January 31, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...Not For Me, Anyhow

Before I tell you my tale of my good deed for the week, let me tell you about a visitor I had at my door early Thursday morning. I was still in bed, thinking about getting up, when The Boy said that there was a policeman at the door, wanting to talk to me.

Yep, a policeman. Apparently, my car matched the description on the gas station videotape - someone drove off without paying for gas. At the same station I frequented this week. And did I keep the receipt of my debit card transaction?

That would be a big NO. But I logged into online banking and showed him that I paid for my gas.

The officer said that it looked like a male pumped the gas on the videotape - and then The Mister came down the hallway. I suppose The Mister didn't look like the person on the video (and The Boy said that The Mister NEVER drives my car, because it has a bra on it - it's a girl's car). The nice officer said that he would go back to the store and review the tape one more time, and call me back.

The officer called back and said that he had made a mistake, and apologized for the rude awakening. Not only did he have the wrong car, the wrong person - he also had the wrong address.

He told me that I had a free pass to cuss him out. I didn't take him up on his offer. I figure he owes me.

Grandma's Chauffeur Service

On Saturday, I got a call from Ruth, my stepdaughter. She needed me to take Nate and Eli to a birthday party. 

We got about four inches of snow in our neck o' the woods. Remind me why I insisted on wearing Crocs (sans socks) in this weather.  But I digress...

Anyway, I picked up a card and gift card for the birthday boy before I picked up the kids.

The party was in the big city of St. Louis...where I rarely drive. Thank God for the GPS.

The boys were ready to get in the car, and we set off.

A few minutes before we reached our destination, I heard a distinct "pop" from under the hood. Then I smelled the unmistakable odor of antifreeze. Clouds of noxious steam billowed out from under the hood, and traveled up the windshield at every traffic light and stop sign.

The kids kept asking me what the smell was, and I tried to reassure them that I could get the car fixed after I dropped them off. But inside, I was imagining shady auto repair shops whose mechanics would see my neighboring (rural) county address and figure it was time to clean out my checking account on repairs.

The kids safely delivered, I instructed the GPS to take me back home. As I drove through the city neighborhood, I looked for repair shops - but the few I saw were closed.

I flipped the coin inside my head, and decided to attempt to make the nearly 30 mile trip homeward. I figured if the steam billowed only when I came to a stop, that the leak must not be major - and if worse came to worst, there were a few Wal-Marts along the way that had repair departments that would be open for business.

Emboldened once I reached the interstate, I continued home. I arrived at our local repair shop (a dinky little place) and asked if I could get my car checked out. By this time, it was after 1pm; they closed at 3. The owner said that they were booked up, but that there might be an opening at 2. I drove home, spewing steam and stink, and awaited the phone call.

The call came, and, inhaling antifreeze fumes, and garnering stares from other folks, I drove to the shop.

Dennis, the mechanic and our neighbor (and their sole shop employee for the day), drove the car into the shop at 2:17 (I was watching the clock). I called his significant other, Marcia, to ask for a ride home. I figured if he couldn't fix the car by 3pm, then it would have to wait until Monday.

Marcia called within a half hour or so, and said she'd give me a ride back to the shop - that the car was ready. Are you keeping track of the time here? Less than an hour. Sweet, huh?

The car had a busted heater hose - that was the reason the antifreeze was leaking and steaming and stinking.

Here's what I spent on the day's adventure:

Gasoline (approx. 3 gals @ $3.28)         $  9.84
Cheap Wal-Mart birthday card:                 .44
Wal-Mart gift card:                               20.00
Repair shop:                                        94.52 (about $74.00 for LABOR)

Total for one good deed?                    $124.80

Getting home safely? PRICELESS
There was no charge for the streak of Dennis' blood left on the fender. 

The Boy used snow to clean the blood off the fender, lest the local constabulary think that I was involved in a hit and run accident. I didn't want to push my luck, and use up my free pass so soon.


  1. Oh my land. At least you made it home ok?! It was an expensive trip for you though!

  2. A rude awakening indeed!! Yikes. Glad u made it home ok, too!

  3. Police, birthday, car repairs, blood and snow. I think you could write a novel with all that material.

  4. Good thing you made it home ok. And hey what do you think that free pass to cuss out a cop is worth? And is it only good in MO? haha

  5. What a day! I'm glad you made it home safely.

  6. That is one expensive good deed. I suggest not doing them anymore.

  7. Some days are like that. Some more than others.

  8. Ha! That's just great....we had a similar something happen where the cops didn't come to us first, the visited with all of our friends asking questions about us....then they happened to ask what type of vehicles we drove and that's when they discovered that our vehicles didn't match the videotaped getaway vehicle....oops.


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