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257/365 – Car Troubles and Pedestrian Traffic Patterns
© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Progressive considers this a preexisting condition.

257/365 – Car Troubles and Pedestrian Traffic Patterns

People and cars are idiots.  the whole lot of em.  If you’re one of these two things, you’re probably an idiot . . . unless you’re not an idiot.  (Yogi Berra!)  Or if you’re a People Car — then you have a really weird life/car insurance policy . . . probably with Geico.

Progressive considers this a preexisting condition.

This morning, after dropping me off at my internship, the car broke down on Megan.  The same car we bought from Carmax less than 2 weeks ago.  the same car we have already taken in twice for repairs.  The same car that was supposed to go under a “125 Point Inspection.”  It’s an impressive list, but with all the problems we’ve had, the question remains, “Was this an optional list?”  Look:


    • 1. Cooling System
    • Radiator
    • Coolant
    • Radiator/Heater Hoses
    • Recovery System
    • Cooling Fan
    • Belts

    • 2. Lighting System
    • Brake Lights
    • Turn Signal Lights
    • Dash Lights
    • Instrument Lights
    • Back-Up Lights
    • Hazard Lights
    • Side Marker Lights
    • Hood Lights
    • Trunk Lights
    • Courtesy Lights
    • Reading Lights
    • Glove Box Lights
    • Tag Lights

    • 3. Heating & A/C System
    • Compressor
    • Clutch
    • Condenser
    • Evaporator
    • Hoses
    • Lines
    • Refrigerant Level
    • Cooling Fan

    • 4. Electrical System
    • Alternator/Regulator
    • Starter
    • Battery
    • Gauges
    • Horn
    • Windshield Wiper
    • Windshield Washer

    • 5. Engine
    • Engine Performance
    • Emission Controls
    • Emission Filters
    • Vacuum Hoses
    • Oil Pressure
    • Motor Mounts
    • Exhaust
    • Spark Plugs
    • Secondary Ignition System
    • Catalytic Converter

    • 6. Transmission
    • Fluid
    • Shift Points
    • Slipping
    • Transmission Mounts
    • Noise
    • Clutch Operation
    • 4WD Operation
    • Leakage
    • Hoses
    • Lines
    • Modulator
    • Linkages

    • 7. Suspension System
    • Frame Integrity
    • Ball Joints
    • Tires
    • Wheels
    • Springs
    • Torsion Bars
    • Sway Bar
    • Links
    • MacPherson Struts
    • 8. Steering System
    • Tie Rods
    • Idler Arms
    • Center Links
    • Pump
    • Hoses
    • Lines
    • Shaft
    • Couplings
    • Alignment

    • 9. Body/Interior
    • Carpet
    • Upholstery
    • Trim
    • Hood Latches
    • Trunk Release
    • Fuel Door Release
    • Paint

    • 10. Accessories
    • Clock
    • Sunroof
    • Power Antenna
    • Rear Defroster
    • Rear Defogger
    • Radio
    • Tape/CD Player
    • Power Seats
    • Warning Chimes
    • Cigarette Lighter
    • Cruise Control
    • Trip Computer
    • Electronic Instrument Cluster
    • Tachometer

    • 11. Miscellaneous
    • Odometer
    • Tilt, Lock & Telescopic Steering Wheel
    • Spare Tire
    • Jack
    • Door Locks
    • Trunk Locks
    • Remote Control
    • Locks

    • 12. Drive Axles
    • Constant Velocity Joints
    • Constant Velocity Boots
    • Universal Joints
    • Gears
    • Bearings
    • Vibration/Backlash

    • 13. Fuel System
    • Fuel Tank
    • Fuel Lines
    • Hoses
    • Fuel Pump

    • 14. Brake System
    • Anti-Lock System
    • Fluid Level
    • Master Cylinder
    • Booster
    • Front Right Shoes/Pads
    • Front Left Shoes/Pads
    • Rear Right Shoes/Pads
    • Rear Left Shoes/Pads
    • Parking Brake
    • Hoses
    • Lines
    • Calipers
    • Wheel Cylinders
    • Springs
    • Linkages

Oh, this was the guy who inspected our car . . . maybe if we had a pinball machine we would be okay.

