Sometimes, cars act like humans.
With my decision to divest myself of everything I own, Mr. Neebes suggested I sell Norma immediately, and rent a car during my remaining visit here in the land of Utes.
It was a good suggestion, I had a couple of people interested, she was in prime condition, and it was still summer... top dollar for a Mercedes-Benz SLK hard-top convertible that does this really cool thing where the trunk opens, and the hard top slides down into the trunk, leaving you with an open top and a nice roll bar and a hot car.
I've said I don't like cars, but, I do like Norma.
I held fast to refusing to sell... I mean, why pay $150 for a few weeks of renting some Elantra when I could still cruise around in Norma? She's the only one of her kind in the area...and, well, I liked driving her this last time. It didn't matter selling her was my nest egg for my move.
Saturday, I ran an errand before meeting up with Mrs S to go have fun at our annual Parade of Homes Day. We go look at the builders Best of the Best, we judge them based on their candy and giveaways, and then have a nice meal. She dropped me off at Norma, and I held out my nice Mercedes key and pressed the 'open' button.
I did it again, holding it closer, the way you do when your remotes batteries are going bad, as if the extra few inches will make a difference.
I used the key to open her....manually. It hurt me to do this, she was built to be opened with panache.
Alarms went off, lights flashed, she screamed in protest as she was assaulted with a key. After five minutes, her hissy fit was over, and I was able enter the car, and pull out the trusty five inch thick manual that came with her, that I'd never opened before and includes the road side assistance number that I promptly dialed.
Claudia (no outsourcing for Mercedes) and I discussed the issue. She asked if I had another key, and suggested I try that one. She was out of warranty, but, they do offer a number of roadside assistances... sadly, coming up from Vegas, two hours away, isn't one of them. She would, however, call the local company to help out.
I waited for Mrs S to go to her house and get said key, where it had been left for safe keeping. While I waited, I read the manual, a first for me.
The new key, too, was rejected. Norma was having none of this key stuff. She had separated herself from their marriage.
I took a ride home, leaving her there to think about the consequences...being towed.
Chuck, the only tow operator in town met me the next day, and put his hands all over her engine. Her battery was fine, he said, she just didn't want to start. No! Really?
We took her down to Seth and Dave who work on the imports here in town.
Norma likes Seth and Dave. They take good care of her. Being backed up with other cars they said I had to wait a day to see what the problem was. It was severe enough, it turned out, they had to call in.... Klaus.
Klaus works at the Mercedes satellite shop from Vegas a town down. He came up, puttered, poked, prodded, and announced.....
Norma had indeed initiated separation proceedings from the keys.
What?!? After 12 happy years of locking and unlocking on command? Of setting off the alarm when I pushed the cute red button? With NO WARNING? A separation?
Klaus told me the only thing was to bring in mediation, a new key... one that might soothe Norma's miffed system. Sure, it was $128.00, but, with luck, a push of a button, a twist of a gadget, and wunderbar! Norma would again fall in love with the security system, and again open and close and, more importantly, start.
If this didn't work... if she rejected the key as a cheap date, I'd have to call in the big guns.
Yes, the expert lawyers, disguised as 'mechanics' in Las Vegas. Norma would be taken there, towed at a cost that would buy me a plane ticket to London, and we'd have to discuss the divorce, also known as overhauling her electric system.
The divorce issue worries me.
Who would get custody of the catalytic converter? Would the key or the main security system be allowed to have visitation of the 6 disc CD player? The cute little headlight washers, will they be important enough to be included in the settlement? I was worried about the fight over the hydraulics system that controlled the roof... I know that would be a huge issue, and could see a guardian ad liem being appointed.
What about the leather seats?
This may not turn out pretty. And, I can foresee a number of 0's between the $ the main number and the decimal.
I should have listened to Mr. Neebes.... and if he tells me that one more time, the two warring parties will have to discuss who gets custody of the body in the trunk.