I Paid Too Damn Much For That CarCommentary • ISSUE 33•08 • Mar 4, 1998 By Jim Anchower – The Cruise Hola, amigos. What's the scoop? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I got more than my share of shit going on. First off, I got canned from my security job at the warehouse. What happened, you ask? Well, I was getting sick and tired of going in and sitting on my ass all night without a thing to do. So, I figured, since nothing suspicious ever goes on at the warehouse, I could just as easily guard the place from my house, where at least I got TV and some tasty beers. I had it all worked out: I'd punch in, wait half an hour, then go home and take a load off. You know, have a cold Miller Genuine Draft, watch some TV, catch some Zs, and get back to the place half an hour before everyone comes in. Man, it was smooth! Only problem was, the first time I tried out the plan last week, I forgot to set my alarm. I woke up and realized I was two hours late, so I hauled ass to get back, thinking up a killer story that would cover my ass on the way. When I got there, though, they just sacked me on the spot. I didn't even have a chance to tell them that my mom had to be taken to the hospital. Buncha assholes! Plus, they told me that someone stole five boxes of nails while I was gone, and that it was going to come out of my last paycheck. Man, was I pissed! Not only did I have to go out scrounging for another job, but they got me for the nails I swiped for Ron! "Aw, no one's gonna miss 'em," Ron assured me. I don't even know what the hell he needed those nails for. You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now about trusting Ron. As if all this work shit weren't enough, last Saturday, my car had some brake problems which resulted in me driving it into a ditch. Now, that could have landed me in a bit of trouble with the pigs, 'cause I had a beer on me at the time. It's not like I was intoxicated, though. Remember, Jim Anchower knows when to say when! But those pigs, man, they'd like nothing better than to see me behind bars for driving with a beer. I wasn't about to give 'em the satisfaction, though: I've got this buddy whose dad has a tow truck, so I managed to pull it out of the ditch without having to call anyone of the cop persuasion. I tell ya, that car's been nothing but trouble from the word go. In the three months I've had it, the clutch has burned out, the brakes have gone soft, the seat cover has gotten torn, the tires have gone to shit, and the tape deck has eaten three of my best Speedwagon bootlegs. It's not like I'm unaccustomed to a bit of vehicular difficulty every now and then, but this is too much. I paid too damn much for that car! I remember when I got that car. I saw an ad in the paper that was too good to be true. That should have been my first warning, hombres! Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! You young people may not believe that now, but put on a few years, and you will see the wisdom in my words. Anyway, the ad was for an '82 Ford Escort wagon for $100. Well, I was suspicious, but it couldn't hurt to call. When I called on a Tuesday afternoon, some guy named Dennis answered the phone. That should have been my second warning. What kind of loser is at home on a Tuesday afternoon? Well, I can now tell you that the answer to that question is, the same sort of loser that doesn't even know how to take care of a damn car. Anyway, he told me that, yes, the car was only $100 if I could get it out of there. I asked him what was wrong with it, and he said it just needed a new battery and some spark-plug wires. Believe me, that shoulda been my third and final warning sign. Whenever someone tells you, "It just needs a new battery," the odds are that they need a new battery on the head for feeding you such a load of crap! The moment I heard him say that, I should have hung up the phone without ever looking back. But I was hurting for a car, so I ignored my instincts. I tried to talk him down to $75, but he was playing hardball. The dude stood his ground, so I decided I could handle whatever problems popped up, and I went over there with a battery and wires and forked over the $100. Man, was I a sucker! When I got the thing home, I noticed that two of the tires were low. When I bent down to look at them, I saw that they were all worn down to the wires on the inside. That meant the alignment was fucked. No big deal. I could have that taken care of cheap, plus I'd accumulated enough tires in my day to replace all of them if need be. Then, I noticed that the muffler was almost rusted through. I could fix that with a beer can and some metal tape, no problem. While I was checking that out, I noticed that there was a crack in the gas line, and it was leaking. I could take care of that in about 15 minutes with the right tubing. It took me about a week before I had time to take care of all of that, but I did it just fine. Then, I noticed it was leaking coolant. Sure enough, the engine block was cracked. Not too bad, but enough to keep me adding oil and coolant every 200 miles. Well, by this time, I was pissed. I drove over to the guy's house to get my money back for that shit heap. He must've known I was coming, 'cause he had three of his buddies there. When I told him I was pissed, he just said to me, "Hey, you get what you pay for!" then he and his buddies laughed. Man, if not for those stupid buddies of his, I woulda kicked his ass but good. He's one lucky son of a bitch, I'll tell you that right now. I've still got the car—I sunk way too much time and money into it to just send it off to the scrap heap. But if you wanna take it off my hands, I'll let you have it for $200. That's with all the added parts and labor, keep in mind. I already told you everything that's wrong with it, and I can't think of anything else. Except that the gas gauge doesn't work. But you can take care of that in five minutes. And the dome light is burned out. That's it. Think I'm lying to you? Jim Anchower don't pull that kind of shit. I got scruples. Ask anybody.