For those of us who choose the path of car ownership rather than the universe of leasing, there is that moment in time when a determination must be made if too much is enough. When the mathematics of caressing a vehicle makes little sense and we bid adieu to an aged companion. Such was the dilemma recently before me.
The vehicle was undriveable. As I sat in stunned silence, my first call was to the mechanic, advising him of the car's sorry state of affairs and making arrangements, if the car was not totaled, for him to undertake its resurrection. By the way, I mentioned, if it was not too late, could he back out the $1800 in charges on my card since I had received scant benefit from his undertaking. I could barely make out his response in my semi-coherent state, but I am quite certain that he did not tell me to peruse my next statement for credits.
I should end my story there, but for the sake of full disclosure there is a bit more to my tale of woe. Immediately upon arriving home, the insurance carrier was contacted. I provided chapter and verse of what had transpired (I could only guess that, much like "The Affair", my version of events would have a very different flavor from that of my "attacker") and was informed that the carrier would have the car moved from the lot to which it had been towed, to another lot of the carrier's choosing. There, the post-mortem would be undertaken.
Frazzled and more than a bit harried, I was driven by my wife to my office in my mother-in law's car, after we first dropped my mother-in law at her physical rehab appointment. Before I even arrived at work, there was a call from the carrier. It seemed the lot to which the car had been towed was refusing to release its possession without a signed release from the police. The form for this, the carrier was told, had to be obtained at the police department.
My wife called the local constables and explained our recent circumstances. Yes, she was told, the form had to be filled out. No, it could not be faxed or emailed. Yes, I had to appear at the police station to pick up the form if I was the registered owner of the vehicle.
So, we left the office, returned to our apartment, picked up the requisite papers, and arrived at the offices of the police. I spoke to the person in apparent charge. "What", he asked me, "are you talking about? There is no form needed. This was not a police tow, but a private tow." With that, the lieutenant picked up the phone, called the lot where the car was stored, and advised that I was now able to pick up my vehicle.
I suggested to him that it was my belief there was some kind of scam going on. I announced that the lot was reluctant to release the car as it would be receiving storage fees the longer it kept my car in its clutches. My comment was not met with understanding but with more than a bit of indignation.
Approximately four hours after I arrived at the intersection of going home to pick up my wife and no you aren't, I appeared at my office, ready to start my work day. As I sat there I thought my Volvo actually deserved a name for what it had put me through. However, because I am a gentleman and do not want to offend my suddenly all too human transportation device, I will leave its moniker to your imagination. All I can tell you is that its not pretty.