Friday, May 23, 2014

Fred the Organ Donor

Fred is our 1992 Geo Prizm with Toyota design, Sweetheart's commuting car for 3 years. In February Sweetheart decided to let the local high school auto shop fix a head gasket oil leak and to bleed the brakes. After multiple weeks and phone calls, Fred returned home for about 12 hours at the beginning of April. Fred came back without the oil leak fixed, the brakes questionable, some of bolts on the engine block missing, a different battery than the original, and he sounded like a 747 airplane when on the road. That weekend we bought Finn, a 2001 Toyota Prius. All our cars have names.
After returning Fred to the school, we heard nothing. I finally called the principal who lit a fire under the teachers to finish the car since school was ending. The teachers "fixed" Fred.I picked Fred up on May 16. Cyndy, my neighbor, brought me and followed me home. The teacher met me, and we exchanged our frustrations in a civilized manner. He told me that Fred was not fixed, but the brakes did work and the engine sounded like a speedboat. I drove Fred home - almost.

He did sound too well. He ran out of gas 1.5 miles from home. We filled the tank up and then couldn't turn the key over. Finally the key turned over and Fred came home. We needed to make a decision since the fix was to unhook the alternator and connect the car directly to the battery. And really who drives a Prizm that sounds like a speedboat? We couldn't sell Fred with a good conscious as a fixer-upper car. We needed to decide if we should donate or sell him for scrap. Fred was sold to a scrapyard the next day.

Hurricane grew rather attached to Fred. Fred is the first car Hurricane attempted to drive as Hurricane took Fred out of gear, released the e-brake, and drove the car backwards down a hill. When we said Fred was going away, Hurricane melted down completely into uncontrollable crying. He wanted a picture with Fred. He called his Grandpa Kirky to tell him. Grandma Jilli talked Hurricane through having Fred go away. Hurricane said he wanted to take Fred all apart. Jilli and Hurricane decided that Hurricane needs his OWN tool box and to take apart things in a taped off square at the house. He is not allowed to take apart other things in the house without permission. He is also to put them back together. This consoled Hurricane with the promise that one day he could take apart a real car at Jilli's house.

Hurricane was telling his friend, Noah, about Fred leaving and going to be a parts car at the scrapyard. Noah said, "So Fred is now an organ donor?" We thought that would be a clever advertizing for a u-pull-it junk yard.

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