Took my rig up to the dealership at the appointed time, shuddering all the way up Aurora Ave. The shop was backed up, and as of this post, I have yet to hear how serious it is. My most basic mechanical instincts tell me it's bad, but these new Korean engines are impossible to open up (and even if I could, I wouldn't want to invalidate the fine print of my warranty).
So since I'm a busy dad-about-town, I got the dealership rate on a rental (Kia will end up paying for it if the engine trouble is covered). A sporty little Chevy Cobalt (appropriately enough, cobalt blue), with zero power anything (manual locks, manual mirrors, manual windows, manual seats - the bare basics). It's like stepping back in time. Way back in time, considering that my first car was an '81 Olds Cutlas Supreme V8 diesel with power everything (including sunroof).
Usually when I deal with Enterprise, I get a twentysomething former fratboy in a shirt & tie, trying to find his way in a depressed job market while trying to pay off a ton of debt and still show off his gadgets and nice clothes, hoping to score as many chicks as possible before growing a paunch and losing his hair. So imagine my surprise when the dealership service door opened and in walked "Cindi" (not her real name, but it did end in "i"), a twentysomething redhead in a pushup bra, ass-hugger slacks and heels.
And not knowing I had my daughter with me, she'd come to pick me up in a 2008 Mini Cooper. She instantly knew she'd made a mistake, and tried to justify her choice, which went something like this:
"So I saw we got one in and I said 'oh my GAWD I need to drive this' - isn't it cute? - it's totally cute - I drive a bug - mint green - yeah 'cause I'm a girl and my friends ask me how it runs and I tell them 'I dunno but I look adorable in it' kinda like shoes like if I wanted to wear shoes that were comfortable I'd wear tennis shoes all the time (right?) but I like to look good so I wear heels all the time and when I go out dancing with my girlfriends and they complain their feet hurt I tell them 'just have another drink - that's what the first few drinks are for - to help your feet go numb' so I live in [Seattle neighborhood] in my single girl apartment where do you live I'm from Yelm and so any commute less than an hour is cool with me so what do you do oh that's so cool I have a friend who publishes textbooks and how-to books it would be so cool to be your own boss..."
30 minutes later.
"...and the cop yelled at me for chasing them down but y'know I caught 'em they totally rear-ended me and so I chased them down and they turned too fast and lost control and hit a wall nobody was injured thankfully but yeah the cop totally yelled at me and I'm like 'it's cops like you who let crime get out of control here in [Seattle neighborhood]' and he asked me 'is there any damage to your vehicle?' and I said 'no' so he said 'get out of here' so that was cool anyway we should have you all ready to go here pretty soon..."
I couldn't wait to get into my teeny stone-age rental car and get out of there. I'm so glad not to be dating in my twenties. The caliber of dateworthy specimens seems to drop sharply around 30 and younger (no offense to my high-caliber twentysomething readers - I know you exist). And I still can't wrap my head around the fact that she was a redhead and not a blond - there's equity for my blond friends after all! Chin up, you guys - redheads can be just as vacuous, and I've seen it!
The dealership just called. Apparently we have rodents in West Seattle (shocking, I know). They've chewed through my spark plug cables. And since Act of Squirrel is not covered by warranty, I get to shell out $300+. At least it's not more serious engine work (although I'd almost prefer more serious engine work if it meant I didn't have to shell out the geld for it), and they should have it done tomorrow.
Are you exhausted? I know I am.
Now to prep the kids for swimming in Ballard.