Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Day Maude Went POW!

Maude facing off against Evil Maude two days
before her demise.  I blame Evil Maude.
I have a car. My first car, in fact (I was a late bloomer) - a cute beige 2003 Ford Focus, the luxury model with leather seats...  I loved her as soon as I saw her, and named her Maude.  But I'll post her origin story later.

We'll begin with the story of her death.

Last Thursday, my maman was moving out of what I fondly like to refer to as the "OMG, you're going to get murdered if you stay here, and what the hell did I just step in!?" place.  So yay for a move!  My job was to go and bring the cat, the plants and the maman to the new place.  

I headed off early, since I was also in charge of bringing my mom breakfast (my diabetic mother. The plot thickens.)

I was merrily driving, about to cross the bridge into Quebec, blasting 80s rock and roll tunes and singing along, when the track changed and, in the silence, I heard the most peculiar of noises:  "BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM."

.... is that my car???  My curious mind inquired.  

Maude, undertaking the roll of shame.
And yes, it was!  So I pulled over, whipped out my iPhone and tried my CAA app, only to be informed it was no longer valid.  How disappointing!  Thankfully the CAA folk were useful on the phone, but I still had to wait about two hours to get towed. In the meantime, I phoned my mom, called to rent a car, and whined to my friends on e-mail (that's what friends are for).

By the time I got to my mother's, three hours later than planned, she had lost her cat, which we thankfully found behind a drawer half an hour later (wily thing).

But, back to the car.  I was distraught.  My mechanic, whom I trust, said that it could be small, or it could be big.  Turned out it was the air conditioning compressor. That's not so bad, sure, but add that to all of the other work she needed done, including some suspension work, and I was faced with the decision to drain my savings to fix a ten-year old car, or to use it as a downpayment on a new, more reliable vehicle.   

I'll admit that her death wasn't a complete surprise.  Roomy and I are leaving for the Pony Fair in Florida in two weeks, and I'd mentioned to her a couple of times that we might need to rent a car.  I could feel Maude's steering tightening up, hear noises that just hadn't been there before and, you know, she clunked loudly every time I turned.

The mechanic said he could get her functional for a trade-in and for me to drive her around as I hunt for a new car.  Roomy and I headed off to pick her up on Friday evening, but we arrived too late - the garage was closed. Sigh!  There was Maude, sitting primly in the parking lot, and we couldn't whisk her away.

Roomy and I decided to walk to the nearby mall (IKEA!) and grab some supper.  There, we pondered our future means of transportation (Roomy being the primary passenger and therefore opinion giver).  We had fun with crayons (Montana's understands the need to draw with colourful crayons):
Roomy felt this car looked unsafe and un-aerodynamic.  I couldn't really disagree, though I enjoyed the snazzy purple colour.

So I made us a raft, instead, for a more environment-friendly option.  I felt it made sense, as we live not too far from the Ottawa River - only about one to two hours of portage away!  Roomy was against it, again.  As you can see, she's in fact screaming in fear. Note the skillful use of crayons to illustrate hair colour.
Next I appealed to her love of fish.  I put us on a giant fish, though Roomy was screaming again.  In this drawing, note how I master the arms, which now flail without cutting her head. I am a master artist in training.  
Then Roomy pointed out that the fish wouldn't be great on roads.
I disagreed by adding wheels on my fish. Giant fish on wheels is the next great commuting evolution.
This was Roomy's suggestion. I'm not against it, but they're hard to come by, unless you steal them, and most garages don't service them, I'm lead to believe.  And yes, that's a pony head beside it.  That was Roomy's side of the tablecloth, after all. 
While we were making a strange mess of Montana's paper tablecloth, my mechanic called twice, undoubtedly to tell us that we could come pick up the car.  But we missed both calls, as we were busy cackling manically at odd scenarios.  Oh well.

Roomy and I got lots of walking done last weekend, which was a nice change of pace. But we still need a car for the upcoming road trip!

I'm all about making informed but quick decisions, so I already bought a car. HA!  I'm meeting her/him Wednesday evening, at which point I assume I'll know his/her name, and inform you all of it.

Exciting new times, my friends!!!