The most noteworthy accomplishment of the day is that I got the car back. I did this by buying Jessica some lunch, then guilting her in to a ride down to Angel’s house. You see, Angel picked the car up from Dave and Rebecca when they moved back to the midwest.
When I got there, Angel was out, and his roommate Pat gave me the keys. I took some time to double-check the fluid levels and whatnot, before starting the car. That quiet quiet engine made me wonder if it had died, but no, it was just smooth as ever.
The car was full of trash. Bits of food, melted crayons, one baby shoe, one baby sock, and a couple bags of neatly-packaged garbage. Ahhh, yes, I knew well the mark of Dave from the days when I lived with him. Angel called at this time asking if I found his car-starter gadget thingy that he needs to start his high-tech car, because he was trying to find it and maybe he’d dropped it in my car. I couldn’t tell what he was talking about, so I asked about the garbage, and he said it came that way, and the first thing he had noticed was that the steering wheel was sticky! Oh, and by the way, they stole the license plate.
The rear license plate. The one the cops look for to nail you for expired tags.
I had to count my blessings: the car didn’t smell, there were no critters crawling around inside it. It seemed like it would go. I figured the bagged garbage was Dave’s way of collecting much of the trash that would otherwise have grown nasty on the floor. By Dave standards, this is actually pretty responsible.
I tapped the gas and was suprised by the eager V8 that I’d been away from for so long. Now, on the last day I had it, the transmission suddenly started acting funny: things weren’t shifting right. Dave and Rebecca consequently drove it almost not at all, as it fell into a state where it couldn’t top 35 MPH without making ineffectually eager revving noises. It was at this top speed that I navigated surface streets back to Mountain View.
It was quite the trek. I made two stops. The first to at a 7-11 where I removed the garbage bags from the car, then went inside where the nice South Asian guy behind the counter allowed me to borrow his wash rag, with which I wiped off the steering wheel. Further down the road I found an auto parts store, checked the transmission fluid again, and topped it off. Mike told me that there was this magic sauce that can reconstitute the transmission fluid after it has been screwed up by heat, but I couldn’t find this. The improved fluid level didn’t help; It was worth a shot, though.