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Friday, June 17, 2005

Three-Hundred Dollars

What $300 will buy you, in a twenty-four hour period:

1. A new ignition cylinder--

Mrs. B can't start my car. Not that she would normally want to. She drives the PTmobile, which is a fancy conversion van that just about fits the whole clan in. What I save in airfare I now make up for in car payments. But after being up there in the stratosphere while she drives on the highway, she finds it difficult to get comfortable in a sedan that is so close to the ground. I prefer to think of it as a "sports-car suspension", but basically it's just a short, small car. And now it's old enough that the key doesn't always work. I can get it to start, but I sometimes have to work at it. She can't get the key to work at all. What is it about dysfunctional locks that brings out the old men in people? Even women? It's like the opening scene of The Sunshine Boys: "Don't push it! Slide it. Call the Spanish kid." Or Seinfeld: (Just replace Morty with PT and Jack with Mrs. B)

JACK: There is something wrong with the key. The key doesn't work!
MORTY: You gotta jiggle it a little bit.
JACK: I jiggled it. I jiggled it for fifteen minutes.

She even left it at the coffee shop because she couldn't get it started. I had to walk over and get it. So I figured now is the time to get it fixed, while I'm away on vacation anyway. They can change the oil and whatever else they do at the dealership. Estimated cost: $300.

2. Reupholstered kitchen chairs--

We have these faux-leather kitchen chairs which are very comfortable and recline and swivel and are great for long Shabbos meals. But after years of use, the upholstery has split and now the stuffing is threatening to escape. We had them reupholstered a few years ago, with good results, and it was cheaper than buying new chairs. However, it was not permanent, because they look like drek again. And they're way beyond the help of anything you could get from a late-night TV commercial. So today they picked up the chairs. Cost: $300.

3. A bathroom faucet--

Mrs. B informs me that the upstairs bathroom sink has been leaking for some time. I haven't noticed (for many reasons, but mainly) because she has a pan underneath it that she empties every day. And now that we're going away, there'll be no one to empty the pan. I told her to fix it herself, because apparently she's very good with home repairs, but then I figured we'd just have to call a plumber on the weekend when we find out that something went wrong. So, anyway, the plumber's heading over to Lowe's to pick up a new fixture, so could we please have $300 ready for him?

6 comments:

GregoryT said...

Wow, that's a lot of money. Can't believe they charge that much for the ignition cylinder - replaced it on my saturn myself - it was about 1 hr of my own labor plus ~$50 in parts.

Mrs. Balabusta said...

That sounds great!

What time can you make it?

But seriously folks, the PT neglected to mention that his brakes hum in B flat when he uses them. I think they might need a touch of the mechanic as well.

I don't repair cars anymore- maybe one day I will blog on the last time I did that.

Famous last words, what did we need that for anyway?

Doctor Bean said...

AMS: You adjust satellite dishes and you used to fix cars? Very impressive!

ball-and-chain said...

It's a good thing you're a highly paid physician.

tuesdaywishes said...

As AMS's secret sibling, I fix plumbing and do basic carpentry, but I won't TOUCH electrical repairs. I also don't do anything more sophisticated to cars than installing new windshield wipers. But she always did have more guts than I do.

PsychoToddler said...

BAC (aka Ted): Ha!

Tuesday: Between the two of you, I could theoretically save a lot of money. It's too bad my level of handiness is limited to changing lightbulbs (and sometimes AMS has to help me with that).