This afternoon my car broke down…twice. I had only yesterday been singing the praises of my little ’97 Civic. How reliable and trouble free it had been. Why would I want to buy a new car???
This afternoon in 32 degree temperatures I came out of a meeting in Brampton at rush hour to find that it simply wouldn’t start. So I called th CAA, who came out and immediately decided that the battery was dead because I left my lights on (even though I was almost certain that I didn’t). So they jump started it, and off I went.
The second time it stopped was 45 minutes later, doing 120km per hour on the 403 (major motor way between Burlington and Hamilton), in rush hour traffic in the fast line. Oh Poo.
Within minutes an enormous tow-truck with an enormous driver (think Jabba the Hutt meets ZZ Top) had pulled up and offered me a tow. Just at that moment I was on the phone to the CAA (for the second time in two hours) who politely informed me that said gentleman was something called a “chaser” and that I should tell him to go away because he was just after my money – then continued to take my details. Easy for them to say on the other end of the telephone – they weren’t standing next to the guy.
So to add to the general confusion whilst I was still on the telephone repeating everything I had told the CAA people not 120 minutes before, the police turned up and told me that I couldn’t stay there and wait for the CAA because I was blocking the road, and that I should go with the big tow truck guy. “Yikes” I thought, “you mean with HIM??” They assured me that he had been in the business for 18 years and they knew him very well.
During these conversations people were driving past and beeping at me….WHY? Do they think that I had pulled over on a whim? Because I had a hang nail and I need to find a nail file?? What did they think I was doing there?
Anyway, I decided to cut my losses and go with the big tow truck guy. Once he had efficiently loaded my car on to the back of his truck, he opened the door to the front cabin for me to get in and muttered something about how he was sorry about the mess but his Dad had just died. Callous as it sounds, all I could think was “He’s not in here is he?”.
Anyway, Robert, the tow truck driver, turned out to be an absolute sweetheart. We had a good chat on the way to the mechanics shop in Burlington and he was an absolute gentleman. He informed me, that, although he does weigh 300lbs, he doesn’t drink alcohol, coffee, or smoke, has three kids, a house with a pool in Port Dover and had been in the towing business for 18 years. He showed me where he kept his wedding ring whilst he was working, so I didn’t think he was a slime ball, and told me all about how he travels round the country and helps out with the stunt cars in the movies they film in Ontario. A diamond in the rough.
We negotiated with the local mechanic to fix my car and, $800 later, it’s all sorted out. Something to do with an alternator and the battery. I could do without the $800 invoice, but, like Rob says, it’s cheaper than a new car. One more strike though and the Civic is history…..