Ugly Volvo Wednesdays!

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

Chapter 48—The Only Two Things That Would Never Break…

It was my plan to continue driving my beautiful black car until someone came along to buy her. I figured with appropriate signage, my driving it would be added promotion. I was already used to keeping her shiny and clean, so as far as I was concerned, she was showroom shiny and ready to roll. Nils was concerned about further breakdowns. He figured that the more driving I did, the more I increased the odds of discovering yet another thing that was ready to break.

I argued, logically, that I had fixed everything that could possibly be fixed on the car. It was so repaired and rebuilt it was practically a new car. There were really only two things I had never had to fix: the transmission, and the power steering. I argued that transmissions rarely fail, and I had learned long ago (the hard way) how to baby the power steering in a car.

Nils was sceptical, but really couldn’t argue with anything more than superstition. It was true, I had fixed everything on that car—in some cases twice—and whomever bought this car would likely never have to repair a single thing. Nils pointed out that we had yet to sell this car, and while I knew he was right, I firmly believed in my dad’s ability to sell my car. Nils snorted when I expressed confidence in my dad’s salesmanship. He vaguely hinted that perhaps my dad’s real agenda was to undermine any possible sales of my car. Although Nils had a right to be concerned, I reminded him that my mom was on the case, and she would vigilantly guard against any of my dad’s shenanigans.

Once I decided to sell my car, I started to get very nostalgic. As I drove around, I would reminisce about her first wash, wax, tank of gas etc. By the time I got to where I was going, I was a teary, snotty mess. I was so caught up in my nostalgia that I failed to notice the subtle changes that were taking place in my cars acceleration and handling. I really should have known better and noticed sooner. After all, it wasn’t like I hadn’t already experienced all that could happen with a car—especially when it came to transmission, and power steering.

At first I dismissed these changes as Nils-instilled paranoia. However, the progression was so steady, even the most delusional could not dismiss it. There was a new symptom every week. I had promised Nils that as things arose, he would take the car to the garage. He was not as diligent as I would have been. Instead he just added a little power steering fluid here, and a little automatic transmission fluid there, and we just kept driving—until we didn’t.

In addition to spending our money on transmission and power steering oil, I also managed to find not one, but two nails to drive over. The guys at the tire shop were unable to repair both flats, so I decided to buy two new tires for my beautiful black car. I firmly believed my beautiful car was acting out against me for putting her up for sale. Nils just sighed and inquired if I had gone car shopping yet. Who was he kidding? Between planning our wedding, and tending to my car, I had no time to car shop. In fact, deep down, I wasn’t sure how I would handle all the inquiries that were soon to start pouring in for my car.

My dad had assured me he was running my advertisement in all the right magazines and newspapers. He was puzzled by the silence—genuinely puzzled. Times had changed for our beloved Swedish imports. Not everyone bought into the theory that they were unchanged despite the North American take-over. There was a scepticism brewing amongst even some of the most devout of enthusiasts. There was word out there that these lovely cars were more subject to mechanical failure than their predecessors of yore.

One day, over tea, Nils suggested that perhaps our listed price was too high. My dad made coffee spurt out of his nose, which I would have found funny if I had not been choking on my slice of Paeskdagen Broed at the time. Over priced? Really? Did he have any idea how prestigious a vehicle we were selling? Novice! We both took our turns explaining to Nils just what kind of car we were selling. Nils was surrounded by lunacy, and he had no where to run. If I ever doubted the depth of Nils’s love for me, that day offered me resounding evidence.

Nils, diplomatically suggested that we consider making some minor adjustments to the price if we don’t get any ‘nibbles’ by the end of the week. Nils pitched his suggestion as a “strategy”. This made my dad’s eyes light up. Strategy! Of course! We were both invited over to my folks later that evening so that my dad could trot out his chalk board and map out his strategy—our strategy.

My car, the nefarious black beauty, as it turns out, had her own strategy brewing. With all the chalkboards in the world, we could never had (sanely) anticipated the turn that events would take.

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