When we last left JoshVision, I had just received a phone call from the Toyota Dealership telling me my car was now clean of Diesel, but unfortunately not clean of idiot mechanics. And now, the stunning conclusion…
“What do you mean exactly when you say the car was in an accident?” I ask. My head suddenly really really hurts.
“Well…” The lady at Toyota seems reluctant to tell me. Usually not a good sign. “It was just a small one. The driver was sitting at a light and someone rear-ended the car. No one was hurt though.”
A shame, I think. Does that make me a bad person? Yeah, probably.
“I’ve already got the car in our body shop, so rest assured, it’s being taken care of,” she says.
Another week goes by, bringing the grand total sans Corolla to three weeks. I’ll glaze over a few details here for the sake of time, like the fact that I have to put the second claim into Geico myself even though I wasn’t involved in any way…or the fact that they let my car sit there for three days before they even tell me I had to do that. There’s also the two long, deep scratches that I find on the roof the day after I get the car back and the satisfaction survey they so brazenly send me a week later. Let’s just say “being taken care of” was not entirely accurate.
But at least after all the headaches and the frustration, I have my car back. Now to wait for my day in court.
The weeks pass. Finally, that day of sweet justice arrives. I leave work around 12:30 and begin the 45 minute drive to the courthouse. With a little luck and what I can only assume will be my own Matlock-esque skills in the courtroom, this whole thing will soon be taken care of and I can be back in my cubicle before I’m missed.
Oh how naïve. Apparently, when they give you a time for these kinds of things, it’s not exactly a set schedule. I was not aware of this.
As soon as I take my seat in the courtroom, the judge announces that they’re running an hour and a half behind and that they’ll get through things “as quickly as they can.” Great. So I snuggle down and begin to listen as the judge filters through the hefty stack of traffic cases he must get through before even touching the civil docket.
An hour passes. I can feel the confidence I’d walked in with start to drain away. My eyelids droop. It is then that I realize we are going through these in alphabetical order and we’re on G. Crap! G is like, somewhere between the 6th and 10th letter of the alphabet! As Charlie Brown would say in this situation: Auugh!
I watch as my long lunch stretches on to take over the whole afternoon. Seated there on that seriously uncomfortable wooden bench, I personally witness eleven separate cases of illegally tinted windows, innumerable reckless driving charges, one man in shackles, and a woman named EmmyLou Harris who turns out to be a cracked-out looking blond and not the legendary country singer. Dang.
Finally, after nearly three hours, my name is called. I walk up to the judge with documents in hand, suddenly scared to death, and tell my story in what sounds to me to be a very tiny, very frightened voice. It is that moment that I realize, I am not even qualified to carry Matlock’s old man briefcase. Perry Mason I am not. The gas station manager, a little Indian guy who speaks bad English, proceeds to dispute my claim with the achingly predictable “hey, we don’t sell diesel” defense. Nice try, buddy. The judge then examines the paperwork we’ve both brought, asks me a few follow up questions, and after several excruciating, sweaty moments for me, hits us with the verdict. Judgment to me.
The courtroom gasps.
Well, no, no one gasps but I think someone in the back sneezes or coughs or something, which is pretty close. Then, in what is one of the most anticlimactic moments of my life, I just sort of walk out of the courtroom and into the parking lot. There are no cameras waiting outside, no reporters shouting questions, even cracked out EmmyLou Harris is gone. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure how exactly I get my money. Oh well, gas station manager seems like an honest and upstanding guy. I’m sure the check is in the mail…
So that’s it. Hopefully, where the story ends. Oh, and the best part?
I paid off my car a week before all of this happened. One week.
So let that be a lesson to you, folks. Never, ever pay off debt. You’ll inevitably wind up with a tank for of diesel fuel on the way to one of the Top 10 important days of your life, the garage will wreck the car after repairing it, and you’ll end up in court, wasting a perfectly good summer day fighting some Hicksville gas station manager for your $500 deductable. Yep, it’ll go down just like that.
In related news, JoshVision joins the 21st century via a website of his own, www.joshcovington.com. If you like his work–which, frankly, is fantastic–check it out.