The setup: Saturday afternoon, E. and I along with some of the kids took a trip over to Ikea in Elizabeth, NJ.
Driving home just after dark, in a stationwagon packed full of fine Ikea merchandise, the “check engine” light on E.’s car goes on. Then, the temperature gauge redlines. Funny how this happens when it’s 20 degrees outside. We pull off the highway in lovely Irvington, NJ as the car is making rattling noises, the oil light is flashing, and the headlights are going on and off.
Fun so far, eh? There’s a service station two blocks off the ramp and we pull in to check the oil. No problems. Then I notice the coolant reservoir is empty. Take the cap off — dry as dust. The service station is out of coolant but there’s an Auto Zone store across the street and we buy a jug.
Pour it in, and steam comes out. Pour the rest in, start the car, check under the hood. It’s all poured out onto the asphalt. Not wanting to leave hundreds of dollars worth of fine Ikea merchandise and a shiny red Volvo in the parking lot of a service station in glamorous Irvington, NJ, we limp back to my house a couple of miles away.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. E. calls AAA and asks for a flatbed tow truck to deliver her car to the dealer for service. A guy comes in a regular tow truck, and tries to convince E. to let him take it to his own garage in West Orange, where — she is assured — she’ll get great service for a lower price and by the way his tow truck his just fine for the job.
E. takes good care of her car, and doesn’t want to take chances with it, and pleasantly asks Mr. Tow Truck Guy to call back and send the right kind of truck.
Mr. T.T.G. gets on the phone with his office and starts to have a long conversation with the office manager. “She doesn’t want to use our garage, she doesn’t want to have me tow it with my truck, she’s saying this, she’s saying that, yada, yada, etc.”, in Hebrew.
“I understand,” in Hebrew. Which kind of put an end to the whole conversation.