Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Mar. 02, 2015 - 8:10 p.m.

Number 4

It's been a rough couple of weeks here at Dangerhouse. Please excuse the lack of updatery. Between the car, the diverticuliiiiiiitis, a housebound cat who's not happy being housebound, issues at work, and the weather, I have just had the wind taken completely out of my sails.

Speaking of the weather, I know it's not Boston, but for godsake stop already. I'm ready to head to the local ISIS recruitment center and sign up. I understand Syria is remarkably free of ice storms this time of year. Yeah, my lifespan will be somewhere in the 3 - 5 week range and I'll have to wipe with my left hand (my least favorite wiping hand). But if it gets me out of shoveling - AND delivers 72 (hopefully female) virgins at the end of my tour - show me the dotted line and point me to the Turkish Express.

Back to reality. Bleak, bleak reality.

Might as well just talk about the car right now, since almost everything else revolves around that. Even the weather.

It was a tense couple of days at DangerHouse while we waited for the auto place to call and tell us why Faith the Forester stopped running. (In 6 degree weather. I don't know if I mentioned that.)

When we still hadn't heard from them by the following Thursday, after being told they'd get in touch with us Tuesday one way or the other, I decided to stop on my way home from work and see what the holdup was.

I probably should have stayed ignorant.

"We wanted to call you on Saturday but we lost your number. The engine blew."



"The engine blew? How??"

"Don't know. But we did a compression test and cylinder number 4 was bad. No compression at all. A valve mighta went, or it might have overheated and warped the block, but we won't know for sure unless we tear it apart."


"So you need a new Forester."

That staggered me. I literally took a step backwards. We only just purchased Faith in October - with every last bit of spare cash we could scrape up, I might add. And after fixing a broken water pump in November, it ran without any...problem........at.........

Waaaaaaaait a minute. Faith had a bad water pump when it was sold to us! I'll bet 2 of my 10 inches that that's the root cause of the meltdown. Before it was diagnosed and replaced, Faith had overheated several times - once when NewWifey(tm) drove to St. Louis, stranding her on the side of the road in that blighted town. I'm guessing that some serious damage was done as it rolled along on several occasions without life giving water flowing through and around its block and head.

"What'll it take?" I asked the guy.

"A top and bottom end job?" he said. "Probably more than you paid for the car. If I were you I'd get a new engine instead. I've got contacts at the junkyards around here. If anybody's got one, I'll take a guess you can get away for about 3 grand."

I drove home completely numb and broke the news to NewWifey(tm).

NewWifey(tm) does not go numb. She goes ballistic.

I will here, Gentle Reader, refrain from describing the ensuing 15 minute explosion. It was basically 15 minutes worth of variations on "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" occasionally punctuated by "I'm gonna KILL Johnston's for selling us that fucking piece of shit!."

So let us then fast forward 20 minutes.

20 minutes later NewWifey(tm)'s face was still an alarming shade of of fuchsia, but the torrent of obscenities and invective had finally tailed off. It was replaced by indignant resolve.

"Give me the phone" she said.

"Wait, honey" I said, "We haven't even -"

"Give. Me. The. PHONE."

I gave her the phone.

Ok, let's just jump another hour forward, shall we? I'll recap:

NewWifey(tm) called Johnston's Subaru, badgered and berated various underlings until one of them finally connected her to the General Manager of the entire Johnston's group (they have several dealerships in the area, including other brands). She couldn't get any higher than him.

And she let him have it.

Well, not right away. At first she tried to be diplomatic. "You sold us a car with a bad water pump. Yeah, you fixed the pump. But not the damage the bad pump caused. So now, just a few weeks after buying a car from you, it doesn't work. We'd like a repair, a refund, or a replacement."

"You can't prove it was the water pump that caused the engine failure" he said. "Sorry lady. You bought a 5-thousand dollar 9-year old car with 165-thousand miles on it. You rolls the dice, you takes your chances. Caveat emptor." In so many words.

That's when she let him have it.

It was loud. It was angry. It was a blistering tour de force of every verbal bludgeon in NewWifey(tm)'s vast arsenal. I've only been on the receiving end of one of her barrages twice in our marriage, and each time I caved in and retreated to a corner to lick my wounds after a mere 5 minutes. This tirade went on for 50.

And it didn't work.

When the last salvo was fired, when NewWifey(tm) was finally too hoarse to continue, it didn't work. The boss didn't budge. That's why he's the boss..

NewWifey(tm) hung up the phone. Then she spat on it.

"I'm going over to Johnston's right now and setting up a lemonade stand with a sign that says 'Made With Used Foresters'." she said.

"Honey, it's 10 degrees out."

"Then I'll serve lemon ice."

"I wasn't worried about the lemons. You'll die."

"No I won't. BECAUSE I'M NOT A USED FORESTER." And she stomped off.

So, we have to eat the cost of a new engine. Waddaya gonna do. The shop called back a few days later and told us they found an '06 that had been in a wreck and it only had 80 thousand miles on it. They could do the swap for 23-hundred dollars, labor included. Did we want it?

Yes. Yes, we wanted it.

Of course, because of the size of the job and the backlog of work they have to do (it's a busy shop, but only 2 bays), we won't get our car back for a couple of weeks. But again, waddaya gonna do. Shaking my fist at the heavens doesn't actually speed things along, I learned years ago.

This means that for the next fortnight or two we only have one car to share between us. Under normal circumstances this would barely be an issue. I get home from work around 2pm, leaving NewWifey(tm) plenty of time to run errands for her home-based business or buy more booze.

But these are not normal circumstances. One of the reasons we got the Forester instead of another WRX for me was so NewWifey(tm) could haul her products and supplies halfway across the country to trade shows two or three times a year and ply her wares. And one of those trade shows started last Friday, in Tennessee.

NewWifey(tm) had to take the Escape there.

Which means I have no way to get to work.

I guess I could have rented a car, but it would have cost me more to do that than I would have made in salary for the week. So instead I managed to call in some old debts and wrangled an emergency week home from work.

So now here I am. Stuck in Dangerhouse for a week. Just me, the cat, and porn. And lots and lots and lots of food that I stocked up on in a panic.

It hasn't been too bad (I did mention porn, right?). Unless you count the: power outages when the temps dip below 2 degrees, the overflowing litter box that Gloria is forced to use because her cat door is frozen shut, the basement pipe that sprung a slow leak, forcing me to keep a large stockpot underneath it and empty the 100-pound thing every 5 hours, and the icicles that grew INSIDE THE HOUSE when during a brief thaw some roof ice melted and ran into the seam of the bay window just in time for the next freeze. I'm worried that the formation of ice is expanding a gap where the window attaches to the wall, and at the next melt we'll have a big hole where our bay window used to be.

On the plus side: BOOZE! And plenty of it. With straws.

Oh well. Even though I'm on vacation and I can stay up late I should wrap this up and get ready for bed. More snow is coming in tomorrow, followed by sleet and ice storms. I've gotta rest up so I can last for another marathon shoveling session.

More snow.


Anyone know if ISIS provides medical insurance and paid holidays?

Oh, never mind. I understand they require you to grow a beard. There are some atrocities I refuse to commit no matter HOW many virgins they throw at me.

G'night kids. Wipe with your left.





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