She was beginning to show her age. She had the odd liver spot here and there. She wasn’t as fast as she used to be. She would hiccup and burp from time to time, sometimes trailing smelly gaseous expulsions with no regard for where we were or how many people were behind us. The worst part though, was how she would choose to just lie down and take a nap right in the middle of an intersection or worse….when we were passing someone on the highway.
Our old GMC Yukon had seen better days.
It was clear to me that these signals I had been getting for the past year were not going to get any better. We were regulars at Herle’s auto repair. They did everything they could, but in the end that old car had just given up. It would fool us into believing that this time we had found whatever was causing so much trouble, but inevitably, just when the timing was terrible, it would stall.
Trips to town for groceries that used to take 1 hour now were taking 4 hours. Heat made the stalling worse, so I never left home during mid day. This seriously cramped my lunch and parts deliveries to the field. If my husband needed a part picked up, I would gently remind him that I could probably get that to him by next Wednesday if I left right away.
Desperate measures had to be taken. However, as hard as I tried, no one would steal my car. I left it at the Edmonton International Airport for 35 minutes with the windows down and the keys in it. This seemed like the perfect place to have your car stolen, but no luck.
I left it at various locations around our city with the windows down and the keys in it. Still nothing. I thought about leaving it running, but it wouldn’t stay running so that wasn’t an option. I needed to ‘sweeten the pot’ a little.
Opportunity knocked one sunny summer day last month when I fell in the lake while carrying my camera. It was a beautiful, (and apparently hilarious) move that involved me ‘walking with purpose’ onto a slippery dock. I slid and rolled and hit the water on one side of the dock while gracefully flinging my camera into the water on the other side of the dock. The camera didn’t recover. Don’t believe those people who tell you to put it in a bag of rice and everything will be fine. I used a big bag of rice, and I even added a little oatmeal and my camera is still broken. I don’t recommend trying the oatmeal move. That was a little lack of judgment on my part….I may have hit my head on the dock.
This broken camera gave me an idea. It’s a nice camera. People would like a camera like this. What if I leave my car unlocked, windows down, keys in the ignition…..with a nice camera on the dash!! Great idea!
I never did it. That just seemed too manipulating. To fool the would-be car thieves into stealing a camera that didn’t work and a get away car that would stall on them as soon as they tried accelerating just seemed cruel.
On an overcast and cloudy day, we decided to take our chances and drive the car to town to trade on something that ran. It seemed like the grown up thing to do. It only stalled 5 times on our way to the dealership. When my husband started muttering something about ‘maybe we’ll get lucky and hit a moose’. I knew we had left this just a little too long.
In the end, trading in our old Yukon was effortless. We met a nice salesman at the first dealership we came to who assured us that our old vehicle would go to a nice home that would strip it for parts and not sell it to some unsuspecting young family who would get left on the side of the road. We chose the first suitable vehicle with a running engine and headed home without stalling even once!
The moral of my story is this….car thieves take the summer off.
“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong”
– H.L. Mencken