Friday, November 17, 2006

There was this little old guy in Paterson, NJ

Who was the bespoke provider of rattletraps to the Charm family. You would go to his lot, someone would see you nosing around, and soon the old guy would drop by. He always had one or two which were acceptable.

His Sales pitch consisted of two sentences: "Runs good. What more do you need?"

Actually, they did run good. Until they died of old age and went to car heaven. Then we dropped by the old guy's place and bought a new one. When my Geo Prizm was sliced and diced by a Lexus, I abandoned the corpse and went straight to the old guy's place, where I picked up something bigger than a breadbox.

So we are looking for a new (used) car in Delaware. Trouble is that Delaware is so small, we have to borrow car ads from Pennsylvania. I don't want to go there. I know, I know, it's only a mile or so away, but it requires a mind-shift I'm not yet ready for.

Well, yesterday my steering cut out in front of the Acme on Naaman's Rd--a dangerous spot. So I called 911, but I got Delaware County, PA. The operator switched me to the Delaware State Police and I described the situation. Then I decided to call AAA. I got the inevitable voice mail, which offered me choices in NJ, NY or Long Island. But I'm not in any of those places. I finally got connected to someone, who eventually terminated the conversation without helping any. Rinse and repeat. So I called the Delaware State Police again and shrieked at their dispatcher. 40 minutes had by now elapsed, and of course I had to go to the bathroom. But I couldn't get out of the car.

Finally, a cop appeared who was just a few years older than the car. Very nice and polite. Did not ask me for my driver's license and registration. Aren't they supposed to do that? They do in NJ. I told him I had called Triple A and he offered to call them himself. That did the trick. A tow truck rolled up in 20 minutes. The driver drove me to two different repair shops, neither of which could take me until maybe next week. Meanwhile, I intuited that something costly was wrong from the solemn handwringing and headshaking.

So now I'm tearing my hair out, looking for the ideal little old Delaware guy who sells cars that run good. Please, has anyone out there a clue to his whereabouts?

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