Monday, July 24, 2017

"Car Troubles - The Epic Adventure"

This is an odyssey.  And almost equally as long as the original. 

It’s not a tragedy.  There were no debilitating injuries or unfortunate losses of life.  But it was still, metaphorically at least, agony.  And it took forever to slog through it.  I am actually not even finished with it yet

(Have you ever wondered who made these previously unknown but suddenly indispensible things up?  “It is what it is.”  “Let’s ‘unpack’ this situation.”  Or starting a sentence with “So…” 

What exactly happens in these cases – somebody says something nobody needed before but find they are now unable to live without and it flies infectiously around the planet?  Do they make money coming up with these things? – Somebody says it, and they get a residual?  Nah.  How could they monitor that? – “Someone just said, ‘It is what it is’ in Australia.”  “That’s a long way to travel for a dollar.”  I suppose there’s the innate satisfaction of hearing it wherever they go and thinking quietly to themselves, “That was me.  Am I envious of them?  Yesiree, Bob!  And I wonder where that came from?)  

A little backstory… 

(By the way, don’t expect this to end in one blog post.  It took me forever to trudge through this ridiculousness and I am not suffering alone.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah.)

A little backstory…

I had returned to the Lexus dealership for the first time since one of their reckless employees had crashed into my car.

You may remember that story.  I had driven to the dealership to get a part I had ordered for my 1992 Lexus SC 400 – a passenger-side door handle – installed, the original passenger door handle having snapped off in my hand due to advancing decrepitude, and when I rolled up to the carport, one of the dealership’s “car jockey’s” returning another customer’s car to its owner, slammed into my Lexus SC 400 so hard, I could barely force the jammed driver’s-side door open to wedge myself out.

Long story short – and I shall inform you how long in the second half of this sentence – it took more than three-and-a-half months – between wrangling with the dealership’s insurance company and the repair effort itself – for my car to be once again fit and sufficiently roadworthy. 

Because it was twenty-five years old and now worth less than it would cost to rehabilitate it, the insurance company elected to “total out” my car, offering me a reasonable “buy-out”, and asking a reasonable sum if I wanted to buy my car back, which, having a soft spot for my quarter-century-old vehicle, I did.

After a calendarial season and then some, my car was finally fully repaired and ready to go.  But, due to insurance rigmarole, it was now officially designated a “Salvage Car.”  I was not clear on what entirely that meant, though I knew I would not be able to sell it.  I did not care about that.  I planned to drive that car to the end, either the Lexus’s or my own.  At any rate, the car I had bought during the Clinton Administration was now back in my possession.  And, although violently assaulted, it looked better than Clinton.

Now I am back for a servicing.  With ancillary hopes of replacing a radio/CD player that had recently given up the ghost.  The car’s CD’s are stored in a console in the trunk.  Since the in-car machinery was disabled, I would now apparently have to climb in there to listen to them.  That was a joke.  There was no music available anywhere.  The trunk was simply a darker place not to hear any.

Oscar – the second Oscar Lexus “Service Consultant” I had been assisted by in twenty-five years, sandwiching an intervening Angel – wrote me up, discussing the specific nature of the upcoming servicing.  (The search for a replacement radio/CD player would be an ongoing project, with no assurance that a Nakamichi or “Plan B” Nakamichi “knock-off” could be successfully tracked down.)

When I inquired if there was an available “Loaner Car” I could drive while my car’s maintenance work was being completed, I was informed that there was.  I was instructed that in order to receive a Lexus “Loaner Car”, I would have to produce a Driver’s License, a credit card and a current “Proof of Insurance” certificate.

And that, belatedly, is where our saga begins.

When I returned to my car to retrieve my current “Proof of Insurance” certificate, I discovered that my glove compartment was replete with crumpled “Proof of Insurance” certificates dating back to 2008.  But I found no “Proof of Insurance” certificate for 2017. 

Upon further investigation, I also discovered crumpled “Registration Certificates” dating back to 2006.   But I found no “Registration Certificate” for 2017.

Well.  That was interesting.

Let’s put this in context.  I am a seventy-two year old gentleman.  It is more than possible I could have lost or misplaced my 2017 “Proof of Insurance” certificate.  But is it conceivable I could have lost or misplaced my 2017 “Registration Certificate” at exactly the same time?

How old would you have to be to do that?  A hundred and eighty?

I wracked my brain… no, there was no “wracking my brain.”  At the age I have reached, I have to (occasionally - remember I said "occasionally") finger the bristles of my toothbrush to find out whether I have already brushed my teeth.  If they’re still wet, I did.

Perplexed and annoyed by these essential missing documents, I knew one thing was indisputably certain.  Without the appropriate certification,

There would be no Lexus “Loaner Car” in my immediate future.

Fortunately, we lived close to the dealership and Dr. M was available.  After awaiting the Lexus “Courtesy Shuttle” for a period of time that would strain the credulity of the word “Courtesy”, I called Dr. M, who quickly drove to the dealership and chauffeured me home. 

Now that’s courtesy.

Once home, I called my insurance company’s office I and asked for a replacement for my 2017 “Proof of Insurance” certificate.  That part was easy. 

Procuring a replacement for my 2017 “Registration Certificate”, however, would necessitate a perilous visit to the Santa Monica DMV.

Having fun yet?  I wasn’t.

And guys and gals,

I am just scratching the surface.

Tomorrow:  I don’t even want to think about that now. 

1 comment:

Dave X. said...

Given the car's age, I would've gone to Car Toys or a like store and have them replace the CD unit. Probably cheaper and far quicker since that's their thing. On the other hand, they may subcontract the job to a Car Toys like business, thereby doubling your cost. Full of good news, aren't I?

I recently lost my POI cards - for all 3 vehicles - and I'm not 72 yet. Very close, but not yet! Easy to replace those things. I've not yet lost an auto registration and certainly don't look forward to that eventuality.

Tho I can't stand the Dodgers I will admit, they've got a heck of a team this year. I like to watch them every 5 days - when you know who pitches, but I guess he won't be doing that for a while.