Thursday, December 11, 2008

DEER me! part 2 - "A day at Johnson's Wrecking yard"

And the deer collision saga continues.

After talking to a body shop I found out the left-rear door that needs to be replaced is no longer being made. What are they thinking? My car is ONLY 15 years old! A new one would have been $2,100 anyway so that was way outside the budget zone. I was advised to check out salvage yards to see if a "used" one might be had. Johnson's Wrecking was recommended since many salvage yards dispose of most vehicles more than 5 years old. Just goes to show you are never too old to learn something new. Little did I know the learning was just barely getting started.

So last Tuesday I spent a lovely lunch hour(s) walking and climbing around junked cars looking for the coveted door. After being warned this was much like a "needle in a haystack" search I was impressed that there were actually several choices available. The very first vehicle was the exact model and color I was looking for. Alas, the left-rear door on this vehicle was badly dented as well.

But we Meissner's are persistent. (some would say stubborn, but I like persistent better). I was not going to be swayed from my mission. I wasn't kidding when I said climbing as some vehicles were stacked on top of each other so I did some climbing as I was looking not only on the outside but the inside of these relics as well.

EUREKA! (A word which here means, "I have found (it)". supposedly uttered by Archimedes when he discovered a way to determine the purity of gold by applying the principle of specific gravity) I located a door! It was white, but it can be painted. The interior is gray where mine is black and the arm rest is a little different but who cares? The outside looked to be in fine condition and after being painted and mounted should get my "ole junker" safely back on the road again for a few more months while we look for a replacement. And if anyone asks about the weird interior I have a fascinating story to tell.

I profusely thanked the nice young Johnson's employee who led the expedition and said if they would be so kind as to remove the door and have it ready the next day I would be by to pick it up. And now..... the rest of the story.

Chapter 3 - "another day at Johnson's Wrecking yard"

I happily find myself at this time of year with a surplus of vacation hours to be used so it was no problem to let Deanna for once have a leisurely morning while I took the van and dropped the kids off at school. I was all excited about going to get my door. (It's the little things that make life worth living) I was going to be a gentleman and help Brianna get her big Tenor sax case, her flute case, her over large music folder, and her way over large trapper keeper monstrosity that they expect middle scholars to cram everything they need for the whole day in, out of the car so she can pack that load into school. Thinking I was unlocking all the doors I punched the button, heard the satisfying click of the automatic locks, and got out and shut the driver's side door. Only to find out when I walked around the van that I had locked, not unlocked the doors and now I've got both kids inside, the car is running and I'm on the outside with the doors locked. Do you see my dilemma?

Brianna starts to panic. (I think she gets that from her mother) She knows where the lock button is, but like me, didn't seem to know the difference between locked and unlocked. She is madly clicking the button back and forth and I'm madly working the door handle and nothing is opening. I hold up my hands in the "stop everything" position. I calmly try the door, locked, I gently motion my finger to have her try her button again. I listened to the satisfying clunk of what I prayed were the doors unlocking. I took a deep breath. I don't know why, I just did. I tried the door. EUREKA! the door opened.

Brianna was beside herself. Kind of unfairly, I thought. My thanks, for trying to be a gentleman, I suppose. She jumps out and yells, "I CAN GET MY STUFF MYSELF!" Yes ma'am. In spite of her anger she still managed to say, "Bye Dad, I love you." Although maybe a tad bit chillier than she usually says it. Must have been the weather. Then she blows me one of our traditional family "air kisses." There is no possible way for me to explain what these are so you will have to ask Brianna and me to demonstrate if you see us sometime.

I watch her hike her gear up to the school along with some more students making the trip into the building. All of them loaded down like some Sherpas going up Mount Everest. I shake my head and climb into the van for the next leg. This whole time, by the way, Brian is just sitting back there, his eyes as big as saucers, not saying a thing. Sometimes, silence is golden.

Stay tuned for more, I still have to drop Brian off at school and go get that car door.


Steve at Random said...

Randy, just a short comment to let me know that I like the "serial" writing style. Puts me in mind of "cliff hangers" we used to see at the movies. I'll keep coming back to check and see if the hero makes it.

AZJim said...

You are proving me right. You definitely have to save these and put together a book. They are funny to read now but the kids will get a real laugh in 10 to 15 years from now. Who knows, you probalby will too. Typical Brian I can see his face. Thanks for the laugh.

randymeiss said...

THANKS for commenting! I was beginning to get depressed that nobody was reading. Deanna read it last night and I barely got a chuckle out of her. Of course that was probably because I failed to laugh at her "cow learning a foreign language" joke. She told it to all 3 of us and didn't get a smile. I bragged that if she wanted to look at something funny to check the blog. "Pride goeth before the fall" seems appropriate in this situation.

Lisa Grace said...

As a veteran of "lock outs", I understand that golden moment as the door clicks shut and your hand goes to your forehead and you struggle not to speak in "cursive". Just last month, I locked myself out of my car with the dog in the front seat. Lucy, my puppy, has no thumbs and is completely incapable of unlocking the door with her paws. Lucy isn't known for a calm demeanor and was not happy when I set off on foot to trudge home only to find all my house keys were safely locked in the car with the dog! All's well that ends well!