Shaken Not Stirred

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Just When Your Warranty Runs Out....

I spent the afternoon with my mother, aunts, sister and cousin yesterday. We had lunch at the Olive Garden--calamari appetizer is food for the gods. One of the aunts was visiting from the Philippines. She's a world traveler, never staying in one place for very long. She comes to West Virginia once a year, stays about a week and then goes onward to see other people or other places. This time her mountain visit time was cut short by a desire to see New Orleans. After this lunch with all females, I needed something to wash all the estrogen off of me. I didn't have to wait for long. My manhood was again thrust back to the forefront.

After dropping my aunt off at the airport (I was driving my mother's car), my father called and asked me to get him a Fish Filet at McDonald's. He's usually a very health conscious person (fish broiled or grilled--fresh, not more than a few days post-catch), steamed veggies or plain rice. No dessert, no fatty foods. But he does have his moments. Fish Filet's at McDonald's are one of them.Long John Silvers is the other moment. What I don't get is this man demands the freshest of seafood when dining out, but will have a once in a blue moon craving for this fast food fried crap. As I pulled into McDonald's, my mother's car just suddenly stopped. It coasted for two secondns and the engine just shut off.

My first thought, WTF? This is a car that barely has 39,000 thousand miles on it. It is a Mercedes Benz, supposedly a finely tuned piece of machinery. I thought things like this don't happen to these babies. The car had just had it's last "check-up" in late November. Did you know that Mercedes Benz has it's "check-ups" like people--they do all kinds of diagnnostic tests and stuff every couple months just to make sure it's ticker is ticking correctly? So I was rather perplexed when it went "putt-putt-putt--blah". My mother of course was having a hissy fit--"how could this happen", "there can't be anything wrong with MY car", "what did you do"? My thought was that the car was so sensitive, it knew that a mere unworthy student was driving it and in it's temperamental state, wanted nothing to do with me, so just laid there like a high priced call girl. She told me to get out of the driver's seat and she would get it to go. We traded seats, she put the key into the ignition twisted and nothing happened (I shouldn't say key--it isn't a key, it's just this square thing with an infra-red thingamajig on one end. The ignintion recognizes the infrared thing and starts when prompted). The radio and heater did come on, so my guess was the battery was fine.

I called Mercedes roadside assistance. And yes they were pleasant, kind compassionate. The first thing they asked was "Are you in a safe place". The lady on the other end asked for the VIN of the vehicle. She then said she would have a specialized technician call me within a few moments. However,they couldn't find an on call technician in my area to come out to me. So we called AAA to tow it to the dealership. At this point, my mother had asked my father to come down and trade places with her. She took off in his car and left us men to do all the explaining. The towing company arrived in almost no time--kudos to them!!! They pulled up, parked beside the car and started to do the things mechanics do.

My father was so like a four year old again. He was completely fascinated watching the mechanic throw the straps onto the car and watch the towing in action. The mechanic said to my father--"Slick isn't it", just like he was talking to a little boy watching Nascar on the sidelines. My father smiled and said, "really neat". He kept watching as the car was lifted upwards. I couldn't believe how easily amused he was. He then commented that my younger nephews would probably have liked to watch this towing process. Ahh, there it was, the awe didn't come from him, but the thought that his younger grandchildren would have gotten a kick out of it.

The mechanic made a comment about how beautiful the car was. My father retorted that beauty meant nothing unless it runs. He then said something about the two year or 50,000 mile warranty, adding that the two years had come first.

We got the car towed to the dealership and I left a note along with my cell number in their late night drop box. I wanted to be the one to explain to them what had happened since I was driving the car. I also wanted to divert them from my mother's anger--she would have let them have it--"how could this happen", "this car has only this many miles on it", "you just checked it less than three months ago". All of this done in a shreik that the neighborhood dogs would howl to. I also didn't want her to tell them, "it broke and I did nothing at all" leaving them without any clues for assessment. They called early in the morning and the car is currently being attached to a systems computer to find out the problem.

"We'll fix the problem," the guy said in an almost apologetic tone. He sounded like whatever had happened was their fault. Why can't all mechanics be this nice?

The car is currently in stable condition. All assessments should be out by late afternoon. They'll keep us posted with updates and any changes in status.

