My long national nightmare is over. After being without my car since the 4th of December, I’m back behind the wheel of my 1999 Toyota Celica. That was the day a skinny teenager in an F-150 crushed my driver’s side door in an accident on Kirby Parkway. Promised delivery dates of Christmas, New Year’s and the week after New Year’s came and went. I became enough of a regular at the Enterprise Rent-a-Car on Union Avenue for the woman at the counter to know me by name. I eventually reached the limit of what my insurance would pay for what turned out to be three different rental cars.
Here’s the fun part. I called the body shop while I was in California last week. They told me that the car would be ready by last Friday. While I accepted most of the estimated delivery dates with a grain of salt (okay, more like a boulder of salt), I did mention this time that they really had to deliver this time since the insurance money had run out and I’d be paying the entire cost of a rental on my own. I was fairly busy on Friday, catching up on a lot of the stuff that collected on my desk while I was out of town. The day goes by – no call from the body shop. My ride comes by at 5pm, and we head to the shop. I had a couple of last-minute things to do in the office, so maybe it was actually 5:05pm. Which meant that by the time we got to the shop, at 5:35, they had been closed for 5 minutes and my fully repaired car was locked inside the garage for one more weekend! When I got home, I found out that the shop had left a message on my home phone at around 3 in the afternoon. Hmmm… I was sure they had my cell number.
Bright and early Monday, I was there when the garage door went up and the owner pulled my car out to park on the street. One $500 deductible later, and I was driving my own car for the first time in more than a month. I was a couple of blocks away, on my way to work when my cell rang. It was the secretary at the body shop, telling me she had forgotten to return my credit card. As I turned around (the wrong way down a one way street!) it occurred to me – hey, she called me on my cell phone – they had the number the entire time!!!
Anyway, look at this – it’s a thing of beauty:
Now that I’m behind the wheel of my own ride again, please, give me a wide berth – they’re taking bets at work on how long it’ll be before I’m in another accident!