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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

School Car…

A teacher I subbed for a couple of times last year called and asked if I would take his class of 31 fifth graders. With that call, my first official substitute assignment for the 2006/07 school year will be on Friday 9/1.

Today I took “School Car” in for a free oil change (w/coupon) and of course it wasn’t actually free. The oil change WAS free but the list of “other” suggested repairs wasn’t included.

The “School Car” is a twelve year old Saturn four door with 135,000 miles on the clock.

The ignition key sometimes jams in the ignition and can’t be removed without significant effort and repeated shots of “Liquid Wrench”.

The head liner in the rear half is separating from the roof and flaps when the windows are down like a sideways flag.

The transmission has a tendency to howl a bit at speeds above 40mph. It does wet itself in the driveway with what appears to be oil, tranny fluid, and maybe a hint of coolant.

At least two of the tires have had repeated shots of “flat fixer” over the last few years to try and stem the loss of overnight tire pressure. The tires are showing “worry line” age cracks in the sidewalls.

As a result, “School Car” is no longer allowed to meander more than about ten miles from home anymore.

So I wasn’t surprised or unbelieving when the service guy called with a litany of several “other” pressing maintenance items that should be taken care of.

The “suggested repair” bill would have totaled maybe twice what the car was worth IF it were in better condition. So we opted for just ONE of the more pressing repairs.

With that, I’ll have to work at least two solid weeks of Kinders to pay it off. With some luck and a traveling virus or two, I might earn enough subbing during September before the credit card bill arrives.

I don’t know when “School Car” will finally succumb to ravages of time and friction but I hope to make it just one more year.

…then maybe one more year after that.

I’d really hate to risk “School Car’s” younger sister to the possible abuse of the school parking lot.

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