I usually try to be positive in these blogs and attempt to bring a smile or, dare I hope, a chuckle to you loyal blog followers. I start my Friday blog on Tuesday and spend the rest of the week re-writing it.
Well, it’s Tuesday and this week is already down the tubes. In the past 24 hours I have been hammered not necessarily with bad news, but certainly nothing that would bring even so much as a smirk to anyone’s lips…the worst of it being the complications that occurred with Black Beauty (my four-seater black convertible) from her “accident” a week ago.
In the scheme of things, I am still a very blessed person. My family is healthy, I live in Paradise and have wonderful friends all over the world.
However, when things aren’t going according to plan, my family always quotes one of the best lines from Young Frankenstein, the Mel Brooks’ classic film.
Igor, played by Marty Feldman (which he pronounces as “Eye Gor” in the movie) is out digging up a grave to get a body for Dr. “Fronckensteen” (as Gene Wilder pronounces it). As you can imagine, it’s not only pretty messy but also a really disgusting job. Igor tries to be positive and looks up at the doctor from the hole and says to him “Well, it could be worse…it could be raining!” With that comes a bolt of lightning and accompanying crash of thunder and a downpour bordering on deluge drops from the skies.
So, we always quote this when something goes wrong. “It could be worse! It could be raining!”
Funny thing, today I woke up…and it was raining…and it never rains here.
Black Beauty, because of her low-slung, sportscar-like profile, broke a “hoof” on a chockhole that was right up against a trolley rail in San Diego. It seemed like it was just a flat, but it turned out it was much worse. It required her being flatbedded to a dealership in someplace I’d never heard of pretty nearly in the middle of the night since it happened after dinner. By the time the tow truck and I found each other (I didn’t even know what street I was on) it was well after midnight.
Fernando, the driver for the towing company, was very gentle with her and I felt very sad seeing her going up the truck’s ramp with a chain attached to her underside. Her tail lights glowed a dull red as the crank groaned pulling her up, and it was almost as if she were saying ”Where am I going??” It all looked painful…and then I remembered.
“She” is really just a car. Despite my affection for her she really didn’t have any idea that there was anything wrong with her. It was just a piece of machinery.
Still, I do have an unnatural tendency to create personalities for some of the things I own and Black Beauty was probably at the top of the list, closely followed by my computer, which I have named “Connie.” Connie gets cranky. But I digress.
So, Black Beauty had an enormous amount of complications and since it wasn’t just a tire, I had to make a claim on my insurance. At the risk of jinxing myself, in 45 years of driving this was only my second claim. The last one was some 15 years ago when someone rear-ended me on an off-ramp in New Jersey. The Ex took care of all the paperwork, etc. on that. He always handled the cars while I took care of the maintenance of the house and paying the bills. I now had yet another new experience to add to my growing list of things-I-am-capable-of-even-though-I’m-single. I’m probably not as proud of that as the fact that when newly separated I once picked up a dead mouse by its tail and flung it into the woods, but even so…it was sort of another milestone.
I am lucky in that I have a real person as an insurance agent. I don’t call 1-555-WE-INSUREU and get someone like “Peggy” who just knows me as a policy number. I called her office and pretty much everyone there has met me and some have even been to dinner at my home. They were very understanding and got on it right away. Within 24 hours I had a claim number and someone to speak to who was following the process. It turned out that what I thought was only a flat tire was actually two tires involved in addition to all sorts of other things pertaining to the steering that were either cracked, broken or severely bruised and had to be replaced. It seemed like an awful lot when I was only going, maybe 15 mph. After all, how fast can you go downtown in a city? Just a freak thing.
Black Beauty had her own personal representative at the dealership where she was taken. (I refrained from referring to Kris as Black Beauty’s “private nurse.”) Kris is a lovely young woman, who was not only sympathetic, but called me on a regular basis to update me on Black Beauty’s progress. She always made me feel like I was her only client and I’m sure I wasn’t. I was happy to meet her when it finally came time to bring Black Beauty home to her own “stall” in my garage. I insisted on giving Kris a hug before I got on the road.
As I paid the bill (awaiting reimbursement from my insurance) it hit me.
The Germans had found a way to avenge losing both wars. They have made a car that I have fallen in love with and was sad to not have her for even a few days. Black Beauty is an amazing piece of machinery. I’ve never had so much fun driving a car and when the time comes to replace her, I’d probably get another one…but the next one will be red…and she shall be called “Scarlett!”
As I drove home without the top down because of the rain, happy to have “my baby” back, I envisioned some well-dressed German businessmen toasting each other with champagne in a board room somewhere in Munich because yet another American had been “hooked.” I guess that was an exaggeration.
But so is the fact that I think my car is really a person…or at least a “pet.”
By the way, I highly recommend BMW of Vista, California. (www.BMWofVista.com) It is the second youngest dealership in the country, very convenient to get to, gives you an iPad to wile away your time, has a deluxe coffee machine that I do not think is German and Spunkmeyer’s cookies for the taking. And no, they didn’t pay me/discount my repairs/offer me a bribe. It was a great experience with something that was at best inconvenient. I do like to give credit where credit is due. Although I paid cash.