I knew as I handed off my keys that I wouldn't be seeing them for a while.
It's just one of those things with me and cars, once the keys leave my hand, the repair place decides that it needs a vehicle to run errands in, and it might as well be mine. At the place I used to go to get repairs done, before I found my Car Guy, I would drop off my car with a full tank of gas, wait three months, and pick it back up only to find my seat adjusted, my stereo pre-sets changed, filth on my steering wheel, and the problem just the way it was when I left it.
My Car Guy puts the seat back where it was when he found it. He also doesn't change my radio. Or, if he does, he puts it back the way it was before I see it again.
There was a bulge on my tire, and, unlike when I was in college, there is no Spanish Lab for me to skip in order to get it fixed. The bulge is, possibly, still there now.
Paul agreed to take my car to North Manchester's tire place, since he was on his way to that town. I said that was fine, so I left him a check with the business' name, the date, my signature...and no amount. With the great trust I placed in him, I could only hope that he would prove himself by getting the loud car noise to go away for good.
When I called Paul from work at 3:00 p.m., he said he was about to finish his work at school and stop by the tire place.
Taking a deep breath.
See, the car place takes walk-ins, but they squeeze them in between all the other appointments they have. So if they have a large number of walk-ins or appointments, you can't get your car fixed later in the day on the same day...you'd have to leave your car and pick it up the next day.
Another deep breath.
Then, April and I went to Walmart. We were having a program that evening, using the children's book Piggie Pie, which I have forgotten the plot of already. I wasn't sticking around for the program, so I decided to concentrate on Proust and not Piggie Pie.
We bought apple pie and then went for pumpkin, but there were no frozen pumpkin pies to be had. We asked the guy, he said he was out. So we went to the bakery--no pumpkin pie.
Apparently, there is some kind of pumpkin shortage. The bakery ladies announced to us that they were unable to obtain pumpkin, that they had searched their shelves to no avail.
April became upset. Pumpkin pie was integral to the puppet play. And now we had none.
But I used to work at Walmart.
Our small store used to have one person announcing something in one department while another contradicted that person on the other side. For example: We don't have luggage tags--or--We do have luggage tags. I was once told repeatedly that a product was in one section by one person and another section by another person only to find it in a third (unrelated) section of the store.
I know how Walmart works.
So I told April that I bet there was pumpkin in cans. She led us down the vegetable aisle, hoping to find canned pumpkin. There was none.
"Why are you looking here?" I asked.
"Well, we need pumpkin, then the baggie of pumpkin pie spices, then--"
"Why don't you get the can of pumpkin pie filling?" I asked.
Long story short, I ended my work day making four pumpkin pies. Also, wearing pumpkin pie all over the leg of my Doomed Work Pants, the ones that have already faced death by hot glue gun.
Then a co-worker told me to call my mom, since Mom had called me and then just announced that I should call her back instead of letting the call be transferred back to me.
At 5:15 before I left work, I called Mom.
Paul, apparently, had gone to the car place, found them booked solid, then left for home.
There was no appointment for the next day.
There was no attempt at an appointment for the next day.
Also, Mom wanted to go to Kokomo the next day, presumably either using my car or hers...and her car was having its own troubles.
See, her car was not happy just starting as it should. It wanted gas, to give it a little boost of happiness before it woke up ready to go. At first, this was only when it had sat in the garage overnight. Now it is all the time.
So I had a choice: take my car to work regardless of the potential flat tire and trying to fit in a repair visit, or being stranded when Mom's car failed to start. Not a good choice.
I ended up taking Mom's car, since I knew that I could always ask a friend or co-worker to help me jump it, but I doubted very much that a library full of women could change a tire in heels without getting angry at me. I could change the tire myself, but I would have rather not. Changing a tire isn't a fun way to spend time. This also gave Paul a second chance at getting it fixed, this time in Wabash, after which he would drop off my car and take Mom's to pick her up, then the two of them would buy a new battery and get it changed together on the way to Kokomo or in Kokomo.
This was a good plan.
But moments after arriving at work, I discovered from Paul that it was not in fact a tire problem...it was the front right wheel bearing, something I thought was wrong with the Honda before it died, except it turned out to be the muffler hanging down and disrupting its ability to turn. It is, naturally, more expensive than just the tire.
So this will result in my leaving the new car in the hands of the tire people, who will need it left for a certain unspecified period of time.
Time they might have already had--if Paul had called ahead and left it there yesterday.
I want another piece of pie.