Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Luck…She’s An Elusive Mistress

I have never been one to think of myself as a ‘lucky’ individual. Especially when I have an aunt who wins a couple thousand dollars every time she goes to the local Indian casino or when you consider that fact that I fall down or knock into things a lot. That all changed yesterday though.

I was at the gas station filling up and minding my own business after visiting a client when a fellow gaser-upper approached me and said ‘nice truck.’ Since he owns the same color Chevy Colorado that I do, I complimented him. As we got to talking, I mentioned that almost on queue my cruise control and Lucy’s window both stopped working around the 40,000-mile mark. He said the cruise control thing happened to him and that it was a recall. He advised me that it probably also meant my brake lights weren’t working and I should get to the Chevy dealer immediately. I laughed it off, wished him a good day and then prepared to drive the 50 miles or so back to the office.

To say I was a little paranoid was an understatement. There aren’t many ways to check your brakes when you are alone. Before I left the gas station, I got a Diet Mountain Dew, but that’s inconsequential. The other thing I did was stand outside the truck and press on the brake pedal to see the tail light but as I would stretch to see towards the back of the truck, my foot would come off the pedal. I tried this obviously futile exercise 10 or 15 times (I’m a slow learner) and then gave up. I figured that since my cruise control had not worked since July and I hadn’t had an accident yet, maybe my brakes were working just fine. So, I commenced to drive to work. Every time I passed a big rig I would check to see if it had a shiny chrome grill up front. If it did, I’d signal, get it front of it and tap my brakes. Here’s a tip for you: while this is not a good way to see your brake lights because the grill doesn’t reflect well enough to show your vehicle, it is a good way to tick off truckers. You do not want to tick off truckers. Maybe if they could hear that I was playing the music from Smokey and the Bandit it would have helped, but they couldn’t hear it. This may have had more to do with the fact that they were yelling at me than the noise of their diesel engines did.

Eventually I gave up this method of testing my brake lights and just decided I would leave lots of room between myself and the motorists behind me for the rest of my drive. When I got to my work’s parking lot, I parked with the hind end of my truck facing some shop windows and tapped on my brakes. My brake lights were not illuminated and this is the part where I get to call myself lucky. Apparently, I had been driving around (and I do a lot of driving – maybe not as much as Tiger Woods, but a lot. OK, no more bad golf jokes) without brake lights since mid-July when my cruise control went out.

It was as if the stranger from the gas station was a messenger from above who was trying to get me to get my cruise control fixed. I guess it makes sense now that when I turned around after fueling that he was gone, there was no trace of him and I never saw him drive away. Spooky, huh? Ok, I made that last part up for effect. Did it work? I kinda thought so. Seriously, to not have caused an accident in the last 3 months while driving with no brake lights is phenomenal. Although it now explains the several times where I would slow down on the freeway sending all the drivers in the lane behind me slamming on their brakes while swerving towards the shoulder. See, I thought it was just because I had become a bad driver in the last few months. Phew, what a relief that’s not the case. Although perhaps the singing and choreography that has become part of my daily driving should be curtailed just a little for now.

So, I did what the Chevy Colorado mystery angel instructed me to do. I went to the Chevy dealer and told them that I thought there was a recall for my situation. He said that was indeed the case and that I would have my truck back within a few hours. Later in the day I picked my truck up, had Partner In Crime verify that my brakes were working and headed back towards the office. There was a slight problem though. The cruise control was not working. I immediately called the dealership back. The conversation over the phone went like this:

Me: Yeah, I was just in there to get the recall fixed and my brake lights are working but my cruise control is not. This is a problem because you said you knew what the problem was and I really, really like to cruise and it makes me feel good when I am in control of my cruising.

Dealer dude: Ha. Really, it’s not working? You’re kidding…

Me: Nope.

Dealer dude: Did you turn the switch on?

Me: Yeah, that was the first thing I did.

