So it’s a sad day in the Kennedy household. We lost one of our babies–our 1997 BMW 328i. She served us well for 14 years but finally had to be shot. We were not given permission to do so literally, which was a little disappointing. If it were permitted, I think I would have unloaded more than a few mags into that piece of s**t Jaguar XK-8 I had a while back. Now that would have felt satisfying. This time, though, I think it would probably have just added salt to the wound, since we loved that car, especially my wife.
A little background. In 2002 I decided to buy my girlfriend (now my wife) a car for her birthday. I test drove several cars, and settled on a 1995 BMW 318i. It was in great shape, drove great, etc, etc, so I bought it and paid for it, and went home to arrange insurance before picking it up the next day. I phoned the insurance company and they informed me that the car had been completely written off twice. TWICE! So, needless to say I was pissed. I called the dealer, cancelled the sale, and they of course claimed ignorance. Bulls**t!
So I found another car. In the week in between, I decided I didn’t want that particular year/model anymore, but really liked the idea of getting a BMW. I found a 1997 (post-redesign where they were no longer boxes on wheels) 328i (much bigger, better engine). This was much more expensive, but only five years old. I had the dealer put a big ribbon and bow on it, tricked my wife into thinking we were going for dinner with friends, and took a cab to the nearby Pizza Hut because I said I planned on getting soused (not there, but afterword–hey, I’ve got some class!). I looked at my watch with great dramatic effect (I was the lead in my grade six play of Saint George and the Dragon, so I’m very good at this), and said, “Let’s go for a walk, we’re early.” So we walked north on Bank Street, toward the dealership, and as planned they had the car sitting out front, shiny metallic black with a big ass bow on the hood, and I said, “Hey, I wonder who that’s for.”
“It looks like a gift.”
“Yeah, perhaps for someone’s birthday.”
“Like your birthday.”
I don’t think she clued in completely until we drove off the lot with it.
When she did clue in, she was eager to show it off to the friends we were supposed to have dinner with, and was disappointed to learn they weren’t actually coming. She loved that car. We never had a day of trouble with it until yesterday, but over time it slowly wore out, and with the heavy salting of the roads here in winter, it became purely a backup car, which when you don’t own a Jag means you rarely need it. When I had the Jag, I think her BMW got more miles put on it than that PoS.
So, yesterday, on the way to the garage to pick up my BMW (shocks and a few other things), the car started to overheat. It red-lined stuck in rush hour traffic, and we JUST made it into the garage. I handed them the keys, got mine back, then got the call this morning. Cracked radiator. $1300 to fix it. Sorry, but she’s 19 years old and needs a lot of other work for her to truly be road worthy, so I made the call–scrap her. I have to admit I was a little choked up on the way to the garage to sign over the ownership, but it was the right decision. We got our money’s worth, my wife loved the car, and I know she’s the one most hurt by this entire situation–she couldn’t bring herself to come to the garage. This was the first “big gift” that she had ever received in her life, and she was proud to drive a shiny BMW around town with her custom plates. Now she’ll have to be content with driving my car until we buy a replacement.
Or I can polish up her bicycle and slap the plates on it.
I don’t think she’d appreciate the humor.
So it’s a sad day in the Kennedy household, but we’ll get over it.
And now I get to fill the other half of the garage with junk, like a garage should be!
I think I’ll go get started on that.
Now go give your car a hug. You never know when she might die on you.