Sunday, September 04, 2005


Yesterday after I blogged in the morning, I was going to take the car down to Pep Boys to be looked at - the freeze plug had fallen out on Wednesday - and then walk back home. (Pep Boys is just over a mile away from where we live)

Saren woke up before I left and asked to go with me. I said, "sure", and we both left around 8:00.
Got to Pep Boys, dropped off the car, and started walking back. We decided to stop at 7-eleven in order to buy some water (since it was so early in the morning, it was only nearing the upper 80s). Our next stop was to be the Winchell's Donut Shop along the way, to surprise Harper and Steph with.

We had to cross the street to get there, so we pushed the crosswalk button and waited. A man and a woman next to us did not. The green arrow for the cars to turn had lit up, so cars were turning onto the street we'd be walking on, but the sign indicating that it was safe to walk hadn't come on yet. Now, I've been guilty in the past of doing what this guy and girl did. But I usually would stop in the middle and wait for the "Walk" sign. They decided to cross anyway. (I guess they assumed that the cars would stop for them, despite them not legally having the right of way....and I think some of you may see where this is going.)
A red car did stop for them. The car behind that one didn't. And...smash! Right into the back of the red car.

Then! The car that had just hit the one that had stopped - took off!! I looked, and saw that it had California plates, but I didn't catch any of the actual plate number. I whipped out my instrument of the devil (um...cell phone) and dialed 911. (After a few seconds of it not ringing, I remembered to push "send" [see? Devil tools!!])
Anyway, the red car had very little damage at all. In fact, it was just a flesh wound. (heh) No, it had a small scratch. And all the passengers claimed they were alright. But the grey car just kept on driving down the road.
The passengers claimed they had gotten the license plate, and I handed my cell phone to the driver of the red car so he could talk to the 911 operator.
As they were talking, he said, "They're not getting a return on the license plate."

At that point, a guy in a jeep drove around and handed them a sheet of paper with the guy's license plate on it and informed us that
a) the guy lives right up the road
b) his hood had flown up while he was driving (indicating that he had a lot more damage to his car than the red car sustained)

At some point, the driver asked 911 to call him back on his devil tool and he handed mine back to me. They talked for a while, and Saren and I stayed there to make sure they were all okay and whatnot.
After he hung up, I asked them if they wanted us to stick around for when the police came so we could file a 'witness report' or anything. He told us that the police weren't going to come, because the license plate they gave them didn't turn anything up in their computers. (Um. Okay. I'd think that might be MORE incentive to show up, but maybe not.)
So, the four people in the red car decided they were going to drive down the road and see if they could find the guy that had hit him. We wished them luck, gave them our phone number in case they needed to contact us, and then we went and bought donuts.


Pep Boys called me around 2:45.

According to the guy on the phone, we were looking at about 300 dollars to take out the intake manifold and replace the freeze plug.
However, there was another problem. (Oh?)
While the car was up on the lift, the mechanic banged the door on the rail. Could you come down and take a look at it to decide if we need to file a claim...

Saren and Harper both came with me this time. And, since it was so late in the afternoon, it was, of course, ungodly hot.

But. To cut this story short, here's the deal. Yes, the car door now has a bit of damage to it. But it still opens and closes, and it's really just minimal damage. The Pep Boys manager offered that instead of me filing a claim - which would result in perhaps suspending the mechanic that damaged the car, plus filling out a lot of paperwork and just a huge headache for more or less everyone - that they do the freeze plug work for no charge and call it even.
I had to act like I wasn't sure if I wanted to go that route, because, dude. That sounds like one of the best deals EVER.
Eventually I agreed to that, and then he said, "Well, here's the bad news. The part we need has to be special ordered from Toyota, and it won't be here til Tuesday."
So. Long story short, we have no car until Tuesday, most likely after work, so let's call it Wednesday. But it's getting fixed for free, so it all balances.


Amy said...

Dude. Aside from the heat and the car crash directly in front of you, that sounds pretty sweet.

Min said...

When the transmission went out in our truck (costing us thousands of dollars), the shop managed to knock one of our sideview mirrors off. They didn't make us any deals, but instead paid to fix it. (We couldn't have made a deal anyway since we need the mirror.)

But what is UP with shops busting up the vehicles they are supposed to fix?! At least it worked out well for you this time.

And those pedestrians walking across the street when there were cars coming? Jeez!

Amanda said...

In Iowa City, no pedestrians pay attention to walk/don't walk signs. If traffic's even the least bit clear, they walk. It's a lot like playing Frogger. I severely dislike pedestrians, but only when I'm not the one doing the walking.