Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
The week began with two tie rod ends on order from O’Reilly’s, Alice parked safely in our driveway, and Kenny’s phone number written on a sticky note on the fridge. We had instructions to call on Wednesday and let him know if the parts had come in, so that he could stop and pick them up on his way home and then come over and install them for us.
I’d also gone ahead and filed a claim with the insurance company, and the appraiser was scheduled to come out on Wednesday morning. I’d been warned by my claims adjuster that because of the age of Alice it was very likely that they would have to make it a total loss. I cringed and panicked when she said it. But after getting off the phone and talking it over with mom, and then brother Zak, it was clear that we should be able to buy her back if that happened. Whew!
I called O’Reilly’s on Wednesday around Noon and found out that the parts had indeed come in, but we’d gotten two right side tie rods, because that is what had mistakenly been ordered. Ever so nicely I asked if it would be possible to get the left side (because this is the side we really needed) next day aired on their nickel because of the error. And one quick phone call to a manager later, we had confirmation that it would be there Thursday by 11 for us to pick up. Awesome.
Appraiser showed up Wednesday afternoon, and mom immediately explained to him what had already happened with Kenny and that we would very much like to keep Alice. He was very nice, took his pictures, commented on how good she looked and what great shape she was in (she’s pretty sexy ya know, even with the battle carnage), and then told us he would do his best not to total her, but if he had to, we would most definitely be able to negotiate with USAA to keep her. Sweet.
Thursday morning the claims adjuster called and gave me the news that were considering it a total loss. Immediately I said that we would like to keep her, and asked how we go about doing that. Essentially the whole transaction happened in space. In electronic insurance claims filing land, Alice was bought by USAA and then we bought her back for salvage value. Lucky for us, the way it worked out, we ended up with just enough money left over to fix her up to driveable (but not pretty) and do some much needed, old age induced, engine repairs. Yay for Alice!
Since Kenny was suppose to be coming over that night after work to finish the tie rod repairs, Mom and I thought it would be nice to try and feed him dinner. We panicked about what to cook… he told us all about hunting deer, and bears, and squirrels. The closest we could come to that would be chili, and it would be vegetarian, but it turned out we didn’t have any chili powder. We were pretty sure a meal wouldn’t be considered a meal without meat, but we were gonna give it a shot anyways. Thursday night around 5, Kenny shows up with his friend/roommate/co-worker, HC. They get to work, and I keep them company, holding a work light and being a good little tool & parts gopher (just as my momma taught me to be). While we were outside freezing, the boys banging away on stubborn parts, Mom was inside cooking away on butternut squash risotto and homemade bread. They had NO idea what they were in for.
After a few minor hiccups, mostly things requiring bigger tools, the job was done! Now it was time to convince them to stay and eat with us. And this is where it gets funny. We are standing around in the garage bullshitting, saying thanks and such, and mom tries to invite them in for dinner, but acting like he didn’t really hear her, Kenny starts talking about fishing (they went on Wednesday rather then working in the rain), and then that leads to talking about bear hunting (again), and then from there he moves on to squirrels. Apparently he has a stack of about 20 of them in his freezer that need to be eaten. Mom and I are incredulous, and he looks at us and says, “you ever had squirrel?”
In unison, “No!”
“Then what do you eat?”
At this point Kenny chuckles. Then admits that he’s been trying to eat a little healthier and lose some weight so he’s been eating some veggies. Broccoli and carrots.
Not one for passing up such an excellent opportunity, I enthusiastically reiterate our dinner invitation in such a way that they can’t ignore it. And both Kenny and HC just kind mumble and look at their feet, and then realize its a lost cause, they aren’t getting out of it. Mission accomplished.
Dinner was delicious. They cleaned their plates, albeit slowly. Dinner conversation consisted mostly of fast cars and drag racing. Out of curiosity, at some point this summer we’ll probably end up going to the track to see his truck that’s supposably going to run a 5.3 second 1/8 mile. He tells good stories.
Before he left, we picked his brain about who to go to for the rest of Alice’s repairs. He rattled off guy’s names and shop’s names faster then mom could legibly write them down. Even said he’d call the body shop guy for us so that we’d get in sooner rather then later. The final crowing glory – he told us to keep his number handy in case we ever broke down again, because he’d be more then willing to help us out.
I’m pretty sure they went home and cooked real dinner.