It's not good to be a car around here. Bad things seem to be happening to cars.
I'm hoping, for my local friends' sakes, that my car's recent experience marks the third that ends the cycle, but it might be only number two.
Incident number one: the Divine though Blogless Elizabeth's husband's car was having parking brake issues. The brake was being temperamental, and was prone to bailing while in use. So... while they waited for that magic window to fix it, her husband (He Who Maintains the ShadowLand Network), wisely (?) parked the car in the street instead of the driveway. His logic was that doing so would prevent any incidents in which the parking brake decided to go on break during the night, allowing the car to roll peacefully down the driveway into the street and into the path of an oncoming car.
Alas, some one drove along that street one night without bothering with the niceties of lane usage, and crashed mightily into the poor car. The car was totaled. (At least that was the insurance company's determination). While we all love having new cars, few of us enjoy the forced quest to find one with no warning. This meant days, maybe weeks, (it felt to her like weeks, maybe months) during which they had but one car in a two-car household where one of the drivers had to use the car for work all the time.
Incident number two: another member of the weekly knit night gang took her car in for brake-work that involved flushing the brake system and getting yummy new brake fluid. Not long after, the brakes failed utterly. Luckily, her husband was driving to the brake shop at the time, and no one was hurt. But -- they discovered that the brake fluid had been contaminated with something. This ultimately led to replacing practically the entire brake-line system. And days... actually a bit over a week, during which the car was in the shop. Again... putting a strain on the household transportation.
Enter us, for incident three: Kitty drove Bookworm downtown to go shopping in the vintage stores on Sunday afternoon. A lovely outing for the two of them. She parked the car in a municipal lot, locked it and went in to enjoy the shopping. When they returned, they found that the side of the car looked like this:
(That's actually three pics, in an effort to show the full extent of the damage).
Evidently, someone thought that the car was in the way of whatever they were doing. They can't possibly have missed that they'd hit something. They managed to damage every quarter panel on that side of the car. The tape is there so that if I get caught in the rain, I won't immediately toast all the electrical stuff inside that door panel.
I repeat to myself this mantra: No one was hurt. Nothing has happened that money can't fix. No one was hurt. You're insured. No one was hurt.
While the mantra does help my blood pressure, it does not changes the fact that there was over $6,500 in damage to the car, or that it will take a minimum of 12 (twelve) (TWELVE) business days (twelve business days!!!) to repair the damage. That means that no matter how we sliced it, the car will be in the shop over two weekends too. The car goes in on the 4th. I asked the fellow to see if there was any way that it could be done so that I'd have it on my birthday (the 20th) instead of having to wait until the 22nd to pick it up. In the mean time, those open spaces on the doors:
mean that the doors don't close all the way, and thus I can't drive if there's a risk of rain, or the damage to the interior will make things even more difficult (and expensive) (and take longer).
It does not pay to be a car in this town.
On the other hand, some cars get better decorations than others. Mine, as you can see, has knitting geek racing stripes (for those not in the know, SSK is an abbreviation for a decrease in knitting that slants up and to the left). Others get puns of a different flavor: