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Charlie Hatton
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I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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The Dealership of the Beast

So, I finally gave in and took the car to the garage yesterday.

(I know, I know — I said I wouldn’t. But dammit, you try looking into those puppy dog headlights and saying, ‘no‘ to that car. It’s not possible. It’s not like she’s a fat ugly Hyundai or something.)

Actually, I took the car to the dealer. The eeeevil dealer. You know the kind; hell, maybe you’ve got a local eeeevil car dealer in your town, too. The kind that grin at you when you walk in, because they know they’re just about to stick. It. To. You. But. Good.

The only time we go to the dealer is when that annoying little ‘Service Engine Soon‘ light comes on. Anything else — a broken tail light, a dent in the fender, bees nesting in the glove compartment, that sort of thing — and we take our vehicular reaming at another garage, thank you very much. At least they buy you dinner before they bend you over and whip out the grease guns. Figuratively speaking, of course. About the dinner. Bah.

Anyway, this dealer garage dealie blows hippos. And every time that damned light comes on in the car, we’re out another few hundred bucks. Because it’s never something simple. Oh no — that would be too easy. A malfunctioning sensor, or an easy-to-get-at-and-replace valve — these sorts of issues are out of the question entirely. Sure, the grease monkeys mention the simple stuff when you call them up:

Oh, yeah, bring the car in. It’s usually just a shorted bulb, or a frayed wire. No problem.

Then you take them the car, and they call back and say:

Well, gee, we looked into it, and actually, it’s your transmission. Apparently, the car didn’t come with one, so we’ll have to build you a new one. From scratch. And we have to order the parts. From Romania. And it’s East Romania, so it’s going to be a little pricier.

Dildos. Actually, this trip involved three calls — count ’em: one, two three; backwards: three, two, one; now in Spanish: uno, dos, tres; and finally, in Roman: I, II, III — because the problem apparently kept getting worse, and worse, and worse, as the day went on. Me, I think the mechanic had money on a few ball games, and kept losing, so he upped the charges to pay off his bookie. But I’m cynical that way. Maybe I was just paying for his kid’s braces, or his grandma’s new lung. You never know.

At any rate, they found one problem — a ‘simple little thing‘, they said — and called about that. Then, when they ‘got in there‘, they found a couple more issues. And finally, when they tried ‘cleaning the pipes‘, one snapped or split or magically insta-rusted or something, so they had to install a new one. From scratch. And they had to order the part. You see? You see where this is heading? Douchebags.

(Actually, to be fair, they didn’t order the part from Romania, just New York. But it was East New York, so it was a little pricier. Le sigh.)

If that doesn’t convince you, here’s the best proof I’ve got that the garage is — say it with me now, kids — eeeevil. The total charge this trip? $666. That’s right — six hundred and sixty-six dollars. They should just call the place Beelzebub Motors, shove a flaming pitchfork up your ass when you bring your car in, and get it over with. At least there’d be no question then. Hell, I’m not looking for an honest garage; that’s crazy talk. I just want truth in advertising; is that too much to ask?

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2 Responses to “The Dealership of the Beast”

  1. #Debi says:

    Amazing. The last time I took a car to the dealership for the Service Engine light, they also quoted me $600 (not $666, but close). Then the manager came in and said that, by the way, they could give me $600 for the car in trade on a new one (that’s about how much the car was worth, truly). I said no thanks and took the car to a regular mechanic. He said it was a malfunctioning sensor, fixed it–$40. I drove that car for about 3 more years before selling it to someone else who may still be driving it. If my best friend wasn’t a service manager at a dealership, I’d say they’re all eeevil…

  2. zoot says:

    Charlie, no wonder it’s more expensive if it’s coming from East New York. You enter East New York (city), you have about a 3% chance of making it out alive.

    Hell, they make a business of STEALING car parts there. Never leave your car alone in that neighborhood. If you circle the neighborhood twice, the car you drive by 10 minutes before is stripped on your second pass.

    Chances are that part they ordered, was taken off some poor tourists vehicle who didn’t know any better.

    “Yo! Jimmy! We got an “order” for one of those pipes just come in on the cell!”

    “Where we gonna get one of ‘dose boss??”

    “Forgetaboutit! Go lift it offa dat asian boys Honda who parked two doors down!”

    “Got it boss!”

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