My car had been stolen.
Yes, too bad for me that it was the day before my vacation, and way too bad for me that the Springfield police entered the information into the computers incorrectly, so that it had a two-week head start on becoming parts. In the meantime, I rented, for about $20 a day, and the insurance paid only half. That makes up most of the $900 Visa bill... but that's another tangent.
I tried to find a new car. Fun in and of itself, as you may well know. I found one, stressed over my ignorance versus research, and bought the used car from a nice, pregnant couple from Avon, CT. Now, the car needed a few things: insurance, registration, an alarm and a timing belt. (In fact, the nice couple took off $300 for the new timing belt so I could replace it.) Easy enough, right? Wrong.
Massachusetts does not let you have a "temporary insurance card" showing that the car will be insured once it's in your possession, so you can't actually drive it to a) get insured or b) get registered. The real catch-22 (on top of that) is that in order to get insured, you need plates. In order to get plates, you need to be insured. Ha ha ha. What a jolly time it was understanding that!
So: we get my "car" insured (see: $1200), get a bus to the registry (see: $0.75), get registered (see: $625), get a bus home (see: $0.75) and screw on my plates. Now drive to get the insurance check-up and sticker (see: $30) and drive back to the insurance to get it all squared away.
Great. Now the alarm: I managed to get another "The Club" (since the last
one left with the last car) so that the new car wouldn't sit without anything on it
until Lo-Jack came to install their $625 system that's so wonderful.
Then the guy installing it tells me that the system really only exists in
some sixteen states (and not even the whole state, mind you), and since the
passenger door is a little rusty on the edges, may only work
"intermittantly." I ask how can I test to see if it works at all.
Ha ha ha. I call Lo-Jack and ask why I shouldn't have this thing ripped out. "Sorry about that, our techs aren't our service people." Duh.
Well, at least that's over. Now for the timing belt... oops! Why does
the automatic seat belt keep retracting when I brake? I mean, that's a
really bad time for a seat belt to come off, right? And only on the
driver's side, and only since...yesterday. I call Lo-Jack again. What
the !@#$%^&* is this?!?|
Nicely, he'll send a tech over right away. Funny enough, it's the same shmoe as last time. "There's nothing wrong," he says. Uh-huh. I take him for a little spin. "Oh." Another two hours later, still finding nothing wrong, he writes "Seat belts retract when braking" on his official sheet and asks me to sign it. Right.
I call Lo-Jack. "Well, it's obviously not our problem." I call Acura dealers for an appointment and invite Lo-Jack to go along. Unfortunately, the nearest one is an hour away so it's 5 am for me, and I ride out to west Manchester to drop off the car and get back to work. Pick up car at 3:00. At 3:15 I'm told they really meant 4:30. I wait. At 5:00, it's clear that the timing belt, water pump, timing wheel, back tire something-or-others and the stereo are shot. Better come back tomorrow. Ha ha ha. (By the way, they're convinced it's not Lo-Jack's fault either. Ha ha ha on me.)
By the way, did you know this entire car's been repainted? Are you sure it's not stolen? Actually, yes. I called and checked that out with the police before I bought the car. (My new cynicism has taught me something after all!)