Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Big Red is Dying

I'm not a soccer mom but I love my big red van. We can fit a sofa in it and close the back door. It's great for road trips, and we periodically cram 7 people into it and temporarily escape from our lame town of "Sa-LAME" to... any place better.

We use it to haul basses around, for crying out loud. It's our Bassmobile!

Hold on. That picture is a fine looking bass but look at this to get an idea just how large this instrument really is before you say, "It's a bass. Big deal." Here's a better picture of just how large these babies are.
Yes, you can see that this is a very large instrument. And we usually carry two: Rachel's plus one other, for orchestra events around town. This Friday, I'll be driving two of them up and over the mountains to Bend. (I hope.)

Did I mention how fragile basses are? Or how they don't just fold up into a compact box? Even the carrying case is made of soft cloth or vinyl. If the bridge gets knocked off (that's the blonde piece of wood under his right hand) there goes about $400. I like to think that driving Big Red may actually save us $400 by making it easy to load and unload the two instrument(s). Don't even get me started on the 2 basses, 4 cellos, 10 violins, 6 violas, and 3 large pizza carriers that I chauffeured around on a school tour last year...

So we got bad news yesterday when the mechanic told us, "Ok, your charge for the new battery, serpentine belt and alternator are $631. My advice is free: get rid of it."

What?? He repeated: "Trade in this van as soon as possible; it's dying. Get something else before there is no trade-in value left. Hurry."

So now we are on a quest to find an affordable (ie: we want to pay cash), fuel-efficient car.

One that will fit at least two basses in the back. That's because I've turned into the official volunteer parent who "really hauls bass."
Har de har har.

On the other hand, yesterday's transportation woes didn't end with a dying van having one last expensive operation. After dropping off the van at the mechanic, I hoofed it to the mall, hopped a bus (ok, I revived myself with something frosty from Starbuck's - it was lunch time by then) realized the bus would get me to work just in time to go back outside and wait an hour for the return bus to pick me up, no thank you. (Limited public transportation; I told you this town is lame.) Instead I took a bus downtown to update Frank on the impending death of his beloved. When I hopped off the bus I gasped. Not only were my 5-year old $20 shoes eating my achilles, I swear they were dissolving the soles of my aching feet. I could barely hobble in to his cafe to give him the news.

My wonderful husband said, "Ok, we'll get another car. And here's my credit card. Go get some shoes."
And so I did. Aren't they cute?
(What?? They were on sale!)
It was that or Haagen Dazs!

Back to the hauling bass situation.
Rachel wants to look at a Kia Rio.

MMmmmm, yah. First criteria in finding a car was fuel efficiency. Now I think we're gonna have to take a bass with us to the dealership to see if it even fits before any other consideration.
I think we may have to take the camera, as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment