Ugly Volvo Wednesdays!

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Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)

Chapter 21—Convalescent Car Shopping

I was car-less, and under doctor’s orders to rest. My studies were suspended until such time I was able to resume them. For someone who got hit by a dump truck, I survived miraculously well, and it was all thanks to the kind of car I was driving. All the emergency personnel at the scene said so—these cars, of all European imports—but particularly the Swedish ones, were by far considered the safest and most indestructible. I no longer needed my dad’s devotion as reason to believe in his favourite type of car, I had living, breathing, and walking proof that I need look no further in cars. Maybe it was the concussion, but all memories of the torment of repairs rapidly faded so far from consciousness that they seemed to belong to someone else entirely.

So, with my feet up, wrapped in a whiplash collar, I started to craft a plan to car shop. My mom encouraged me to consider all options, and my dad encouraged me to go with “my instincts”. He was holding back his enthusiasm in an effort to be gentle with me as I recovered. It was both painful and amusing to watch him and all his many facial contortions of restraint. He was just chomping at the bit to go car shopping.

We mutually agreed to start our planning with “strategizing”. My dad loved doing what he called “strategizing”. Thankfully, we decided to do so covertly. Covert Ops negated the use of his beloved blackboard. Instead, we had to talk and take copious notes. My dad’s network via his auto club proved futile. It was filled with a bunch of stubborn old farts who, in Viking tradition, planned to be buried in their car. The plan, then, was to scout out all the dealerships that deal with domestics and inquire after any of our beloved Swedish imports that might have been traded in for something new. Should those attempts become exhausted, then we will look to auto listings, and as a last resort, the actual dealership itself.

I was stuck at home convalescing, but no doctor’s orders prohibited me from making a few calls. In fact, I needed to make and take calls to address all the follow up paper work and details regarding my run in with the dump truck. The driver called in the accident, and then when he realized that neither I nor the by-standers were in any condition to recount events, he started to back-pedal on the details. This really protracted things. The police, keenly aware of the all the suspicious holes in the driver’s stories, launched a thorough investigation. They questioned me and took my statement, they investigated skid marks, car damage, and even my physician’s report on the injuries I sustained. One day, they showed up with a model of the intersection where the accident took place. They took out toy cars and asked me to re-enact the events leading up to and including the accident. It was all kinds of good Post-Traumatic-Stress fun.

In between convalescing, and waiting for the police to determine fault, I made a few calls. It was a task that required patience, confidence, tenacity, and a little bit of insanity. With each call, I was treated with the deference of one under the influence (and full out hallucinations thereof) of crack. Each sales person, calmly, with clear diction and patronization, assured me that they had no such car on their lots. I was not discouraged because I firmly believed that divine intervention would continue to exert its influence so that I would find the perfect car. On the third day, I found a lead.

Instead of the nervous, patronizing outright rejection, there was a pause. “Uhhhhh,” he broke into a whisper, “I have a friend who is selling his car, it is ten years old, but it has never experienced winter driving. If you are willing, I can take your contact info and have him call you.” Yes! I knew it! In a matter of minutes, I was talking to a guy whose dad was just like my dad—except this guy gave his dream car to his son in favour of an upgrade. It was warm, fuzzy, and just a little vindicating to know there are others out there like me, and with fathers like mine.

The car sounded like the car of my dreams. It was newer than the shiny blue car. It was smaller, and it had power windows and a sunroof. It was a beautiful shade of gold. There was only one aspect that made me leery: it was an automatic transmission. My dad kept up with the search for a standard transmission, but by this point in time I was getting pretty used to realizing divine intervention when I saw it.

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