Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick

Bad Car-ma.

Yesterday afternoon about 5 I was informed that I was going to go to south Denver (~60 mi) for a Wireless Telephone training course. Thanks. Didn't want to have a Saturday off anyway. Feh, weekends, who needs 'em?

So I decided to take the Z. Because it's been at least two months since I drove it and the battery is probably dead, dead, dead. As it turns out, it wasn't - it started up great. So I got on my way.

I drove an hour down to Boulder, picked up my cow-orker who I was giving a ride (he got to waste his Saturday too), and tried to start the car. Turn the key... "huummm..." Oh, shit. Try again: turn the key... "hhuummmmm..." Great.

The Z has eaten ANOTHER fucking ignition relay - the second in the four years I've had this thing, goddamnit.

Dear Nissan,

You are FUCKING INCOMPETENT. How hard is it to design a simple relay so it lasts more than two years? Eh? That too much for you, dipshits??

I want the head of the design engineer who spec'd this part. Or, at the very least, I want you to fly him out to my house at your own expense, so I can KICK HIM SQUAW IN THE NUTS, and then HEAR HIM SCREAM, LIKE NANCY KERRIGAN!!!<Cartman>

The whole rest of the engine, battery, starter, everything else is GREAT. It's just one stupid-ass $2 relay in the driver's side wheel well that needs to be replaced. I know the signs exactly, because this is NOT THE FIRST TIME.

So my cow-orker push-started us, and down to Denver we went. Before we left, I checked the driver's side front tire because I was worried it might have a slow leak. It was fine, though.

So we bopped off down to Denver. About an hour later, one exit before the one we get off at, the steering wheel starts to drag pretty good to the left. Uh-oh... I pull into the parking lot just in time to get out and see the last of the air leaking out of the completely shredded tire. Great. I'm stuck in South Denver 60 miles from home, my car's got a completely shredded tire, and I'm 5 minutes late for a district meeting. It's only 9am - the day has barely started!

So the meeting was actually surprisingly decent. I learned a lot, and they fed us, which always puts me in a good mood. But it was 2pm before we were done. We were supposed to be back in Boulder by 3. Yeah, right. Even on a good day, traffic conditions make that very hard. With me behind the wheel of the Z, on a weekend day, it's just barely possible. If you have all four tires...

Got back out to the car, took the 40 lb (each) maintenance ramps out of the trunk, uncovered the spare, cracked the lug nuts off with the 1' long mini-wrench in the trunk, jacked it up (skinning my knuckles on the ground in the process because of the cheap-ass space saving jack in the trunk), put the pitiful little donut spare on, blew it up with the 12v air pump I keep in the car, looked at my completely soiled and blackened clothing, sighed, and we went in search of a tire place...

At this point I must digress and give you some background. "The Z" is my pride and joy, a Nissan 300ZX twin-turbo, 300 horsepower, penis-compensation sportscar. It's also all black. With a completely black leather interior. And as luck would have it, we had a resurgance of Indian Summer today, with a peak temperature of 87 degrees. (Halfway through October and it's 87 degrees out. Next week we'll probably get a foot of snow. Welcome to Colorado - if you don't like the weather, just wait around for about 15 minutes...)

Imagine yourself in the middle of a big city, in a traffic jam, inside a completely black w/black leather interior sports car, you're in long sleeve and long pants business attire, it's 3pm and almost 90 degrees on an Indian Summer day, and not able to drive faster than 45 MPH because you have a donut spare on your front axle...

Now imagine you don't know the layout of the city, and are more or less flying blind trying to get to a tire place that you've never even heard of, and have only vague, prose directions to.

Now imagine you finally find the tire place, and they don't have the right size of tire you need fitted to the rim, not do any of their other branches... except the one in Ft. Collins, 100 miles north.


Great. My cow-orker push-starts the car again (yes! the goddamn Ignition Relay is still FUCKED IN THE ASS!!) and we bop off in search of ANOTHER tire place that hopefully has a larger selection.

The next one, thankfully, has something close enough. (The car technically takes a 225/45/R16 on the front wheels. All they had was a 225/50/R16 - luckily for us, that's close enough.)

The new tire cost $85, and $6 to mount it. Now, I don't have an extra $25 this month. Much less an extra hundred dollars to blow on a cheap-ass tire that I'm just going to throw away when I get decent tires for the Z again. But fuck, how else are we going to get home? Onto the Visa card it goes. (Isn't unrepayable credit card debt wonderful??)

Finally, another hour of traffic jams, we get home. Just in time for me to clock in for 45 minutes, which, at the princely rate of five twenty-five an hour, means that I will have made $3.91 today.

And to top it all off...


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