Dealer dude: Wow. Go figure. That should’ve worked. Well just bring it back sometime and we’ll look at it. Now I should tell you that it’s probably not related to the recall and it won’t be free…

And…there goes my good luck. There was also a traffic jam trying to get back to the office because someone drove into the stop light pole, I realized I was overcharged for my oil change while the truck was getting the cruise control fixed looked at and work called to say that there was a problem and I had to hurry back to the office. Oh yeah, while I was gone someone wrote on my magnetic Office notepad featuring Dwight that I put up just outside my cubicle. Yeah, I realize that’s what notepads are for, but this one was just for looks. While I did not put up a disclaimer saying that, I figured everyone would understand it was implied.

I think I liked my luck better when there was the chance of someone slamming into me from behind (TWSS). Does anyone know how to make my brake lights not work again?


best bud's wife said...

I hate to say it, but that's what you get for buying a Chevy! ;-)

best bud's wife's sister said...

I was totally thinking the same thing, sis! I have the name of a great lemon law attorney in San Diego who I had to make use of earlier in the year. :p And, yeah, type my name if you want until I come up with a shorter moniker. :) Great blog, btw. I'm glad BBW sent me this way!

best bud's wife's sister said...

I was totally thinking the same thing, sis! I have the name of a great lemon law attorney in San Diego who I had to make use of earlier in the year. :p And, yeah, type my name if you want until I come up with a shorter moniker. :) Great blog, btw. I'm glad BBW sent me this way!

Open Grove Claudia said...

I go straight from David Banner to Hulk with questions like "did you turn the switch on". It's not a pretty sight and I keep ripping all my shirts and pants. But hey, for one moment in time, I'm HUGE!

You are a better person than I am Michael. That's all there is to it.

(We use an independent guy who says, "dude" and "cool" and "don't buy one of those fucking cars" stuff like that.)

Candace said...

While it's really awesome that you haven't been rammed in the rear (by a Probe or anything else) the whole cruise thing is total suckitivity. I suggest contacting Chevy directly and telling them that you're going to keep blogginag about their suckass vehicles until they make things right.


Tink said...

The best way I know to make the brake lights not work is to take the bulb out. (G)

And while I cannot say anything bad about Chevy's (Pan owns a Chevy Cavalier); I prefer my Ford F150.

Now I'm going to see if I can actually comment on the post below. No, not your fault, I just kept getting interupted yesterday.

armalicious said...

Ugh. Car crap. Luck doesn't even belong in the same sentence as "car" and "dealership". I swear - I would rather go along not knowing I was having problems than take it in and then find a whole slew of other problems that aren't covered.

I have had too many car issues this year that I can't even begin to be helpful to this post, so I shall stop now.

Patti said...

I'd say you were lucky to meet that mystery angel there at the gas station.

Sorry to hear someone dirtied your new Office magnetic notepad, when anyone with half a brain could see it was just for decoration.

Ralph said...

Can you really get away with leaving lots of room between you and fellow motorists on the 91 freeway or in So Cal anywhere?

And to think that I thought driving my Ford E-150 was bad because as you know, the acronym for Ford usually means:
Hasn’t really yet. The cruse still works at 130K, although there is a recall for the CC, that might catch on fire. Can’t wait to visit my local dealer and go thru the same diagnostic Q&A...

Odat said...

OMG I think that must have been the parallel universe "you" that you ran into at the gas station!

If I had broken brake lights here in NYC I'd be stopped before I could say TWSS and ticketed.


Wondering Woman said...

Don't feel bad that you have a Chevy.... I have a VW and I just got a recall notice for the same thing. On my recall it says the brakes and cruise control are connected on the same switch that has to be replaced. Have we fallen in the automobile twilight zone? Is there a way out?

CS said...

Well, on balance it still seems lucky, since you've not been in a wreck. But that's not right of them to not fix the cruise free. I'm not a big fan of American cars.

meleah rebeccah said...

you are lucky .. no ticket for no brake lights, and um, you are like still alive an all.

The "slow learner" part and the bad golf jokes were awesome

kat said...

You are NEVER - I repeat NEVER - to cease singing and choreography while driving. Driving was not designed to be done by simply sitting alone. Why do you think there is a radio? And a mirror from which to hang a disco ball?????

FRIGGA said...

Use a bat. :-0