There's this little sticker at the top of my windsheild to tell me when I need my next oil change. I remember thinking about it before Christmas and I remember assuring myself that I had plenty of time. So it caught my eye the other day and it said 86,000 and I thought, that's ok because my mileage is just...I looked down and it is 87,000. Oh, oh. I need an oil change.
Last week I also got stuck behind a big truck going through a sprinkler on the freeway--my windsheild was covered in mud. There are all these car washes that say free car wash with oil change near our house, so in my mind the two go together.
So it's now imparative that I get an oil change and a car wash. Not shop for a good price, not wait for a day when I have lots of time--no, it must be done right away.
So I procrastinated all day Saturday and then went first thing Sunday morning. I hate going to the mechanic because they always find a lot of things wrong that they insist must be fixed, but the last time I went in, I got the oil changed and they didn't even try to sell me an air filter. So I was hopeful to leave unscathed.
They said it would take an hour to do the oil change, or an hour and ten minutes, or an hour and twenty minutes. Fine, I have a book. At an hour and 25 minutes, the guy excitedly runs in and says, Kathy, you have to see this. I thought, is he kidding me. Like I have the foggiest idea of what I'm looking at on my car. They had my car up on the jack and the tires were off and he told me that I basically had no front brakes. I said, you guys put them on, so if they're gone, you guys took them. No, no, he assures me, they were replaced more than a year ago and the warrenty is 12 months or 12,000 miles and I've gone more miles than that. It's time to replace them, because it's very dangerous to drive around with no brakes. Ok, I say.
And, he says, your front tires are worn--look at how low the tread is. That's very dangerous to drive on bad tires. What else, I say getting extremely sarcastic and mean. The transmission needs to be serviced and the back brakes need service and the wheels need to be aligned and the air filter needs to be changed. How much? I snarl. $718. WHAT? I then proceded to yell at him and said, no to everything after the brakes (and the air filter, since I had been thinking it was time to buy a new air filter--like air is free--I know better). Well he got all defensive and the nuns in my head scolded me, it's not this poor guy's fault you have a junky car. But I was angry, so I didn't let the guy see the nuns in me. I sarcastically asked and how long is this going to take. 1 hour, (I sent him the dagger eyes), 45 minutes tops. OK.
Now the nuns are screaming at me. How could you be so mean to that poor, poor mechanic who barely eeks out an existance on $16 oil changes. So I took a walk and decided to buy the mechanics a box of candy. Mollified, I felt better. The nuns were not convinced. You're not going to buy any candy--you feel better because you thought about buying candy, but you're not going to actually do it. Yes I will, I huffily tell those nuns in my head. The boxes of candy didn't look too appetizing and the cookies were realy expensive. Party size, off brand peanuts however were $3. I would like to get that, I thought, so it sufficed.
Post Script. I told this story to Melody this morning and she said, you can change the transmission fluid yourself, can't you. I've haven't laughed so hard in years. Thanks, Mel.