I have a tendency to hold on to things in my life - we can debate the merits or lack there of, but it's just something I do. So, my car is fast approaching its 10th year with me. For the last 7 or so I've been thinking about selling it, but the *no car payments* thing has really kept me from doing so. Last fall, I even went so far as to list my Neon for sale on Neons.org. No one even so much as nibbled at it. Not that I could blame them, Neons are much maligned. But, hear me out, there will come a day when they will be collected. In fact, I think the day is coming soon. But, that's besides the point. It wasn't until I listed Barney for sale that I realized how much I still like her. So, that has brought me to thinking about pimping her (and not in the pimping her out sense of the word but more of the bling bling type of meaning).
So, first things first. I made a list of all the things that are mechanically wrong with her that really needed to be fixed (as opposed to the idiosyncratic things that I can live with for now). The biggest (or so I thought) was to replace the exhaust manifold - which was replaced early last year. Found out this morning that Valley Dodge are a bunch of MORONS and wouldn't know a cracked exhaust manifold from the crack in their a$$. Look, just because I'm a woman doesn't mean you can take advantage of me. My dad's big and he can kick your little scrawny a$$ to the curb. Heck, I can kick your a$$ too, but you really don't want to piss me off that way - it's not pretty. So, it turned out, the exhaust manifold was NOT cracked, it was just the donut that's hooked on to it had gone bad. (See what I mean about Valley Dodge being MORONS?) Cool, much less money, but now I have a surplus exhaust manifold. Could be a good thing since I intend to keep the Neon around for awhile, but annoying in that I didn't have to buy the part after all. The other thing was an oil leak. I actually have two. One is just the way the car's designed, so whatever, and the other has to do with the oil filter. That will be fixed once the part gets in. So, now for under $200, my car is going to be in good working order. Much less than buying a new car.
Now that the mechanical stuff is out of the way, I'm going to see about getting Barney detailed, and then swap out the radio (one of the idiosyncratic things) for one I got cheap off Neons.org. Just swapping one stock radio for another, nothing fancy. That should keep her (and me) happy for awhile. And then we'll be able to toast to our 100,000 miles together in the next month and a half (not while driving, of course - drinking and driving don't mix).
If you're wondering why she's named Barney, well, let's just say they're both the same color. Although I think Steve Martin described her best as a "frisky lip-gloss pink Dodge Neon." Seriously. Don't believe me? See page 12 of the paperback version of "The Pleasure of My Company." And if you notice a slight resemblance between me and Clarissa, that may or may not be a coincidence. ;-)