P.S. I would like to thank all the friendly people who stopped and offered their help.


  • ok, now i seriously need a filet-o-fish.

    By Blogger cher, at 12:47 AM  

  • I like the Mickey D's Fillet of Fish too.

    A Merc stuck at 39,000 miles, the guy must have been embarassed, but glad you got good service :-)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 AM  

  • Hope all goes well with the
    patient. harhar

    at least time is on her side-

    By Blogger Maddy, at 2:01 AM  

  • Angel.
    It's funny because Mercedes have had a really bad reputation in Europe over the last couple of years for unreliability. In a recent survey for U.K's "Top Gear" magazine, Mercedes came bottom of the list for reliability in all manufacturers ranges, but particularly CLK models.

    By Blogger Ben Heller, at 2:01 AM  

  • Finally, beat those people with noses in other people's blogs.

    They're just friendly because you're driving a Benz. That's unfortunately life... and people. Sure there are exceptions. Sure, I don't your town. Sure, I don't _these_ people. Sure. I know.

    Like the manual says, drive defensively.

    By Blogger Vent, at 2:02 AM  

  • Hope all goes well with the car. Nothing worse than being car-less ... did they offer a loan car whilst this one was being repaired ?? Take care, Meow

    By Blogger Meow, at 4:11 AM  

  • MMMMM...I loved Fillet of Fish!

    Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Saab...these are all expensive luxury vehicles. But they also have one common denominator:

    They are all considered very unreliable vehicles. You should see the reports of complaints and repair work needed on these cars throughout the owners' ownership lifetimes. I know several people that had to take their expensive and gorgeous vehicles back to the dealer after only a few weeks.

    Most reliable luxury vehicles: Lexus, Acura, and then Infiniti. Interestingly they're made by Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. Hmmmmm.

    By Blogger The Phoenix, at 9:02 AM  

  • Just goes to show that products no matter how expensive go when the warrenty runs out.

    By Blogger DayByDay4-2Day, at 10:29 AM  

  • Wow . . . phone support, a towing service, and a mechanic, all of which treated you with respect and dignity?

    Are you sure this wasn't a hallucination?

    By Blogger Dirk the Feeble, at 12:42 PM  

  • "...laid there like a high priced call girl."


    By Blogger Tai, at 1:31 PM  

  • When they asked you if you were in a safe place, you should have quoted the Cris Rock, 'Martin Luther King Boulavard' stand-up routine. That might have got them there quicker or then again they might not have come at all.

    By Blogger :P fuzzbox, at 3:39 PM  

  • That was a REALLY worthwhile to read post!

    Isn't it nice to know that people actually will stop to see if you need help.

    And aren't all guys the same, no matter what age they are seriously enthralled with how things work.

    By Blogger FantasticAlice, at 5:28 PM  

  • Roadside assitance is great. I had the pleasure of using it when our old car stalled on the highway..right before entering Salem! Hehehehe!
    Thanks to all the strangers who offer help during these situations!

    By Anonymous Babette, at 9:35 PM  

  • You can never account for cravings...

    this "it knew that a mere unworthy student was driving it and in it's temperamental state, wanted nothing to do with me, so just laid there like a high priced call girl" cracked me up.

    Angel, everytime I read emails about your fam it seems like you have the biggest family ever.

    By Blogger Anhoni Patel, at 10:01 PM  

  • Oh, you are so lucky!

    By Blogger SkyeBlue2U, at 11:05 PM  

  • I just can't figure this out- you own a benz and you still eat at Olive Garden????

    By Blogger LBseahag, at 11:01 AM  

  • I personally go for the chicken selects.

    By Blogger Gyrobo, at 12:32 PM  

  • Cars were created to run us crazy. They cost to much to operate and they rarely work when we need them to. I used to have a car that made so much smoke when I started it that my neighbors called the fire department one morning. LOL

    By Blogger Ruben, at 1:03 PM  

  • I had a Ford Focus that did the exact same thing to me, three times. The local Ford dealership blew it off as a "'s covered by your extended warranty."

    I got rid of it anyway, feeling a tinge of guilt for knowing that it was most likely going to do the same thing for the next owner.

