I will never be the Ubermensch, alas, but I am currently living the Uber life.
You know about Miss Ingebretsen, my tastefully beautiful PT Cruiser automobile. She’s been teaching me hard lessons about having tastefully beautiful women in your life – they tend to be high maintenance. Recently I’ve been having Miss I. in the shop almost on a weekly basis. And that was just the preliminaries.
Last Saturday I was driving along 42nd Avenue North in Robbinsdale, on a routine jaunt to the grocery store, when Miss I. gave a discrete cough and shut down. Right there in the street. Wouldn’t start again, of course.
I had her towed to the garage, which was closed at the time, of course. Had to wait till Monday morning to tell the mechanics what I’d laid on their plate. Then it was Uber to work. Later the shop guy called me back: “I haven’t got any good news for you,” he said.
The timing belt had broken. My dad told me once that in the old days, cars had timing chains. Timing chains were reliable and lasted pretty much forever. So naturally the manufacturers replaced them with timing belts, which would wear out eventually. To make it even better (if I understand the car guys I’ve talked to correctly) the timing belts were moved inside the engine assembly, so that when they failed they would fromage the gaskets, bowdlerize the water pump, and speak the Perilous Word that summons eldritch horrors from the hidden places of the earth.
The cost, I was told, would be about what the car is worth. As I always do when faced with car trouble, I called my long-suffering ex-boss, who’s a car guy and knows guys. He suggested calling his personal mechanic, who runs a business 70 miles north of the Twin Cities. I’ve used this guy before, not entirely with satisfaction. But I’m reluctant to junk Miss Ingebretsen just now and spend money on a new car. So I arranged to have her towed north (thank heavens for AAA Plus). And now I’m car-less in the big city. I could rent a car, but Uber is cheaper.
I like Uber. I haven’t had a bad ride yet, though GPS seems to have trouble finding my place of work (but only in the afternoons, for some reason).
Tonight I think I’ll try a grocery delivery service.
It’s all good practice for old age, I suppose.