I've mentioned before that The Brother Just Younger than I is a mechanic. Actually, he spurns the title mechanic. He says that mechanics are just grunts. He's some sort of Automotive Super-Special Extra-Talented Technician or something. But that's an aside. Like I've said before, my brother works on cars. As a side deal he, and every other person-who-works-on-cars in the entire world, deals in used vehicles. Of the refurbished type. People come in having done something very bad to their cars, and when they get the repair estimate, they opt just to abandon the car there and buy a new one.
All but one of my cars has come to me this way. In fact, I don't think I can even conceive of buying a car from a lot. How strange! You mean you actually buy cars that work when you first look at them?
The car I was most excited to buy from my brother was a Jeep Cherokee. This was about 4 years ago. Kristin and I wanted a car that we could take camping. Something with clearance. Something with 4 wheel drive. Something that we could haul stuff in. My mother had had this Jeep for several years and had just put a lot of money into it. New paint job. New upholstery. New roof rack. New stereo. But there was some sort of engine problem, and so she ended up after all that work deciding to buy a new truck. So she offered the jeep to me, and The Brother Just Younger than I offered to finish restoring it for me.
I waited for that jeep for 6 months. It felt like a luxury: buying a car while I had a car still running. Normally I explode my cars and then frantically look around for a new one. My brother was doing this on the side, not getting paid, I was just buying the parts (at his cost) so he could only work on it when he had extra time. So 6 months pass. And finally he calls me to tell me it's done.
I do a little happy joy dance and go pick it up. I spend the day registering it. Kristin and I drive it around. We want to go show our friends my spiffy new car, but none of our friends are around. We drive-by milkshake a friend's car (we knew she was getting out of work any minute, so we put a milkshake on her car -still in its cup! We're not like that!) and sat in the new car to wait for her to come out and be surprised) and while we were waiting for the friend to get off work, a drunk woman drove up in her car and wanted to know if we knew what the suicide hotline number was so she could call it because she was wanting to committ suicide. So, Kristin ends up talking with this woman and distracting her, while I call 911 to tell them that there was a very drunk woman in a car wanting to committ suicide. Kristin was trying to get the woman to get out of the car so that when the police showed up she would be in less trouble, but she wouldn't. Finally the police came and the woman FREAKED OUT that we had called the police. But we couldn't let her drive off and possibly kill someone else while trying to kill herself. Even if she wasn't serious about trying to kill herself, she was waaaaaaaaay too drunk to drive. In all of this confusion our friend came out of her work, got freaked out that there was a fresh mint shake on her car, threw it on the ground, and took off. She didn't recognize my new car, so she didn't think that it could have been us. So we wasted a shake AND the only person who got to see my new car were two police officers and a drunk crazy. It was a sign.
The next day was the day before He Who Could Sell Snow to Polar Bears' wedding. Smokin' Bunny-cakes and I were going to spend the evening doing girly things since we were both Bridesmaids. We got into my snazzy new jeep and drove to the store to pick up supplies and on the way home a woman ran a stop sign too late for me to stop and I hit her head on going 45 miles an hour. My jeep spun around a couple of times and ended up facing the opposite way I had been going. People ran over to see if we were ok. All I kept saying was that I'd only had my jeep for 36 hours. 6 months of waiting for 36 hours. Anyone who came to talk to me got to hear all about all the improvements we'd done over the last 6 months -- gone. I called Kristin on a stranger's cell phone and told her I'd had a bit of an accident and could she come get us? She arrived in her robe and Oscar in the back of her car, because I had sounded so calm (shock will do that to you) that she hadn't thought it was a serious accident. When she got there they were strapping Smokin' Bunny-cakes to a board to take her to the hospital and I couldn't for the life of me decide which hospital they should send her to. At this point Kristin still worked for the SLC Police dept, so she called her colleague on duty and asked her to come take pictures of the accident scene (something they don't always do). My head felt wobbly and I kept walking around in circles insisting that I didn't need to go to the hospital since I couldn't afford to pay for it. Finally a paramedic and Kristin convinced me to let Kristin take me to the hospital. And Kristin had the wonderful task of calling my overly-dramatic parents to tell them that both of their daughters had just been in a serious car accident the night before their son's wedding. The Brother Just Younger than I raced to the hospital to assure himself that it wasn't that the brakes had gone out (not that they would have, he's very good at his job, but he's a worrier and he likes to take responsibility, so in his mind the only reason I would have gotten in an accident was if he had somehow made a mistake with the car). S B-c and I were severely banged up, but the bruises were covered by our bridesmaid dresses, and we attended the wedding the next day, sore and slow, but pretty enough for pictures.
So now here I am. 4 years later. Having waited several months for this little SUV to be completed. I drove it home last night, but now I'm just a little bit scared. You can be sure that after I get it liscensed that I am going to be VERY careful driving through intersections...