, I’ve been a pretty shitty car owner. I’m terrible about preventive maintenance. For example, in the four years I’ve owned my car, I’ve had 6 oil changes, two of which were this summer. But prior to this summer, my car was driven less than 400 miles per month, including one trip to Chico and back (a total of 340 miles round trip). However, since I now drive 70 miles roundtrip daily for work, I’ve been attempting to pay more attention.
So, I’ve made sure my truck has gotten an oil change, rear differentials done, new air filters etc etc etc. Which means that a regular $30 oil change has never ended up costing less than $80. And that’s getting awfully steep. And normally, I’d just assume that I’m making up for all the damage done by my previous carelessness. Except, this last weekend, I went to a different place to get my oil changed. My usual place was closed, so I went somewhere else.
And this place gave me all kinds of grief about “well, you’re rear differential fluid is badly in need of…. and your air filter is…and your power steering is…and I’d recommend this ungodly high priced special oil cleaner system and a full service clean out for the reduced price of $125 on top of this $80 oil change.” This was all sounding very familiar, so I dug around in my glove box, and found the oil change receipt from less than 8 weeks prior. I had all those extra services done then (not the $125 full-on cleanout). So, this leads me to believe: all oil and lube changers are scam artists who prey on guilty car-owning women. No wonder I take so long between oil changes. It always costs me three times the stated price, and who can afford that?
I know I’m going to get scammed as soon as they pull out a white piece of paper and start pouring samples of my fluids vs the NEW fluids. And yet, I let them bowl me over every time. Because I am a sucker. And riddled with guilt by my previous car neglect. I suck.

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