Drive it till it dies. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that one day you will be driving down the road in a seemingly well running auto that is completely paid for, but old and not real pretty, when suddenly a dashboard light will come on that you’ve never seen before? Like a, pull over now or there is going to be trouble sort of light. Well, our Honda made a much less dramatic exit. It was like an old horse that rode very well a few years ago, had some miles left in him, did the job, but we never pushed him too hard. Although lately, it was like pulling Grandpa up off the couch and asking him for a piggy back ride around the house. Not only did he moan and groan the whole time, but very often shook and made scary noises on the trip.
It was time, and we knew it, because Christian Bros. automotive told us so. Very seldom do you encounter a mechanic that will give it to you honestly, so I never really expect the whole truth. What I mean is, there’s always an air filter, a knick knack or paddy whack that needs to be changed. But yesterday, when the mechanic was going over the list of things they found wrong with the car, his voice sort of sounded empty and hopeless, kind of how I felt about the situation. Radiator, hoses, fan, shocks, struts, tires, timing belt…not to mention the oxygen sensor and the almost entirely cracked windshield. He delivered the message with poise and grace but I could tell it wasn’t good. When he told us how much it would be just to fix the very impending issues I almost gagged. Yes, our commuter car, our Dave Ramsey ride, our hooptie had had it, and unless we wanted to be driving down the road when the mystery light came on, we needed to move.
Nothing beats hanging with the kids in a car dealership playroom for 5 hours. Man, I’m here to tell ya, that place is like heaven and hell. Heaven for the kids, hell for the adults watching them. The television didn’t even work, I’m not sure if that made it better or worse but the manager didn’t even know how to work it, I think it was just for decoration. Thankfully, my kids connected with another couples children, two little girls ages five and seven. Their parents had dumped them in there and left to try and haggle the “no haggle” prices at Carmax, I don’t think they saw the sign that said they needed to be accompanied by adults. They were sweet kids though, I kind of felt like a pre-school teacher, I took them on a filed trip to the water area, we divy’d up a bag of m&m’s, I threatened time out for the ever increasing decibel levels. By the end of the night they were all sweaty and tired and looked as if they’d had the time of their lives. Funny how when you’re a kid, you go to places like that and meet other kids, you play and have a great time, and as you age you remember this place and this night as some nostalgic piece of childhood gold. Seriously, they could have been at Chuck E. Cheese for all the laughter and fun they had. Next time you wanna take the kids somewhere fun and your on a budget, try your local car dealership, I’m serious, free water and $0.75 for a bag of m&m’s…they’re still sleeping this morning! I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked if they could go back and play at Carmax sometime.
When their playmates had to leave, their parents looked none to happy, and just like that they were gone. It was fine though because we had to sign papers so we let the kids come outside and take a final look at the car with us. Back inside signing papers, Emerie and Owen sat on the floor of the cubicle with rolly pollys they had acquired from the mulch outside. The night ended on a high note with Owen wailing, tears running down his cheeks because Emerie’s rolly polly had died from so much manipulated rolling and unrolling, and she cunningly switched them so he had the dead one. Look sister, he’s no fool. He knew the markings, he caught on very quickly that this bug not only acted different, it looked different as well. She’s a beast.
Long story short, Daddy let me drive the new/used Ford Fusion home, just David Crowder & I. I am not living in fear of the near death dashboard light any more.