I have never really been much of a car person. As long as it was reliable, comfortable and not too hard on gas mileage, I have been fine with whatever I was driving. If I also did not mortify the neighbors with whatever vehicle I had or embarrass the child so much that she would have me drop her off 2 blocks away from where I was taking her...that was a plus. (This was a real issue with a car Jeff had...it was a beat-to-shit Altima with 385,000 miles on it that smoked and backfired. Its rear quarter panel was held on primarily with dirt and I think a wasp's nest. The kiddo HATED when he picked her up from after-school care. She called the Altima "Dad's junkyard.")
That being said...a few years ago, we purchased a car that I am actually proud to drive:
We did not buy it because it was prettiful and all zoomy-zoom looking. We got it because it was a fantastic deal (divorcing couple...she was all "getting rid of anything he gave her") But I admit, I have come to love this car. I notice people admiring it. I actually keep it washed and looking nice (I've always kept my vehicle mechanically maintained...the exterior.....not so much.)
So anyway, last week something bad happened. I don't want to get into it too much...I hit a puppy on my way to work. I know. I know. I hate it too.
It was absolutley not my fault. Some redneck asshole who lives in a trailer not 7 feet from a very busy, curvy road lets all eleventy-eight of his dogs just run loose. There are dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes...I had noticed a litter of about 6 puppies over the last few weeks had apparently gotten to the really active stage. Anyway, two of these puppies ran out into the road as I was rounding a curve...and I got the second one.
Just made me sick to my stomach.
I stopped, got out...checked the poor thing...and noticed I had car parts laying in the road.
Namely, my vent cover by my fog light. The fog light itself was busted and dangling from its cable.
Now, I'm not trying to be insensitive. The puppy was the worst part of this whole thing...even though I think it's pretty inevitable that at least half of that litter is destined to the same end. Their so-called "owner" is some white-trash, pediphile-looking loser I've occassionally seen getting his mail or sitting on the chewed up sofa that sits out on the rotting wooden front "porch" that he built onto his trailer. He obviously lets whatever breed with whatever and the curve on Morrisville road control the population somewhat through attrition. These kind of people make me sick. They absolutely do not deserve pets. (Yes, I made a call later that day to Animal Control Dept...should have done it a week earlier).
At work, I took a closer look at the damage...unplugged the dangling flood light assembly and tossed it and the vent cover in the back seat & went inside to search for a replacement fog light assembly.
A $78 charge on my credit card later, and my new fog light assembly began its journey to my house. Since then...I've been having to live with this:
Which I haaaaaate. I know I'm a little OCD. It shouldn't bother me so much...that little Exclamation mark ! in a triangle.
It. Is. Driving. Me. CRAZY. Also?
I'm used to my car giving me little bursts of information. Over on the left of the dashboard, I have a message box. I can see what kind of gas mileage I'm getting (instanteneous or average)...I can see my Distance to Empty (DTE)...it tells me when I need an oil change. Unless. Unless something has happened to turn the exclamation mark on. Then, the only message you get (and you cannot change, and you cannot turn off) is WHY you have an exclamation mark.
In this case:
Yeah. Something's wrong with my bulb's position. I know that, Volvo! I know that rolling around in the backseat is the incorrect position for the bulb. Gah! What I DON'T know right now is how many more miles I can go before I run out of gas...which is something you USED to tell me.
Well, I feel better getting all of that off my chest. Hopefully, I haven't come across as some kind of a materialistic, puppy-killing neurotic.