Friday, July 27, 2007

Behind the wheel of a large automobile

The Versa has gone missing. My poor red Nissan Versa has been held captive by the service peeps at the dealership for over a week. Over a week? Yes. Body work? You'd think. No. It's that bastard fuel pump. I know...It's a brand new car. Barely toppling 10K miles. The fuel pump went south in the Focus when it hit 80K so I've had plenty of experience with cranking starts, rough idles, the occasional stall, and me upset, crying, and cursing in the middle of an intersection. Typically replacing this would take a few days. Apparently not when your car is so new that the actual parts aren't even in the country. This stinkin fuel pump is still overseas in its country of origin, Japan. Who knows when it'll arrive in Concordville PA.

Meanwhile I've been cruising around in a Sentra (OK until the engine started knocking and I had to switch it out) and then the only vehicle Enterprise had available this past Monday was a crazy minivan. A Chevy Uplander. What the hell is that? I soon found out. It's a massive beast. I stared at it and then looked around to be sure no one saw this cute 29 year old in her Step Up outfit - sans kids of her own and soccer practices - get behind the wheel. For 2 days I drove this minivan. One that barely got over 70 miles/hr. and who's AC was never cold enough and who's back end continuously felt like it would bounce off when I put it in reverse.

For 2 days I felt like Sam in Who's the Boss when Tony unveiled her "new" car. You remember - the yellow 70s Olds with brake lights galore and the plate that read SAMS CAR. You probably also recall how mortified she was driving it and in the episode parked it miles from school until it was stolen! Well that was me parking that damn minivan clear across the Dilworthtown parking lot to trudge into Starbucks. If the van was blue and slightly older and boxier, it could have passed for the famed Tony Micelli van we all know from the opening credits.

My friend Melissa and I joked that I needed to pretend I was at SJU again, hauling a group of volunteers down to the Appalachian region of KY. That brought back good van memories. The kids I babysit, while appreciative of the roomy interior, were shouting at me from the back of the van "WE CAN'T HEAR YOU CHRISSIE!?!" When I retrieved Matt from his music lesson Tuesday afternoon, he greeted me (laughing) with "I was waiting for your big ugly dumb car! Even that's better than sitting outside in this heat!" I almost died laughing - it has to be bad when an 11 year old is making fun of you. Their dad, a 40 something car buff, I knew would kill to see me in this machine and enjoy every second of torturing me. I managed to slink off Monday evening undetected (and was SO hoping to do the same Tuesday) but we pulled into the driveway just as Chris was leaving - and staring and laughing - at me. Caught. Behind the wheel of a large automobile.


Finally Enterprise was able to get me out of the crazy minivan and into a Subaru Impreza. I'm on the fence about this sporty little sedan. It's not nearly as swank as the Sentra but I gladly sacrificed all that room and awkwardness for conversation and coolness (literally and figuratively). I just hope Japan can get my fuel pump here this century. I miss my Versa.

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