“retrograde like a motherfucker” – part iii & iv

so, i started to write this one into the last bit but decided i’d rather see how shit played out with it…

…and so far, so good.

but it’s also been less than twenty-four hours after so i’d still say the jury’s out for now.

so, you recall all the dough i made on ebay i mentioned in the last bit. thought i finally had some financial breathing room, and all was well? yeah, well, i need to learn “all” is never “well” in sean-ville. especially when “mercury is retrograde like a motherfucker” for me.

i was driving home saturday night…the weather was pleasant, the top was down…and uncharacteristically the music was as well, but only ’cause i was on the phone with a blond from chase bank that let’s just say puberty was inordinately kind to if you know what i’m saying and i think you do. i was just coming up to the hill that takes you across the plum creek basin and into lockhart when, on perfectly level ground, my RPMs dipped.

“my car just did something funny”, i told blondie. she giggled. “not that kind of funny”, i quickly added.

but she kept talking, so i had a problem really hearing what was going on with the car since i was trying to focus on the conversation ’cause…well…to be honest, my dick’s been dry for too damn long and she seemed fairly hell-bent on remedying that for me. but i noticed the RPMs were still declining, stepping on the gas wasn’t changing that, and the engine noise was getting more and more strange until it stopped.

and i meant the noise AND the engine stopped. blondie didn’t until she heard me say “my car just died” when she finally caught a breath.

“not good” was her reply.

“let me let you go so i can try to call somebody”, was mine.

and fortunately miss kathi was available to come get me. while i waited i pushed my car back the equivalent of a block or two and got it in a daycare center parking lot where the cops usually stake out to bust speeders and, on weekend nights, DWIs. i called the police department and asked that if they WERE gonna hunt for drunks they do it from that parking lot so they could watch my car as well. dispatch radioed out, one officer said that was his plan as was, and my car had “protection” while i went home to sleep for about ninety minutes.

seriously – i was so stressed that was all i got.

going off the noise it had made when i tried to start it up again that night i determined it wasn’t getting fuel, which could be one of a few things – fuel pump fuse ($5 – and for some reason my problems are NEVER the fuses. seriously. in my whole twenty-five years of driving i’ve never had a fuse go out and a problem be that cheap and simple to fix. ever.), fuel filter ($25 or so going off prices found on google that night), fuel pump ($150 or so according to prices on google), or the fuel pump relay (no price found on that one).

or it could be none of those and i could just be fucked. no telling. and it was that “no telling” scenario coupled with a lack of booze, weed, pussy, or any other sleeping aid in the house that made for a short night of sawing twigs for me.

so the next day i called vato-zone and found out the fuel filter was cheaper than i found online (only $20) and the pump was a shit-ton more expensive ($255), but they could get it in the next day, versus waiting a week or whatever for one online. i went and got the filter and kathi ran me out to the car with some tools. a sweat-filled hour and some change later i determined that they had given me the wrong fucking filter and that given the noise i was hearing it probably wasn’t the filter anyway.

(i should add i still plan on changing it out soon just for peace of mind’s sake)

so it went back, the pump got ordered, and i got drunk. in that order.

in addition to dropping $255 for the pump, which ate up all my eBay money and then some, i also lost out on any dough i would have made on sunday, which woulda been around $50 or so. but i would have had to drop at least $20 to pay somebody to get me there, possibly a bit more to get back, so i theorized it would be a wash at best. still a downer day for me. but the nice thing about downer days? they end eventually, and when you wake up it’s a whole new day and you can either make it a downer or make sure it ain’t. i went with the latter.

holy shit – that sounded borderline optimistic…i need to watch that shit.

so monday i got up, piddled around the house a couple hours, and rode my bike to vato-zone to basically drop everything i had on the pump, slap it in my backpack, and ride home. before you install it you’re supposed to start the car with the fuel pump fuse out and let it choke out to suck all the fuel out of the line. to my shock when i did this the car STARTED then choked and died. i quickly envisioned a week where the pump wasn’t needed after all, i returned it and got my money back, and then got my life back…but a call to the bimmer wizards at black forest werkshop clued me into that just being a false positive and the pump was still the culprit for saturday night’s problems…thirty minutes later it was a done deal and all was well.

a quick side note to all my friends that cautioned me about bmw repairs being a shit-ton more costly than a chevy and that i was fucking up with my car purchase: i didn’t sweat it because, in general, i take pretty good care of my vehicles and as a result the three i’ve picked for myself in my lifetime (all of which i still own, actually) have been relatively maintenance-free , save for the required bits (tires, oil, etc). the malibu only needed one big repair and than around 250,000 miles it died. likewise, the camaro only needed one major repair before being semi-retired (it still runs) and that repair was, ironically, the fuel pump. and so for “bmw’s are soooo much more expensive” sake, let’s analyze that for a second –

fuel pump part cost
camaro – $250
bmw – $255

advantage – camaro, but only by five bucks

labor cost for fuel pump replacement
camaro – $500
bmw – $0…could be done myself

advantage – do i need to say it?

labor time for fuel pump replacement
camaro – three days, although it sat in a garage for four before they could get to it, so i was car-less for a solid week
bmw – about forty-five minutes, but part of that was me freaking out ’cause it started when i was de-pressurizing

advantage – again, do i need to say it?

and again all seems to now be well (that knocking sound you hear is me on the desk right now).

and what of blondie? well, when i tried to call her back in the wee hours of sunday after i got home, just to let her know i was home okay, i got voice mail and texts went unanswered. turns out when she got home from her girls night out in SA her ex was waiting on the front step to chat and try to reconcile, and did, and so i was unceremoniously kicked to the curb for the second time in ten days.

and hence, we close with the video again: