Monday, July 27, 2009

My old car now has a LOT more character.

Cars are very utilitarian to me. If they get me from point A to B and back, I'm a happy camper. Thus I don't invest a lot of emotion when owning a car. However, I still hate to see my car get scratched or dented. I know every scratch or dent on my car down to the accidentally letting a used bit of carpet rub against the hood scratching the clear coat or to when one of my friends pulled beside me in a parking lot and the wind blew their door into mine caving it in slightly. There are a few more character marks but after almost eleven years of service, there are surprisingly few and none that can be seen from any distance. That is until last week.

As I buckled my daughter into her seat, she picked up the garage door opener and opened the door for me as she does everyday. She loves doing it and it gives her something to do so I just let her keep it in the little plastic holder on the side of her seat. I heard the garage door open as I got into my seat and buckled up. With the car started, I glanced in the mirrors to verify that the door was open and there wasn't something behind me such as a garbage truck, newspaper delivery girl, etc and seeing nothing, proceeded to back out of the garage.

A huge screeching sound made me stop and I immediately knew what happened. My daughter must have inadvertently pressed the button on the remote twice and thus opened up the garage door only halfway before stopping it, just high enough that I couldn't see it in any mirror. I paused for a second to decide what to do. I didn't want to continue backing up or go forward lest I do more damage and if I pressed the remote button again it normally would go down on the third press. I decided on the latter but was ready to press the button again if needed but the door went up, I remembered the entrapment sensors on the bottom and decided they must have tripped causing the door to go up instead of down. With the garage door up and the car out of the garage, I finally got out to inspect the damage.

The top of my car isn't a pretty sight. Although it didn't permanently dent any of the metal, it does look like someone took a fine toothed metal comb and raked it across half of my roof putting scores of scratches through the clear coat and quite a few into the base coat. The garage door however was unharmed. The realistic side of me was happy that the garage door was unharmed because that would have been expensive to fix. My eleven-year-old car on the other hand isn't ever going to be fixed since I haven't had collision insurance on it in more than a handful of years and even if I had, I probably wouldn't want to pay the deductible. More character marks and lots of them.

Back in the car my daughter sensed something wrong and asked, "Is the garage door okay daddy?" Yes. "Is your car okay daddy?" It will be okay so you don't have to worry about it. When we got to daycare I had to lift her up so she could see all the scratches and she asked, "Does your car need washed daddy?" Yes it does but it won't fix scratches. I explained to her that it was an old car and didn't really matter and she was satisfied with that. I'm just glad that it wasn't to our newer vehicle that is still scratch less. Those first scratches are always the most painful.

8 comments:

Woody said...

When I bought our last truck in 01' I put a couple of bricks in the bed before driving a fairly rough loop of road down by the river. I wanted to get the first scratch over with. After that it was MY truck. Absolutely pisses off my wife though.

Murf said...

Geez, still driving that Civic when you have a lovely new van just sitting there?!? I guess on this day that was a good thing. Your neighbor must be happy that you finally have it in the garage and out of sight rather than just sitting in your driveway. ;-)

Ed Abbey said...

Woody - You have a lot more fortitude than me. I waited three years before getting my first scratch/creased door in the parking lot courtesy of a friend.

Murf - Yeah, it needs some work though. The muffler is just about separated from the rest of the exhaust system and it sounds more like a NASCAR than a civic. Unfortunately it will have to wait until my upcoming business trip is done. Until then, a hacksaw and gloves await in the trunk should the need arise to use them.

sage said...

i've lost two comments I've tried to post here!

sage said...

Gee, I finally got it to go through--I'd tried to comment yesterday with a Smart-A comment about how you might be teaching your daughter that old stuff doesn't need as much care and how that may bite you when she picks out your nursing home!

Edelweiss Transplanted said...

Hey, are none of you going to comment on the fact that Ed accepts the scratches on the car and avoids putting "scratches" on his daughter's heart by making her feel terrible about her mistake? Then I will! Dear Ed, you are a good dad and a sweetheart.

Beau said...

Ditto to Edelweiss' comment! Nice job Dad.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Why can't they make vehicles out of some kind of unscratchable hard rubber? Just turn the whole outer body into one big indestructable non-rusting black bumper. Just rinse the mud and dust off with a hose, no more scrubbing, no more waxing. What do you think engineer?