My Lovely Teal Colored Blood Sucking Vampire Lemon on Wheels

Previously I wrote about the perils of buying a car from private sellers. How naive of me.  I should have written about the perils of being a stupid, impatient car buyer who believes what he is told and who trusts the guy who sold him the rolling lemon on wheels. “Oh there are just  few little things that need to be fixed. Now sign this bill of sale specifying “AS-IS”.

I should have known to avoid the car with the giant toilet installed in the middle of the front seat. Wow, Bagman, a toilet? What an awesome convenience!  Sure, that’s what I thought too, especially for highway driving. But no my guillable friend, it’s for flushing my  money straight to the exhaust where it vaporizes before my eyes but lets everyone else see what an idiot I am. This toilet-mobile offers an entirely new form of money disposal. Aside from a quick trip to Vegas, it is absolutely the fastest means of dispensing with your hard earned cash. Open the door, turn the key, insert money, flush, cry, get a ride home. Get car “fixed”, get a ride back, drive car home……for 1 day, flush, cry. Repeat process several times in the first 10 days of ownership. It’s like a reverse ATM, a MTA (money taking aggravation) that never gives back any money and is losing my interest very quickly..

I bought my cute little vampire expecting to spend a little money for new tires and a few smaller things, like I was told by the man laughing all the way to the bank. I knew it would also need a paint job and some other minor things down the road. Well, let me tell you that the road suddenly became an uphill, icy driveway (very short and difficult to maneuver). I have the only teal colored lemon ever invented and it loves to eat green straight from my wallet. It’s a lemon that eats salad covered with lemonade and in order to get the very last bit of juice, it does what any good lemon eater does. IT SUCKS!

I bought the car on 4/19/12. Today is 4/30/12. 11 days people. I didn’t drive it yesterday outAudrey II of fear it would be angry for being driven more than 10 minutes a day and stop again until I fed it. Remember The Little Shop Of Horrors and the blood sucking plant, Audrey 2? It made a car before it died and  now I own it. To date, I have paid for the the following repairs:

4/21/12 10:00AM: Enthusiastically, I entered the auto repair shop, later known as the vampire cave or fruit stand, if you prefer, since my lemon became quite comfortable there. “I need some new tires, and would you check the A/C and the power steering? I need to fix a few things to get this little Mustang going. Only paid $1450 for it. Really a deal to get me around town.”

“Really? We’ll fix that. I mean we will fix those issues for you Mr. Bagman  and we’ll give you a ride home and pick you up when it’s done this afternoon. We close at 7:00. How about an overall system inspection? It’s on sale for $ 14.99″.

Let me pause here to comment about the system inspection HARDY HAR HAR. Not worth a dime, much less the $14.99 it cost “on sale”. It was done first and did not account for most of the subsequent problems. I could have put on a blindfold and licked the engine and told you as much and saved that money for a meal somewhere. Now back to the fun.

4/21/12: 6:45PM I return enthusiastically. “We changed the tires and tested the A/C system. No leak and the compressor is good, (YAY!) but it needs a new switch. They brought the wrong one twice. Sorry. Can you bring it back tomorrow? It’ll be fast. We also replaced the serpentine belt since it was cracked”. $853.

4/22: “Hi guys, I’m here for that switch and that power steering pump is sure making a bad noise.”

“Oh yeah, didn’t we tell you yesterday it needed to be changed? Sorry, it does. Somebody should have told you yesterday so we could have fixed it then”.

“Yeah that would have been nice, especially since nobody called me at all about anything yesterday. I thought it needed to be changed since it sounds like an elephant moaning  when I turn the wheel, but what do I know?. Oh and can you change the spark plugs?. It’s running kind of rough.”

Later: “Well, they brought the wrong switch again so still no A/C and we didn’t use the $4.00 spark plugs you could have gotten from AutoZone if you were smart. It needed the $15.00 a piece platinum spark plugs, that Ford recommends for the FUSStangs, especially the teal lemons. Oh and by the way, we changed the pump and it still makes noise so you need a new rack and pinion. That’s why the steering is off. The power steering pump going bad messed that up too. We can do that later this week”. $500

4/23/12 “Hey Bagman! How’s the family?”

“Living on the streets now, since my car lives here and you have all my money. By the way,  the power steering pump you put on yesterday is worse than the one I had before. Please change it. For free.”

“Well, the rack should…”

“JUST CHANGE IT!”

They finally got the A/C switch in. 4th time’s a charm apparently.And they changed the pump for free. Wouldn’t you know the rebuilt pump was bad? Imagine that. Once everything was done it seemed to be driving better. The car was running smoothly, blowing cold air, and I could turn it without alerting the entire block I was coming. $203 (they took pity on me and took off the labor this time). Very nice for vampires. They knew I’d be back.

4/27/12: Drove 5 miles to get temporary tags. Went to Jack in the Box to recover from waiting in the tax office. Stalled in the clown’s parking lot. Jumbo Jack sure was tasty, though. Nice guy in a giant truck jumped the battery and the Fusstang Lemon leaped off the pavement with energy……..just enough to die in the middle of the highway……1 mile from my destination. After an $80.00 tow truck ride (for 1 mile. I am in the wrong business), we arrived at my friendly neighborhood automotive vampire cave/ fruit stand.

“Hey Bagman! Back again huh?” (snicker snicker, comments about lemons, wiping tears from eyes).

“It may need a battery but please test the alternator.”

“Oh it’s your lucky day. Alternator tested out fine. New battery. Should fix you right up.” $144

4/28/12: I prayed over my lemon toilet mobile and asked for protection over my wallet, which had begun to leap from my pocket every time we approached the vehicle. I then drove 80 miles round trip to get my younger son and return to Houston for an enjoyable morning.”ALLRIGHT! Problems behind me.”

NEVER say or think that if their is a toilet in your car. On the way to eat at the restaurant my son wanted to eat ever since I told him about it, the radio died. “HMMM, that’s odd”, then the car sputtered. “A memory stirs.. Ah yes, lemons in my mouth, wallet puckering, salty tears from my eyes”, and we coasted into the closest driveway, which happened to be the entrance to the most exclusive condos in town.

I called the auto vampire cave….”NOT HAPPY!”

“We’ll pay for the tow truck”.

Wasn’t long before the police came by to make sure we weren’t spreading  “Teal-osis”,  Lemon disease, Anthrax or something dreadful to the upper crust. My new friend the tow truck driver, now on my speed dial, showed up and I swear the first words he said were  “Man! Lemon with a capital L”. We arrived back at the vampire cave.

Picture a very red bag on my face with a major frown. “NOT HAPPY! ALTERNATOR! YOU SAID GOOD. NOW BAD. FIX IT!”

“The test yesterday was good but sure enough, today is bad. Sorry. Use my car while we fix yours” (really nice vampire fearing for his life) $288

Who would have known that the cost of teal lemons would double in today’s economy? In a week no less! I better learn to love this thing and it better develop some major sentimental value in a hurry. “You wanna buy it? HMMM. I just don’t see how I could part with it for less than $3500,  just to break even”. God forbid the engine goes. If so, I will be walking slowly everywhere I go. If you stop and give me a ride I will be most appreciative. I will be thirsty since it is nearly summer and it is brutal in Houston. “I’m sorry, what do you have to drink? Lemonade or tea with lemons? Oh. I guess you need to let me out. I’m allergic to lemons. They make my wallet bleed.”.

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