fancy new brakes spring to mind
Tuesday, September 2 2003
Bright and early (before 8am), I drove the truck through the rain into Kingston to have it inspected at the Meineke out on Albany Avenue. Gretchen and I have begun using this place after Gretchen had a good experience getting an oil change she won in a silent auction benefitting homeless cats. Meineke's investment in that auction really brought home the bacon today when the guy inspecting my truck discovered the terrible state of its brakes. I knew they were bad (and had been so since I bought the truck nearly a year ago), but I didn't know they were $670 bad. I've never spent that much on vehicular repairs in my life. Indeed, the end of the Punch Buggy Green finally came when I decided not to replace the engine - something that would have only set me back $400.
Of course $400 back then was a hell of a lot more to me than $670 is to me today, and times and conditions in a life and in the economy are always in flux. I remember back in Los Angeles when Bathtubgirl had the guys on the corner of Rochester and Santa Monica work on her Volvo's squeaky brakes. Those shysters charged her $800, yet the brakes didn't seem any different afterwards. They did this not once, but twice.
I will say, at least, that the truck's brakes were noticeably - nay - vastly more responsive after the Meineke guys were done with them. Though the expense staggered me a bit, brakes (like peanut butter and inkjet printers) are one of the few things about which sparing expense is not always the best plan (unless you happen to live in West Los Angeles). Still, when you think of the myriad ways $670 can make your life more enjoyable, more responsive brakes in an otherwise perfectly-functional truck isn't the first thing that springs to mind.
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