Friday, July 15, 2005

Money Can't Buy Me Love


Sorry, Betty! Looks like we have stay in tonight. No mon, no fun! Where are you going? Don't leave! What do you mean, too bad, so sad?

No, money can't buy me love, especially when Tuesday and Wednesday cost me $450! Trust me, I wouldn't be looking to buy love in the first place. I certainly wasn't looking to spend that kind of scratch on my wheels either. As detailed in my post, "Battery ... Not included," I was stuck with a dead battery on Tuesday afternoon. After a three-hour wait, the kid who arrived for the call from AAA, tested it and found I had dead cells. (I didn't realized it showed.) In the end, I purchased and he installed a new battery at double the price I could have bought one, and went on my way.

Turning the clock ahead to Wednesday, I was driving along when suddenly all the indicator needles on my dash display went south. The radio and air-conditioning were unaffected and all the digital displays were on. Pulling in front of scheduled client's house, I dared the ultimate test -- I shut off the engine! You guessed it, turning the key to start my truck, I heard the same rapid series of clicks I had heard the day before, but it wouldn't start.

An hour later, when I was finished with the client, just for laughs I tried the ignition again. Lo and behold, it fired right up. The rpm needle was moving to accelerator. All the needled gauges were working. But the battery light remained on. I realized what I should have realized the day before, the problem was actually the alternator.

Luckily the engine remained running long enough to allow me to drive the five miles to my mechanic's garage. I was not taking any more chances. This was something that positively had to be taken care of, and post haste! If it wasn't for bad luck, I swear, I'd have no luck at all. What were the chances that at 11:45 AM, he would get to look at my truck right away? I gave my odds as slim and none, and Slim had left town. Even the unlucky gets a break every now and then. So it was for me this time. He wasn't real busy and he had a bay open!

Although it was a new battery, it had better have been, it was almost dead. It wasn't charging. Another test confirmed what was by then obvious, it was the alternator. Calvin's display of faces over there may very have resembled my face when I realized that Tuesday's payout wasn't the end of my expenses. Those faces were repeated when Carmen, the mechanic informed me that the supply house had no refurbished alternators for a '98 Sonoma. All they had were brand new ones. $$ ch-ching went Linden Automotive's money till. $$ A few more of those faces contorted my countenance when I learned it would be at least an hour before the part could be delivered. As it turned out, it took him an hour to get the old one out. A simple calculation told me that by the time the truck was up and running again, this day too was going to cost me three hours.

With plenty of idle time to kill, I ran next door for a drink and a slice of pizza. Like the day before, I was at least near sustenance. I always carry a stenographers pad with me, and I put it to use as I jotted down some notes that would eventually become this posting. "It was a dark and stormy night.." Snoopy makes a better pet than he does a stenographer.

Finally! It was deja vu all over again! (Sorry, Yogi!) I was back on the road again. I completed the day with no more set backs. Two days had seen me with a total of six hours idle time. Fortunately, only two clients had been missed. I would have to offer to go them on Saturday. I hate giving up any of my weekends, but even a mere four hours on my pay check would be felt next payday, especially after those two days of spending.

No.242

1 comment:

schnoodlepooh said...

I don't know if money buys me love or not. I spent about $900 in the past two weeks on a bird (Sunny) and a little vet emergency with Baxter last weekend. I love them. Does that count?