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The Sable reports for repairs on September 25…

August 28, 2006, 9:27 PM

Yes, on September 25, I will finally get a grille again. For that matter, starting that day, I will no longer have a sizable dent on my right fender. And while I’m out a car, I will be driving Sis’s car, which is a gray 1997 Mitsubishi Galant.

I’m going to miss my Sable dearly during that time, but I know that it’s going to be made good as new during that time period. No longer will I be driving around looking like I had a head-on collision with a deer, despite how fortunate I was that the car was still drivable after that deer incident. So I’m going to be pleased with that.

And it’s given me a whole new respect for the wildlife that lives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and to take it even more slowly up there than I was going when the accident happened. When the accident happened, I was only going 40, five below the posted speed limit of 45 mph.

So with my driving Sis’s car while the Sable’s in the shop, I’m going to have to make a few adjustments to that car before the time of need arrives. Specifically, Sis left that car in a mess when she went to Virginia Tech. There’s all sorts of trash and other debris in the floor, in the front seats, and in the back seats. As a point of comparison, the Sable’s relatively clean, with only a little bit of tracked-in debris in the driver’s side floor area. So I’m going to be doing Sis a big favor and taking some time to completely clean her car out. Since I’m not driving in that kind of mess. No way.

To show you what I’m talking about, this is what Sis’s car looked like when I took it out on a brief outing in 2004 while the Previa was getting an oil change at Wal-Mart. The mess is even worse this time around. The most offensive debris in the photo I linked to is a bunch of Wendy’s napkins. This is worse, trust me. I’ll take pictures before I clean it out. Whether I use Big Mavica or just my cell phone, I don’t know. But this mess will not go undocumented.

The last time I drove Sis’s car was last fall, to work and back. The Previa had shed the passenger-side windshield wiper again when my $1.03 fix finally failed, as I expected it eventually would. Since it was pouring rain out and still quite dark, I got permission to take Sis’s car to work that particular morning. Then that afternoon, once things dried out, Dad and I reattached the wiper again, using the same little bag of screws from the first fix.

This, however, will be my first extended use of her car. Of course, it’s only fair. She got to use the Previa while I was at JMU when the transmission blew up in Mom’s Sienna. I’m glad I wasn’t on the road trip that the rest of the family was taking when that happened. But we managed. I remember that time well. I had just gotten all the proper parking permits and had taken the Previa up to JMU in order to start the move-out from the dorm. I had also just taken my April 12, 2003 DC trip (the protest), when Dad called me the day after the trip to tell me that the Previa was needed back home immediately for active service due to the aforementioned transmission incident. I got the Previa back three weeks later.

So it’s only fair, I guess. Meanwhile, the Sable will make two more DC trips in its present “walking wounded” state, on August 30 and September 12. Whether Dad will be okay with a DC trip in Sis’s car is yet to be determined, as the repairs fall during a DC week. And with the World Bank having its fall meetings in Singapore this time around instead of DC, it’s likely that this will be a regular weekday trip, rather than a weekend trip. If that late-September trip were a weekend trip, the Sable would make that trip due to its being on the weekend immediately before the repairs start.

So that’s the story. So now we just have to wait… and clean…

Categories: Mercury Sable