My blog friends have been kind this week - on Thursday I got an awesome package of books from Natalie at My Blog is Boring for her giveaway. Thanks Natalie! It was so nice to find something in the mailbox other than bills. Plus stupid Canada Post went on strike on Friday, so I got it just in time!
On to my Saturday musing...My relationship with the automobile has been questionable from the start. My earliest memory of a car is the interior of our green Beetle spinning around as I threw up from motion sickness around the age of 4. Later I remember mind-numbing Sunday drives, when my parents would bore us comatose by driving around hoity-toity neighbourhoods and oohing and aahing at the houses we'd never live in.
I bought my first car for $3,000 cash. It was a 13-year-old Acura Integra and perfect for a university student. It ran like a brand-new car until the day the brakes began grinding. My boyfriend (now husband) kept promising to take it in, but we were both busy and didn't understand the urgency of the situation. The necessity of making time for car repairs no matter what was demonstrated to us when I pulled out of a shopping center, and my attempt to brake resulted in the sensation of a hot knife sliding through butter. No resistance at all (haha what a ridiculous analogy! But I digress...).
Miraculously I did not die or demolish the car that day. When I was seconded to the big city on my second co-op term, I knew I should get a new car, but couldn't scrape together the downpayment the bank required. So I went to the big city with my now 15-year-old car (one more reason money is important - safety!).
The firm had put me in a downtown hotel suite, but gave me a client in the suburbs, so I had to drive a fair distance back and forth every day in my elderly car. One night at 11:30PM, I was about to turn out the night table lamp when the phone rang. It was the front desk asking if I was the owner of the white Acura Integra. "Yeesss....", I replied, wondering what on earth my car could have done without me in it. I was asked to come downstairs, which ended up being quite a trek since the elevators weren't working.
I came out of the stairwell to find the lobby full of people. As I made my way toward the front desk, I saw flashes of red light through the crowd and heard people whispering, "There's the owner!". After the hotel manager introduced me to the fire captain (!), we crossed the yellow tape (!!) barring entry to the parking garage. The metallic smell of gasoline was stifling - I could almost taste it. One spark in there and the whole place would have gone up, no question about it.
My wretched car had been unable to handle the transition from a cold winter day to the heated parking garage with a full tank of gasoline, and my gas tank had ruptured. Since I was parked in a dip in the parking garage floor, the entire tank had pooled underneath my car, creating a major fire hazard. The elevators had been shut down to avoid creating a spark in such a combustible environment.
The fire crews were working on cleaning up the mess, but the captain advised that I couldn't leave my car there. They called a towing company for me, but the guy didn't show up until 3:30 in the morning! By the time he got there, I was so exhausted, humiliated and pissed off that I just gave him the pink slip and told him to take the damn car away. My first car and I were done.
Tell me your first car stories - anything crazy like this?
Day 27 of the 30 day music challenge is a song that you wish you could play. I love this song, but I can get through about three bars of it. Here's Alla Turca by Mozart: