Now we need to survive October (and beyond)
The Saga of Car
Jamie was gifted a car, a little non-descript Kia (which we described to people as “the perfect serial killer car if it didn’t sound like Claptrap.”) the day that his truck had died. We’d ended up having problems with it ever since, replacing the battery and alternator twice, the belts at least four times, the water pump, and something else. We dumped a lot of money into this little car.
The car died a block and a half away from our house, on train tracks. Thankfully we had just enough inertia to roll to the side of the road, after the tracks, and annoy drivers/traffic for about 20 minutes until the tow truck could come. We had to call a tow truck because we couldn’t push it up the hill.
We were able to borrow Jamie’s mom’s car, it made a weird noise, and died in our driveway. Come to find out, the battery was 2 years overdue for a change. We walked to AutoZone, with the battery, and were stopped and given a ride by some really awesome people. Battery was completely dead, we bought the cheapest battery we could, and trekked back (and a guy insisted on taking us the rest of the way, it was super awesome). Replace the battery, it runs for a day, and dies again in the driveway (thankfully). Alternator’s dead, battery’s dead. The windows are half-rolled down and the next day it rains, of course (but! I was able to figure out a way so that none of the electrical stuff got ruined)
Jamie ends up having to ride the bus to work a couple of times and get rides home from his mom before his dad brings his step-sister’s car down so he can use it. The car works and we’re back in action. Woo!
Until last week.
Jamie left for work, in the step-sister’s car, and an hour later, I hear this loud thump-thump-thump on the back door. It’s Jamie. The car has died on the way to work, thankfully he was able to pull into a parking lot and the guy who owned the shop he pulled into helped him troubleshoot the car. It might be the pump, we’re not sure. So he walked home, started the Kia and the Kia worked. Woohoo. He had called work to say he was running late because of car troubles and gets to work an hour after he was supposed to be there.
When he gets off, he decides to not go on the interstate, but by the truck route. 30 minutes after he’s gotten off, I expect him to walk in the door any minute. 45 minutes, I figure he’s run into some traffic. An hour later and I’m wondering where the hell he’s at.
His phone had died and turned into a paperweight, so he had mine. My phone didn’t have any service on it because I had to wait a few days for payday to be able to buy a service card and the only way we could talk to each other was through wifi on the phone and FB messenger. Two hours later, he stomps into the house, saying he can’t stay and he’s only here for a change of clothes, toothbrush, and deodorant. He’s going to be staying at his mom’s place so he could get to work in a few short hours.
Jamie continues to tell me that the Kia died on the truck route and is in an abandoned parking lot. He had to walk from there to his mom’s house and he was pissed.
The next day, he gets a ride home from his mom and I’m texting our friend T to see when she gets off work and if she can run us to the step-sister’s car and put gas in it because I think it’s out of gas (the guage is messed up so it’s probable). She agrees and soon we find our way to the lot. Jamie puts gas in the car, it turns on, and we go to Sheetz (closest gas station). T and I are talking about various things and Jamie asks her to drive behind him just in case the car dies, she agrees.
We get the car to the house and she goes home. The next morning, we decide to do much-needed grocery shopping and the car works. We get up to the store, shop, put everything in the car and…it won’t start. Jamie’s frustrated, I’m frustrated, and I call a cab to go home. We got the non-huge items back into the buggie (all the meat/cold stuff and everything that wasn’t cat/dog food, toiletries, flour, and fabric softener).
We get home. Stuff happens.
The next day, Jamie wants me to ride the bus to work with him and I do. We’re standing at the stop and a guy slams on his breaks and waves to us to cross. I’m scrolling through my phone-turned-mp3-player (it’s an old Verizon phone) and Jamie’s texting a friend of ours on my phone. The guy behind the car goes around him and the car tries to hit him and then starts screaming obscenities at the truck, screaming that he was trying to be nice and whatnot.
We get to the stop we need and go off shopping for a handful of things that I can shove into my backpack and a canvas bag so I can ride the bus back home. Jamie finds a phone he can use and he goes off to work while I finish shopping. stuff happened.
A few short days later, Jamie had the day off so we got a cab ride to the Honda place on Peters Creek. We weren’t able to get a car there, so we started walking up the street to the First Team. We ran into our buddy Matt, which is fucking awesome and a random occurence. He offered us a ride for the rest of the way, because he was waiting for his testing time to start, and telling us that he’s being shipped to South Korea at the beginning of the year. He dropped us off and we agreed to have dinner with him one night before he leaves and goes to the next base he’s been assigned to for a few months.
We end up not being able to get a car at the First Team place. I call a cab to pick us up and have been told it’ll be 35-45 minutes. We go across the street, where I asked them to pick us up at, to wait, and waited an hour and a half. No one showed up. We walked across the next street to the Kroger so I could use the restroom and we could get some bottled water. Jamie’s super irritated by now, but he’s found a small used car place about a 10-minute away from where we were.
He calls a cab (a different company) to come pick us up and we wait outside. Cab picks us up and the driver is like “are you sure it’s up here?” and 2 minutes later, there it was. He dropped us off and Jamie is determined to get a car, saying we are not leaving until he gets a car.
We walk around the dusty lot (it’s this little lot in Botetourt that’s all gravel, of course it’s going to be a little dusty) and Jamie finds the two cars he saw on the website. We go to talk with the guy and he tells us that the first choice, a little ’95 jeep, is not for sale because there’s something wrong with the engine. Ok, that’s cool.
He gives the keys to the little Nissan that Jamie saw and just says if Jamie’s interested in driving it, just drive it up to the door. I gave the guy Jamie’s license so he could make a copy of it and soon Jamie comes walking in. The power seating is dead in the little Nissan and Jamie can’t reach the steering wheel.
The guy tells us that there’s nothing he can do about that and to walk around again and see if there’s anything else we’re interested in.
Eventually, we found 3 more potential cars and come back to the guy. Jamie’s first choice is the keys that the guy hands us, so we walked to the car and Jamie sets the alarm off. (of course the one car that isn’t locked that we’ve looked at has an alarm on it). He gets the car unlocked and can’t get the alarm to stop for a few long seconds (it felt like 5 minutes but was probably 30 seconds). We get in, drive up to the door, and Jamie’s like fuck it, I’m getting this car.
He fills out the paperwork, calls the bank to approve the amount, and we drive home with the car. The next morning, we go up to his dad’s house and his dad checks out the car, admiring the honesty of the guy who sold us the car and the fact that they didn’t try to hide anything. There’s a patch of rust on one of the back doors, little aesthetic things that can easily be fixed. But, it’s a good car and so far has worked.
After we got back into town (it survived the trip of Roanoke to Dublin and back, a huge plus), we went to the store where his step-sister’s car is and got everything out of the car that we needed and got home. Jamie’s dad thinks that it’s a pressure thing going on with one of the caps in the car and that’s probably why it’s acting up. He said he’ll be able to look into it when he recovers from feeling like shit from being sick.
This was September.