Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hell On Wheels

I'd rather give birth again without anesthesia than have hot flashes in the middle of summer in Florida.

But that's not what this blog is about.

It's about this.

And this.

And this.

It all started because City Girl and I decided to go on a Road Trip.  She is interested in Colleges that are about as far away from from her Dad and I Florida as possible.  We decided to leave the men at home (Retro Man and Sammie), and head out.  We'd see a few colleges in North Carolina and Virginia, visit her grandparents in Roanoke, see my college roommate and her kids, and then return home.

We left on a Friday, and decided to stay overnight in Savanna, Georgia.  Since we'd never been there before, we headed to the historic downtown to eat dinner.  Now we live in an historic downtown when we aren't at Tree Ring.  But this city was extraordinary.  After just an hour wandering around, City Girl and I fell in love with Savannah.   

The next morning, after detouring for pictures, we reluctantly continued on to look at a few colleges.  Every college we looked at paled in comparison to the coolest town ever.  We arrived at G and G's house on Sunday night.

Monday afternoon, City Girl, her Grandpa, her Uncle and I decided to check out Radford and Virginia Tech.  On the way to Radford, I noted that the odometer slid past 85,000 miles.  I remember thinking, "Oh well, the warranty expired.  Thankfully we never needed it."

Note to self:  Duh.  You have got to be the dumbest person on the planet.  Never tempt fate without knocking on wood (your head you idiot).

Radford was a yawn, and half way around the Virginia Tech campus, City Girl said the air smelled weird.  By the end of the campus, I smelled it too.  But it wasn't the Campus air, it was the Van's air.  My Dad and I thought it was the radiator overheating, even though the temperature was fine.  We turned off the air conditioner.

Thinking that back roads would be easier on the radiator, we drove 15 miles through winding roads in the middle of nowhere.   

The smell seemed to be getting stronger, so we decided that getting home quicker would be better.  I pulled onto the Interstate at Ironto, Virginia.  Never heard of it?  Me neither.  But it sounds an awful lot like 'ironic', which is what this blog is.

As soon as I merged, I knew we were in big trouble.  The steering wheel started shaking. Thankfully there was a Rest Area.  I parked and pulled out the warranty information.

The odometer read 85,014.  The warranty expired at 85,000. 

I called the 800 number.  We were covered for towing (who knew), but out of luck with whatever was wrong with the Van.  "I'm sorry ma'am, but the odometer reading is over 85,000.  It doesn't matter that your car had a meltdown at 84,999.  The Tow truck will be there within 45 minutes."

I was never so glad to see a Tow truck.

My Dad left with the Tow truck driver, and City Girl, my brother, and I hung out on a bench in the shade under a tree waiting for him to come back.  There were vending machines, and I got to try out some expired Cheeseburger flavored Doritos.   

They tasted as crappy as they sound.  I felt like the homeless in the City where I live.  Maybe I could find some paper and make a sign:  "Automobile Warranties Suck!  I kill cars, and need money to get home.  God Bless." 

I called the Shop the next day and they were able to look at it that afternoon.  Frozen brake calipers had warped a rotor.  It got so hot that the cap to the tire melted.  I think given those hills, we were really lucky.

We got the van back from the shop on Wednesday, $550 lighter, and decided to head out the next day to visit my college room mate.

I woke up Thursday morning and City Girl came into our room and whispered "I think Dad died".  WHAT?!  "No, hun, I'm sure Dad's all right", I said as I got up quickly.  

But...... he had gone to Tree Ring by himself and God knows what he did with that chain saw.


"Grama said she has to talk to you, and you're going to need a cup of coffee."

Oh Lord.

So I went out and got a cup of coffee.  As I came into the living room, my Dad said, "We have to talk".

Now I started getting concerned.  I've never heard my Dad say those words before.  And certainly not with such a somber look on his face.

I started to worry.  Maybe the love of my life really did saw off a leg. 

"Your Mom ran into the Van this morning."

I just started laughing.  My Mom was crying, my Dad looked like someone died, and all I kept thinking was that my husband still has two legs.

Well, the Van sure looks lived in now.

When I got back to work and told my story, two of my co-workers said their parents had driven into their cars recently.   Must be something in the air.

As for City Girl, she decided she loved Roanoke College, but we really can't afford it.

I hope our next look at Colleges isn't so fraught with peril.

1 comment:

  1. I think what you experienced is the Florida gods taking revenge on you for leaving Florida.