Zen and the hobby of car repair

“He tortured me with his awfulness” -Michael, on Toby, from THE OFFICE episode “Goodbye, Toby.”

It’s been a while since I posted, and that’s because I’ve been on vacation. I don’t blog on my days off. And for good reason. What’s a day off if you have to tend to your normal obligations? I also didn’t water the lawn during a few days of my vacation – and you know what? – it didn’t matter. Now the grass is higher than ever and it looks like I’ll be pushing the mower sometime this weekend at daybreak, the only reasonable time during this heat wave.

It was five weeks ago when I started my new daily blogging experiment. In post numero cuatro, I briefly touched on why I started blogging again: My need to achieve global domination widespread notoriety have an excuse not to do the dishes.

Of course, that was my intention by restarting my blog and vowing to myself to make a post every (week)day for as long as I can keep it up. (I’ve been meaning to mention this – but wanted to give myself a little wiggle room to flake out first, but, whoops, it’s out now.)

Of course, this blog post isn’t about my blogging hobby; it’s about a hobby that’s closer to my heart. Fixing my car. By throwing massive amounts of cash at it. On Monday, my 2003 PT Cruiser with 118,000 miles started driving a little weird … it was as if the automatic transmission couldn’t find its second gear.

Getting it going was hard work and it would slip all over the place until it got above 45 miles per hour. At 60, it was smooth sailing. I was so concerned, I took Kim on a test drive around the neighborhood that night, but the car’s symptoms weren’t as exacerbated as I experienced on my drive home.

So on Tuesday, June 23, I was driving to work, minding my own business when I got on the freeway to find that my stupid car wouldn’t drive faster than 45 degrees. It was struggling. And that infuriated the rednecks who zipped past me, nearly killing us all. I was able to get to a (rare) turnaround, point my car in the direction of my current auto repair shop of choice, and I slammed on the gas. The rednecks heading that way hated that, too. I called Kim and told her to meet me at the shop. And then, 15 minutes later, I got there, which was about 5 miles away.

I left the damn thing there, at Roy’s Auto Repair, 5050 Highway 36 in Rosenberg. It was like almost 7 a.m., and they don’t open until 8 a.m. I started calling them around 9 a.m., didn’t get ahold of Roy until after 11 a.m. and he said he’d take a look at it and get back to me. Later that afternoon, I called and he said the transmission was shot. He said he could rebuild it in three days for A Lot of Freakin’ Money But Much Less than What I Was Expecting to Be Charged. But he said he believed in his work so much, he’d guarantee it with a two-year warranty, when he normally only offers a one-year guarantee. I agreed.

Over the next week, I wasn’t able to get a hold of Roy the few times I tried. His staff was there, and they kept me briefed on the progress. Then I went on vacation. He called Tuesday, June 30, when I was in San Antonio, the car was ready. He said it was “No problem” that I’d be back Thursday.

When Roy called to say the car was ready, it was cocktail hour at the Drury Inn and Suites in San Antonio along the Riverwalk.
When Roy called to say the car was ready, it was cocktail hour at the Drury Inn and Suites in San Antonio along the Riverwalk.

When I test drove the car, it was like a whole other vehicle. So I told him as much, “Man, that’s the best that car’s ever driven.” Best I know is that Roy may not be the best communicator, but he runs one hell of a great repair shop, and I trust him. There’s nothing better than finding a mechanic one can trust when one’s hobby is throwing massive amounts of money at one’s ride.

Oh, and Kim “Anne” Kovar let the (wo)man have it today in her comment.

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