I believe that my number one accomplishment today was that I did not hit anyone. After spending over $600.00 fixing my car last month, it was back to the garage today to figure out why the car would not start. Heard of intermittent wipers? Well I had an intermittent starter. I thought it was my clutch switch but I couldn't be sure. The battery checked out fine, and I never had a problem with the starter. Once I arrived at the garage today, I attempted to blame the garage for not doing the repairs properly last month. But seeing as how the clerk knew more about car repairs than I, there was no convincing him.
Since my day off from work was going to revolve around the garage, I figured I would take the car some place with plenty of stores and restaurants within walking distance to while the time away.
First it was off the the bank. Banks were closed today but the ATM was functioning. Sort of. I tried taking out $150 but the machine did not have enough cash. I tried $50. The ATM gathered up its lose change and spit it out at me through the little slot. Not a good sign for the bank to run out of money. Especially since Tuesday is also a bank holiday and the cash box will not be filled until Wednesday morning. Not my problem though, I got mine.
Next it was off to Tim Horton's for my coffee and breakfast. I planned on reading the morning paper but was distracted for the first few minutes by the resident crazy guy who was talking to himself. After five minutes I realized he was talking on his Bluetooth. After another five minutes I realized, that Bluetooth or not, he was still crazy. After another five minutes, I noticed that although he was talking on his Bluetooth there may not have been anyone on the other end.
Once I finished reading the paper I went on to Future Shop where I was labelled a shoplifter as soon as I walked in. Instead of asking if I needed assistance one clerk gave me dirty looks and followed me around the store. I am sure he thought he was being discrete. Maybe I should dress nicer when I take my car into the garage for service. Maybe the guy at the store should be polite, he would probably make more sales. I walked out without buying anything.
I walked up to the Tommy Hilfiger store. For a store that is under 200 square feet, I was surprised that there were over 25 people in line. I would venture a guess that there were a lot of gift cards exchanged over Christmas. Since when does the Tommy line of clothing consist of nothing but stripes and plaids? I just want a button shirt with a collar, no stripes, no plaid, just a solid colour. No buttons on the collar. No stripes, I do not want to look like a popcorn salesman. Listen, style is a personal thing, to each his own. I have not worn plaid since my '90s grunge days and I haven't worn stripes since my mom stopped shopping for me.
Next was Bureau en Gros (Staples outside Quebec). I have never seen such a mixed message from any one store. Ten people behind the print-shop counter to answer your needs before you even know you have them. Every single cash register was staffed. Pay quick and get out. Yet there was only one clerk for the entire floor. But, good news, I finally found the computer desk for which I have been looking. I will have to come back later to pick it up in my car. $100 off. Not bad. I have been using the same desk for 25 years and it is time for a change. The vinyl covered pressed wood is starting to show its age. Time for a new vinyl covered pressed wood desk.
Lunch time. Ahh... McDonald's. When did a trio at McD's start costing $7.50? I went as healthy as I could. Or as healthy as I wanted. I bought a Big Mac Trio, and had a salad instead of french fries and ordered a diet coke to go along. I try to replace fries wherever I go. At Burger King you have the option of a baked potato, at some places it's rice.
Gone are the days where I would eat half a pound to a pound of red meat in one sitting. Even when I was boxing and trying to eat properly, I may not have been eating all that healthy. Today, it is all about cutting out fried foods, reducing red meat intake, eating as many servings of vegetables and fruit that you can handle, eating fish a few times a week, limiting servings of dairy and making sure it is low fat. I also switched to Cheerios in the morning.
But where was I? Right, after lunch it was a walk across the parking lot to Reno Depot (also known as Rona, or replace this with your local mega hardware store). Reno Depot is the type of place I can walk in, not needing anything, and walk out with $40 to $50 in purchases. Today was no different. I found a nice mass-produced painting for $9.99 that will go well with the paint on my walls, and the other massed-produced paintings I own. I am also building a bar. I started it in July. I also stopped in July. Today I bought more parts that I will need to complete the bar. Luckily, the fact that my bar has not yet been completed has not hindered my ability to drink.
Next was a walk back to the garage. They were supposed to call me on my cell to let me know what was happening. When I arrived the friendly clerk said, "What good timing, I was just about to call you."
Get this, they didn't start working on my car because the engine wouldn't start. I reminded him that I brought the car in because the engine would not start. He wanted to charge me an extra $40 to get three guys to push the car inside. After staring at him dumbfounded for twenty-three minutes, I suggested that I start the car and drive it inside. I managed to start it on the second try, drove the car inside, put it on the lift and asked the clerk if he would like me to fix it as well. Any paper work you would like me to do while I am here? Perhaps I can tidy up while I am at it. Wash the toilets for you?
Now I needed to kill two more hours. Luckily my friend Stinky Al was in the neighborhood. He needed winter boots so I got to watch while he tried on winter boots. Guys don't enjoy watching other people shop for boots. Or anything. We then headed off to Costco where I watched him buy more stuff. I really didn't need anything at Costco since I was there a week ago. I could have purchased another case of pasta, a vat of cream cheese, a bathtub of mayonnaise or an acre of tuna, but I figured I had enough in my larder.
Finally, with another 20 minutes to kill, we stopped to eat and then back to the garage. Apparently, the clerk was "just about to call" me when I arrived, to tell me the car was ready. $28.17 to fix the car. Not bad. $24.05 went towards labour, the rest was tax. I was told they just needed to adjust the clutch switch. Really?
After paying I attempted to start the car and the car wouldn't start. The clutch is working, it's just that the engine won't turn. New problem. I have never had a problem with the engine. After a bunch of excuses, engine is flooded, air in the valve... I finally get out, start the car, drive, get home, and remember I never picked up my desk.
I guess I will get it tomorrow on the way home from work. If my car starts.