Talk about irony…Posted: 2011-08-26
My family has an interesting way of handling cars. We have five assorted vehicles (a big van, a little van, and three cars, all bought used), all of which are either 15 years old and/or have been driven at least 140,000 miles. We do it this way, assuming that at least one of them will be having some sort of issue at any given time. So far, it has worked quite well, and all five of the cars and vans combined still cost less than what the average American pays for a single brand new vehicle.
With Nick’s successful passage of the Indiana driving test this summer, the number of licensed drivers in my family has increased to four. Instead of assigning each person a vehicle, we utilize an approach that I feel borrows heavily from Socialist political theory. No one has a car that is specifically “theirs,” rather, each individual chooses a vehicle based on what is available and what they need to do with it. This works quite well.
Under normal circumstances, each of us have a car that we prefer to drive. The one I like best is the 1995 Buick Park Avenue. This car was maroon when it was brand new. Now it is more of a dark red with a speckled, faded, pink top, trunk and hood. I recently replaced the starter on it all by myself (my first major car repair!), and I made it special by putting a Batman logo on the front grille. The car was made for luxury, and the suspension and interior are as comfortable as can be. It even gracefully bounces over bumps instead of loudly thumping.
Due to the fact that we had to replace a starter and a fuel control computer, and the fact that we had an incident where the car randomly stalled on us in the middle of nowhere, We do not trust the Buick for my longer trips. It is preferable that I take the newer Alero or the mini van, because we feel that they are in better mechanical condition. I would much rather take the Buick by nature of its comfortable seating, but I also would rather have a neck cramp than end up sitting by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
Yesterday, a very strange thing happened. Mom took Emily and Gabriel over to Evansville (around a 35-minute drive) for an orthodontist appointment. They stopped at a craft store on the way. When they came out, the mini van would not start. They called me, and I canceled their appointment and then went and got them in the Buick. Later that evening, Dad and Mom took the Alero and went to help the guy from AAA tow the van to the repair show. When they got to the parking lot where the van was sitting, the Alero wouldn’t start either! (What are the odds of that?) Once again, they called me and I took the Buick and picked them up. AAA towed the cars something in the night, and now the repair shop is working on them.
Despite the tragedy of the situation I find it rather amusing. The two vehicles that we deemed to be the most “reliable” ended up dying within a couple hours of each other, in two adjacent parking spots. And the car I used to rescue those who were driving the vehicles was none other than the “untrustworthy” Buick. What are the odds of that? Talk about irony. 🙂