Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Junk in my Trunk

We live in a small house.  I mean, it has Good Flow, but it's still just over 900 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom.  Nevertheless, we don't feel particularly cramped ("Oh yeah?  Speak for yourself," says Big Sis, who keeps pleading with me to produce an extra bedroom for her). 

Having a small house (okay, and tendency toward clutter and tchotchke-collecting) means that we have lots of stuff:

1.  In our garage.
2.  In our cupboards.
3.  In our closets.
4.  In our backyard.
5.  In the trunk of my car. 

For as long as I've owned it, in fact, the trunk of my car has functioned as another closet, even with actual clothes in need of dry cleaning stored in there.  And I suppose here is where I admit that I get a little twitchy when I see an empty car trunk.  At the very least, it screams of lack of preparation!  Every trunk should have some towels and a blanket.  A roadside emergency kit, too.  Some water bottles, maybe.  Empty grocery bags, for sure.  Duh. 

But then, there's the potential for the trunk to be, you know, where you keep Some Stuff.  Stuff that might otherwise take up room in the garage, cupboards, closets, or backyard.  It might be the stuff you had to move from the back seat of the car when you picked up an extra passenger.  It might be the stuff that you took to that one place and then never, well, brought back inside, because you didn't need to you or why would you, like sand toys or lawn chairs.  Or Stuff you need to drop off somewhere (donations, that dry cleaning).  Add some books and handouts I use for presentations, and there you go:  my Mobile Pile of Denial

A few months ago Husband convinced me that better gas mileage and general wear and tear on the car might be valid reasons to remove some of the heavier items from my trunk, such as the milk crate full of old teaching files.  So I grudgingly effected a purge. 

Meanwhile, yesterday was a day off for me, and because my car was registering 10% oil life and that ominous "wrench" light on the dash, it seemed like an opportune time for servicing. 

A simple oil change turned quickly into "Oh, look (you slacker)...you seem to have skipped your 30,000-mile 'major' service (read: 'major' bucks), so we recommend the 60,000-mile..."

And then there was the inevitable midday call from Brandon, my service rep and new pal:  "Hey, Fer, we just noticed that your tires are at 10% tread life, but hey!  We have a special going on four tires for the price of three..."

$1000 later and thirty minutes from time to pick up my car, Brandon called and left me a message with more good news:

"So, Fer.  We didn't notice this until we just put your car up on the alignment rack, but you have a problem with what are called the 'Upper Control Arms'.  What these do is...something yadda yadda...with how your rear tires wear.  These will need to be replaced, and we can do it right now...give me a call."

I called back too late.  Which, Brandon assured me, was a good thing, because then I could probably get the automaker to cover most of the cost, since there was a known issue with Upper Control Arms on my model of car.

"By the way, Fer," Brandon added, "Any chance you carry a lot of stuff...er, weight, in the trunk of your car?  Because, you know, we generally notice this issue on cars right away, as there's a tendency for the back tires to wear unevenly.  But yours didn't exhibit the normal signs..."

Umm, yes, Brandon.  Yes, I do carry extra weight in my trunk. 

"So, the good news is that you probably mitigated the issue with that weight in the back."

"Is it possible I saved lives with my full trunk, Brandon?  Because I am going to hang up right now and let my husband know what a genius I am." 

And then I am going to use my own Upper Control Arms to carry that milk crate right back to the car. 


Kate said...

Bahahaha! However, between this, the description of things in cupboards, garages, backyards, chotchke collecting, and other posts on the pile of denial, do not be surprised if you get a call from the producers of "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

Marisa Reichardt said...

I can relate. I can relate. I can relate.