When that guy slammed into the side of our car in a desperate effort to get to Texas Roadhouse for some steaks, it set off a terrible chain of events that has only now been resolved, nearly two months later. You see, the guy was not insured. Luckily, Geico came to our rescue. Even though they didn’t have to, with Car #1 out of commission they provided us with Car #2, a gigantic white minivan from Florida with bad tires. Hey, it was a car. And it would do for the 8 days that it would reportedly take to fix Car #1.
A few weeks later I got a call from Enterprise, letting me know that I was required to return the rental car that day. My time was up. This was excellent news, I thought, because it must mean that Car #1, my car, was fixed! So I called the body shop. “Oh, yeah, we were wondering what that car was doing here!” they said to me on the phone. The adjuster had never dropped off the paperwork, so they had not even started fixing it. Disaster. Geico was able to extend our rental another week, but that was it. Saturday we had to return Car #2, and Car #1 was not scheduled to be ready until the following Wednesday.
On Saturday my daughter and I drove Car #2 back to Enterprise, dropped it off, and then walked the 2 miles home, having a fine adventure along the way. And then a stroke of luck! My brother-in-law, Cave Dane, was going to Texas, Sunday morning through Wednesday night! I got up at 4:30 Sunday morning and drove him to the airport, and then drove home in Car #3, a Honda Civic. Everything was going as planned, until Wednesday came along.
I was all ready to go pick up Car #1 when I got the call. The damage was far more extensive than they had originally feared. It was going to be Friday at the earliest, but probably Monday. When I picked Cave Dane up from the airport late Wednesday night, he dropped me back and my house and we were without a car again. I took the bus the next day, and my mother-in-law drove Edward to his Taekwan-do class. We could make this work. At choir rehearsal I asked if I could maybe have a ride home from someone, and that was when I was handed the keys to Car #4.
Car #4 was a red Prius owned by one of my church choir members, and its owner needed it back by Monday at the latest, which worked out well for my timeline, so I drove home in yet another vehicle as I awaited the return of Car #1. I called to check in on Friday, but I got more bad news. Monday was unlikely. It was going to, most likely, be Wednesday. Providence stepped in once again, however, as another friend from church let me know that she had an extra car for the week while her father was in Florida. Perfect. So on Sunday morning I returned Car #4 and picked up Car #5.
It may not surprise you to hear that Car #1 was not done on Monday, OR Wednesday. They promised it to me on Friday, which was good because we had a large birthday celebration planned at a distant water park on Saturday, and we needed all 6 seats. Car #5 only had 5 seats. On Friday afternoon I called and asked when I could pick up Car #1. They told me Monday.
Oh no. Oh no they did NOT just tell me Monday! I informed them that I would be there at 5 pm to pick up my car, and it had better be (expletive deleted) ready. They said okay. So I showed up in Car #5, ready to pick up Car #1, and there I saw it. In pieces. All over the body shop. They had taken it out for a test drive, and it was not drivable. The rotors were warped from heat or some such nonsense and they needed to order more parts. They could work on it all day Saturday and have it ready by the end of the day, but that of course was too late. So after a lot of back and forth, the body shop offered to rent us a car for the weekend.
We picked up Car #6 on Friday evening, a large Ford Explorer that could easily fit my apartment into the front seat alone. This car was amazing. Sun roof. Satellite radio. Automatic everything. Aerial view of the road and other cars. Suddenly we weren’t sure we wanted Car #1 back so quickly anymore. Even though this behemoth was pretty much the antithesis of everything I stand for, I have to admit I was sorely tempted to give in to the gluttony and excess. But no! I would return it on Monday and get Car #1 back! We gave Car #5 back at church on Sunday and prepared to give Car #6 back the following morning.
Except Car #1 was obviously not fixed at that time. They found something new wrong with it, so it would be Tuesday. And on Tuesday it turned into Wednesday. I was starting to think we would get to keep Car #6 forever after all. On Wednesday afternoon, when I got the call telling me that Car #1 was ready to be picked up, I wondered if it was an April Fool’s Day trick. After all this time, and all of these cars, could it really be true? Could our car, that we had not seen since before Valentine’s Day, actually be ready to come home?
Yes, we have Car #1 back. We drove to pick it up in Car #6, and then drove both cars back to Enterprise so we could return (*sniff*) Car #6, and then drove Car #1 back to the body shop with the receipt for the rental so that they could cut us a check. And now the saga is over. Other than, somehow or other, our windshield now has a significant crack in it that was not there before and which no one will take responsibility for. Guess it’s time to start calling some glass experts. Does it take long to fix something like that? Do I need to leave the vehicle with them? Does anyone have a Car #7 that we can borrow…?