After a recent, extended bout of car trouble, my fair-weather Jeep, Shirley (as in MacLaine, so named after a rebuilt engine gave her a second life a few years back) is once again in working order. I’m quite thrilled about this, because though I enjoyed the pedestrian lifestyle the boy and I had led over the past six months or so, walking to work got a little old when the wind chill factor hit seven degrees or so.
Now Shirley has had a curious history of, shall we say, misfortune coinciding with the renewal of her registration in recent years.
– Four years ago, the day after she was granted bright and shining brand new tags, she was lent to a family member in need of transport to work, and while on the journey decided to seize up her engine.
– After a few years went by she was restored to working order and again had her slightly out of date tags renewed, only to catch the eye of a quota-seeking state trooper on the way down to Savannah.
Last week, after making yet another trip down to the DeKalb County Tag Office, things seemed to be going oddly smooth as Shirley and I went about our day. That is until she was pulled into a Kroger parking lot, and a distracted driver quite regrettably locked the keys inside while she was still running.
Shirley. You must be joking.
After a few attempts at calling a locksmith to the scene – one who shamelessly tried to swindle said driver out of $100 and became quite threatening when he was refused – one kindly man agreed to coerce Shirley into allowing us back in out of the cold to the tune of $65.
As we waited, and in an attempt to 1) commemorate the occasion, and 2) cheer up the boy – who had become quite distraught – a few toys were bought from the quarter machine outside the grocery store. A pair of green dice emerged from the contraption in their fluorescent plastic bubble, and it was decided that they would be split between us in an attempt to dispel Shirley’s juju. No matter who was driving.
Feeling like Karma was once again on our side, I happily paid the locksmith for his work and – in my excitement – exclaimed “I’m putting you guys on speed dial! Not that this will ever happen again.”
He looked at me sideways and replied, “It will now that you said it.”
I frantically dove inside in an attempt to knock on wood. Think the woodgrain in Shirley’s interior has the same effect?
(Artwork courtesy of The Graphics Fairy)