    By Blogger Sweet Tea, at 1:32 PM  

  • When my car broke down on the side of a busy men pulled over to help. NONE. Ignorning a damsel in distress.

    Instead..I had three or four different cars of WOMEN pulling over to ask if I needed help. We women are so handy.

    By Blogger Lindsey, at 5:18 PM  

  • Only expensive car places have mechanichs that are nice, the others just take your money and don't fix the vehical.

    By Blogger Drywall Mom, at 6:08 PM  

  • Get well soon, car. :)

    Car trouble can definitely change the tone of a day. It's the one situation where I always rue not owning a cell phone.

    By Blogger Spider Girl, at 6:39 PM  

  • just wanted to say that I'm a gemini also.
    Hope you are having a great weekend.

    By Blogger DayByDay4-2Day, at 9:21 PM  

  • Every person in my family has a mercades...some members have more than one...I LOATHE them. And I refuse to drive them. They're pieces of shit.

    By Blogger Princess Pessimism, at 9:34 PM  

  • Lol. [It] just laid there like a high priced call girl. I can't stop laughing at that thought. I suddenly feel happy with my beat up twelve year old Toyota after reading this story.

    I hope the prognisis for that poor Mercedes is a good one. I have a friend who owns one and I haven't heard him say anything good about it. So much for the vaunted German engineering.

    By Blogger Grant, at 9:55 PM  

  • Yea, I can't get the fish filet idea out of my head either.

    I gotta tell you, I kept waiting for the punchline to the story, but it never came. I'm not asking for a point, but you left us hanging.

    And for the record, BMWs are NOT unreliable. Thanks you The Phoenix.

    By Blogger slopmaster, at 11:20 PM  

  • I feel Sweet Pea's pain...I have a Ford Focus from hell, I call a Ghetto Jetta...a new engine at 100k! Wanna trade? I would take a non-running Beemer and push it to rid me of the focus pain...

    By Blogger LBseahag, at 7:06 AM  

  • Great service!
    And filet-o-fish...blech!!!

    By Blogger Cathy, at 8:54 AM  

  • "Stable condition." Those words frighten me--it's what doctors say right before things go south.

    But I'm sure that won't happen here. Too much good blogger karma is coming your way.

    -- david

    By Blogger David Amulet, at 8:56 AM  

  • I love the bread & salad at Olive Garden, YUM. I have never tried the filet o fish at Mcds but, I too am guilty of the cravings. EVEN without being prego. The only fast food place that has made me wanna hurl ever since I have been prego is my FAV POPEYES. :( I nearly yacked (sp?) right in front of the restaurant. My dad is really into Mercedes cars, he always told us how impeccable these and LandRovers were in quality. I hope everything turns out alright, cuz I know that it costs alot of $duckies$, $greenbacks$ to pay for the cost of ANY work on one of these cars. Don't you have to pay like almost $200 for another key to be made.? It's crazy! But, since it's new, & under a warranty the dealership should pick up the cost. Good Luck!

    By Blogger Cari, at 9:06 AM  

  • I have heard so much about Mercedes roadside assistance and other kinds of service. My cousin had his merc stolen twice and twice returned thanks to a transponder they thoughtfully put somewhere in the car.

    By Blogger Wriju, at 11:35 AM  

  • Did You make the tow truck driver pull You through the drive thru?

    By Blogger Ranea, at 11:45 AM  

  • I hope all went well.

    By Blogger mrshife, at 9:41 PM  

  • Is your mom Cha Cha Gabore?

    By Blogger Big Ben, at 10:24 PM  

  • filet fish (with cheese) rox.

    By Blogger coloradohurricane, at 1:21 AM  

  • Good luck with the sweet car.Hope you are well.

    By Blogger sabatkes, at 1:34 AM  

  • angel,
    i want to give you my new addy but i dont want to leave it hear...can you email

    By Blogger Bossy‚ô•'s YOU, at 8:54 AM  

  • the comment your dad made to the mechanic is priceless. beauty meant nothing unless it runs, haha! so true :).

    By Blogger mysterious in blue, at 1:31 AM  

  • Try eating nothing but fish for ten years. I guarantee he'll never want them again.

    By Blogger Gyrobo, at 1:43 PM  

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