Last Saturday while loading up some groceries, I noticed that my trunk would not close. It appeared that the latch was broken. But that didn’t stop me from attempting to slam it shut about a dozen times with all my might, hopping up and down on it like a lunatic. There may have been a few tears. My efforts were unsuccessful and my daughter acted as if it was something I’d done on purpose to inconvenience her.
I tied the trunk down with twine and hoped I wouldn’t lose any groceries like projectiles as I took to the highway. Thankfully we made it home with all our stuff, but the flimsy twine popped immediately.
I drove to the dealer the next morning with my trunk twerking all the way down route 28.
I don’t normally go to the dealer for repairs, but a trunk latch seemed like something very specific that only a dealer might be able to, you know, deal with. The garage was a madhouse. Nobody told you when to pull up, nobody showed you where to go or who to talk to but seemed very annoyed when I found myself speaking to the wrong individual. There was a handwritten sign that said 'DROP OFFS ONLY - No waiting!'
I arranged for my husband to pick me up so we could all get lunch. Then SURPRISE! They outfitted me with a loaner car that was at least ten years younger than mine. I tried to stop my husband from driving up, but he was already there waiting in front of the lobby. I pulled up in my sleek new ride, beeped the horn a few times, and shouted out the open window, “Check out my new ride, suckas!” Then I peeled off like a demon on wheels. I didn’t realize that there were some dealership employees in earshot looking bewildered.
We had lunch and I got back to my life cruising around in the loaner car. I was getting spoiled. This loaner car was just like mine except it was much less noisy and it smelled good. I couldn’t seem to get the hang of the backup camera thing, but driving this car was a real treat!
Work was very busy, and I have a tendency to ignore any phone call with a number I don’t recognize. (I bet you can see where this is going). I dropped off the car on a Saturday, and by Friday, my husband asked me. “Any word about your car?”
“Um - no. I guess it is taking a long time.”
“Check your messages.”
Indeed, there was a voice message from the dealership explaining that they do not have a door latch for a 2008 Corolla. I will have to take it to a body shop. There will be no charge if I pick it up today (Monday). That was four days ago, five if you count the fact that the shop was closed, and I would not be able to pick it up until the following morning and return the loaner.
That night my family labeled me a car thief. I remember my antics at the dealership. “Beep Beep! Check out my new car, Suckas - SCREECH!” It echoes through my mind. I probably owe hundreds of dollars in rental fees for the loaner and storage fees for my 2008 shitbox, that they didn’t even fix!
“Just play it cool,” says my husband.
Easy for him to say. I have never played anything cool in my life. I’m sure I'll pay dearly for my stupidity.
I go back to the dealer the next day with the loaner. I hand the keys to a nice-looking employee. He points me in the direction of the cashier. I explain that I was just here to check on my car. It's been a week. I've stated no lies.
The cashier punches my info into the computer and hands me a printed receipt for zero dollars and zero cents.
“It turns out they couldn’t fix the trunk. No charge. Someone will bring you your car around.”
I try to conceal my delight at not getting slapped with storage and rental fees. I head for the door before they can stop me and tell me they've made a mistake. I drive away like I just pulled off the biggest heist. I got nothing for nothing or perhaps you could count it as a week long joy ride in a car that's nicer than mine. Truly one of America’s most wanted criminals.
When I get home, I brag to my husband. Just when the natural high reaches its peak, my husband receives a text from the Toyota dealership.
“We just got an invoice for $375.”
Now I am $375 in, and my trunk lid is still flappin’ around. Since the twine thing was a bust, I moved on to tape. Did you know that duct tape is only about five bucks a roll and it comes in a variety of colors? But these things must be done delicately. I decided two long pieces on either side of the license plate would do the trick. It kind of looks like the car is wearing suspenders. And the best part is that I no longer have to suffer the indignity of replying to good Samaritans who stop to tell me that my trunk is open. I only have to suffer the indignity of driving around with two big pieces of duct tape holding my trunk closed.
Anybody know a good body shop?
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