So, poor Megan, who is deathly afraid of the LA freeway system — you would be too if you hadn’t owned a car for 8 years — gets on the off ramp, stops at the stop light . . . and the car stalls.  It will NOT start back up.  I mean, we’ve had problems with the keys, the ignition, the battery — all things which should have been checked above . . . and now the damn thing is dead?  Lord almighty.  This is just too much.  Megan called Carmax explaining that the car just died and they say, “Okay, well, it looks like Candace has been helping you, so let me leave her a message.”

“Help. My husband is breaking down my bathroom door with an axe so he can kill me!” “Okay, so it looks like Paul installed your bathroom door, so I’m just going to leave him a message.”

Seriously, Carmax?  The lady is stranded on a 405 freeway exit and you’re going to leave someone a message.  Megan said, “No, I’m not waiting.  Send a tow truck now!”  So, now she’s at the Carmax, for the third time, demanding that they offer us a new car of equal value because it’s clear they didn’t do the proper inspection on this car . . . the way car buying should be . . . yeah, right.

To add injury to insult, they won’t give Megan a loaner car because — get this — she’s not the FIRST name on the title.  Really?  No one mentioned that to us when we signed the title.  I have to be there to get a loaner.  How arbitrary is that?  We’re both on the title.  We are both buying the car.  What insane person made that rule?  IT MAKES NO SENSE!

Okay, so John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence so we can only give him a loaner country. Sorry, Mr. Washington.

Megan demands they rent her a car.  And they do.  And when Enterprise picks her up they are floored by how badly the service has been at Carmax.  They offer to sell us one of their cars . . . which we probably will take them up on that offer.  So now she’s picking me up from my internship to go to the airport for my dad’s surprise party in Omaha.  Which brings me to stupid people in the airport.  Everyone in the improv world will tell you that “yes and” is the most important rule in improv.  I’ll tell you, more specifically, that listening is more important.  It’s a simple trait that most American’s seem to lack.  While I was waiting to board the plane to Las Vegas (connecting to Omaha), the poor Southwest employee was dealing with stupid, STUPID passengers.  Passengers who have no clue how to listen.

Oh, these are the passenger boarding the flight to Las Vegas?  Maybe if we were boarding a pinball machine . . .

Here’s the situation.  The plane that came into our gate was supposed to continue to Chicago.  Instead, they rerouted it for our flight to Las Vegas.  The Chicago flight would leave after us.  The Southwest employee said this over the loud speaker probably 20 times.  Simple enough.  I can’t believe how many people kept  getting in line, or asking where their Chicago flight was or being generally stupid.  “When’s the Chicago flight board?”  “I’m in the A group, can we board for Chicago now?”  “I’m stupid and don’t think listening is important, can I jump out of the plane when we’re over Chicago?”  I mean, come on Chicago people, you’re making me miss my favorite city less and less.

Then a group of people transferring to the Las Vegas plane from another gate approach.  The Southwest gate agent told them that they could board first, they just needed their IDs . . . and that he would call them up when he was ready.  Did they wait?  Nope.  They all flooded him with their IDs in hand.  Three times he had to tell them to step back.  At least five times he asked them to clear the walkway so the passengers from the flight that just got in could exit.  Did they move?  No.  They just stood there like idiots.  I know that we were at an AirTran gate for a Southwest flight — which if you fly Southwest, you know there’s a group of pillars with numbers so people can line up accordingly.  Well, this was confusing to most of these people.  Especially the large group of people who got in line for an AirTran flight hat wasn’t even posted on the screen.  JESUS CHRIST people — read and listen.  Read and listen.  READ AND LISTEN!  Stop talking and perk up those flaps on the side of your head — the ones that bookended that hollow dome you call a head!

I just want to be in Omaha.


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