Fine as Fine can be...My car is named Gordon. After Gordon Lightfoot. Gordo and I have been through a lot together. He's been there when music healed or soothed or cheered. I felt it only fitting that I name my car after him.
It's been a good car. No major problems. Got me here from MN along with my dog and two cats. Patiently sits out in the elements and doesn't complain. Dutifully waits for me each day at the park'n'ride, ready for our next adventure...or at least errand together. He's young in mileage if not years and could last for a long time to come.
During our "Arctic Blast" Christmas 2008, the streets were treacherous and rutted and accidents were rampant. I made a couple of trips out but saw it was bad and brought Gordon home to safety. In spite of all my care, parking him carefully and protecting him when the roads were threatening, he was injured. Not during the storm but after it was all over and the streets were safe again. A parking lot plowed and piled snow shortening the parking spaces and a misstep by a driver and Gordon was damaged goods.
I related the incident on Humzoo and showed the damage. Minimal. Looked to be an easy fix. The other driver was responsible, his insurance company was quick to do an estimate, a friend recommended a good auto shop. It all seemed like an easy fix if a traumatic incident to me. Until the auto shop tried to find the replacement taillight. The car is a 2000 Saturn L Series Wagon. Probably thousands of them out there. You wouldn't think it would be so hard but apparently timing is everything and the economy, Saturn/GM's problems and my car has stayed scarred and damaged for 6 mos. I've been meaning to call Will (my sleuth) at the Auto Body Shop for over a week. Part of me dreaded the inevitable "still haven't found one but I check daily" response. I'd heard it once a month since January. April was supposed to be a given but then it was May, then June. As much as I wanted to call, I just couldn't face the cheerful and apologetic answer again.
It was therefore a surprise today to get a call from Will (for a change!). The enthusiasm in his voice was my first clue. I called back immediately when he said they thought they had a taillight, albeit a used one, and wanted to see if it would fit. I went as soon as I could (shaking off one of those people Niki loves who thinks their procrastination is my emergency). I would not be deterred!
When I got there, Will came over and chatted and warned me they weren't sure it would work but they hoped. I sat and sat while he talked to another customer and that "5 minutes to put the taillight on" that was promised back in January stretched like cheap elastic and my hopes started to fade. Will came in and told me he would go back and check on the progress.
Oddly I started feeling I was at the car hospital and the women at the counter would start yelling STAT over their walkie-talkies and Gordon might be rushed by on a gurney. Mechanics started dashing around like medical personnel and the surreal effect was completed by Will coming out and sitting down beside me. Being the Star Trek fan of old, I expected to hear those classic words "He's dead, Jim". Well, maybe not that bad but "sorry--didn't work" was expected. Surprisingly Will told me that the light looked like it might work but they'd blown a fuse trying to install it and it would take a bit longer than expected.
Finally he came and told me Gordon was whole again and ready to go. I'd mentioned being unable to wash him at the car wash due to the taped up taillight and they did a quick but effective wash for me. He'd told me back in January that if I waited 90 days before washing other than hand-washing the car, I'd get a free hand-wash if I brought it back. Well, that was the plan but we know about the best laid plans. Because they used a used taillight, I got a refund. Will also noted on my account that a used taillight was installed. If it acts up in the next month, we'll discuss finding a new one to replace the used one. Otherwise, I have a whole car and a refund so I'm good to go. Oh, and in a month they will check it out to make sure it all looks good and give me that free car-wash promised in January.
It's a beautiful thing to see my car whole again (not to mention clean!)
Interestingly, this week I got a letter from Saturn, thanking me for my loyalty and assuring me of a future for Saturn cars. Coincidence?
As Gordon says in his song "Fine as fine can be". His namesake looks pretty good for 30,000 and nearly 10 years old. I feel like driving around tomorrow to show him off...but then all those other drivers...not paying attention...maybe I will keep him home and just look at him shining and whole for one day. :)