Accident cures ‘new car itch’
by Marguerite Cline, columnist
August 10, 2012 12:35 AM | 1684 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For several weeks I had been going to car dealerships after hours looking at cars when there was no salesperson on the lot. You might say I had a case of the “new car itch.”

My car is a white Buick 2007 Lacrosse with 80,000 plus miles and runs like a charm. Occasionally I have had some problems, but they were easily fixed.

A couple of weeks ago everything changed. As I was about to pass the driveway of the Canton Post Office, a young man pulled out in front of me. As the expression goes, I T-boned him.

When I got out of my car and saw the front of it, I was amazed that neither of us had been hurt. Also, I was thankful the driver who had pulled out in front of me had insurance.

Since my son John who lives in Canton was not home I called my friend Byron Dobbs. Byron and I joke with one another a lot.

At first he did not believe me when I told him what had happened and that I needed him to come and take me home.

Before my car was put on the back of the wrecker, Byron and I got my things out of the trunk of my car and put them in his. Then, we went to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. They were closed. They would be closed the next day, Sunday, too. Byron carried me home.

The following day my neighbor, Kip McVay, took me to John’s house. I borrowed one of his and Millie’s cars to drive until I could go to Enterprise the next day.

In renting a car, there were two things I had to remember. First, I was scheduled to deliver lunches for my church for needy children on Monday and Tuesday. Second, a cousin, Jenny Hughes, and I had planned a trip to Florida on Wednesday.

The first car I got from Enterprise was huge. Riding in that Chrysler was like floating on air. But it was entirely too big.

Turning it around on the narrow roads where Carolyn Free and I were delivering lunches was a nightmare. Also, it was not easy trying to park it in tight places.

The Chrysler had features I had never heard of. The doors unlocked without taking the keys out of my pocket.

A key was not needed to start the car. You just pressed the start button.

Quickly, I realized the other buttons on the panel and the gear was not at all as they were in my 2007 Buick. It was confusing.

The following day I was back at Enterprise. That monstrous Chrysler was more car than I wanted. I needed a smaller car.

The folks at Enterprise understood. I left driving a smaller car that was not as fancy.

But, it was law enforcement red. I decided I would drive the red car to Florida anyway and be very careful that I did not get remotely close to speeding.

This time the buttons on the panel were not where they had been in either the Chrysler or on my 2007 Buick. There was more confusion.

Repeatedly, I would turn on the windshield wipers when I meant to put the car in reverse. We had the cleanest windshield of anyone wherever Jenny and I went in Georgia, Alabama or Florida.

The red car served me well until the morning after I got home. It would not crank. I called Enterprise. It would cost me $49 for them to send someone to jump it off. Knowing lots of people in Waleska with jumper cables, I was not about to pay that.

Luckily, Simmie Lowery was at my house that morning. She is one of those people who can do anything. While I was calling Enterprise, Simmie was outside jumping off the car.

Later in the day, I left Enterprise driving an ugly, boxy-looking black car. Some of the buttons on the panel were actually near where they are on my car. With the gears it was still hide-and seek.

By then I had moved my things from my wrecked 2007 Buick, to Byron’s car, to John’s car, to the fancy Chrysler, to the law enforcement red car and to the black boxy-looking car.

During those moves, I lost my walking shoes, library books and cell phone. Thankfully they have now all been found.

I rejoiced when I got a call that my 2007 white Buick Lacrosse was totally repaired. The folks at Mauldin’s Body Shop had made it as good as new.

It took me two weeks but I have recovered from the “new car itch.” I am quite happy with my 2007 Buick Lacrosse. I plan to drive that car until it dies in the road. I know from experience it may be impossible to find a new car with the gears and the buttons in all the right places.

Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.
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