15 August 2009

Retrieving Henry

What gets towed must be repaired and driven home.

I called Cammisa Motorcars Monday to ask what was plaguing my little car. The guy in the service department asked me if mine was the one with the vanity plates that (at the time) was running like crap. I told him indeed it was. While that may not read as an overly friendly exchange, indeed it was. I like a happy mechanic. Happy people in the service department put me at ease, and leave me less wary of being bilked. Of course, that could be their ploy. In which case I'm what one might call a "goner."

Happy Mechanic Man told me I had a faulty ignition coil, and that it would be a free repair under the (ever impressive) Hyundai warranty. Naturally the part wasn't there and had to be ordered. But I was in no rush. No car means no parking worries. And no repaired car means no figuring out how to get to Burlingame to get it. I worked a different schedule this week (one that allowed wine on a Sunday evening) and I was looking for a complication - free Monday. That turned out to be great. But Tuesday was a mess.

I guess it worked out for the best, but my schedule was changed at the very last minute Tuesday. In fact, I would say it was after the last minute since I was already at work when it happened. My morning became open and I hadn't been prepared for the extra time. You might remember I fall to pieces when a plan goes wrong. I had planned to be at work Tuesday morning. And when I wasn't, I was nearly frantic thinking of a new plan. Thank goodness my car had been towed.

Happy Mechanic Man called to tell me Henry was ready. I then set out on an adventure to retrieve him. I first took a bus to the Caltrain Station, where I bought a one way ticket to Burlingame. It seemed very strange to me - a trip to Burlingame at 12:30 on a weekday afternoon. But no one else seemed to agree. I think the man who sold me my ticket found my co-conspiratorial smiling annoying. He did not smile back.

There weren't a lot of people at the train station, and the whole thing felt very Sunday-afternoon-ish, except I had no book to read. The ride was idyllic. It was a sunny day and the tracks are bordered by trees and shrubs to reduce neighborhood noise. The seats faced each other and since no one sat across from me (the girl eating broccoli & garlic humus), it seemed like a real trip. But that was over in about 20 minutes. After that, I walked another 20 minutes to the dealership. There I found Henry running and clean.

The maintenance was free and (thanks to some extra something or other) so was a new wiper I needed. My car was towed, repaired, washed, and outfitted with a new wiper blade. And all it cost me was $6.25 in transportation costs. Fantastic. Viva Hyundai. I enjoyed my drive back to San Francisco, found a place to park immediately, and made it back to work on time. Success.



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