the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Cars, Irony, Justice

Before we left for vacation, I had a weird experience with the fuel gauge in my car. I had filled it with a full tank of tasty 94-octane love, only to burn the first half of it in about 50 miles. Especially troubling was that the fuel gauge dipped a little over an eighth of a tank while I was idling at a red light. But the dashboard computer indicated that I was getting normal mileage, and after the weird dip reversed itself later in the day, it drove as expected for the rest of the tank.

Weird, I thought, and scheduled a service appointment. I was right at 15,000 miles, so it was time for an oil change anyway.

I dropped off the car at the dealership this morning, and Liz drove me in to work, and came to get me at the end of the day. She dropped me off at the dealership with the intention of meeting me over at the car wash in a few minutes, as both of our cars are desperate to be clean.

I filled out the paperwork, paid for the oil change, and they brought out my car. I set my bag in the car, sat down, buckled up, and noticed that they had rolled down the front windows, and that the A/C was also running. Well, I know better than to air condition the entire planet (my momma didn't raise no fool!), so I rolled up the driver's side window, and then rolled up the passenger's side window.

Or at least, that was what was supposed to happen.

The passenger window went up about half way and then, quite disobediently, rolled right back down again. I twiddled the button, and the window went up halfway again and stopped. I twiddled the button a second time, and that's when the window mechanism made a really neat noise and the window dropped into the door with a disturbing series of loud clunks.

Fuck, I thought. That's not supposed to work that way.

I hopped out of the car and walked right back into the service desk to hotly proclaim that my window regulator had just died a horrible and unglamorous death, completely unbefitting its status as part of such a beautiful and stylish vehicle. More paperwork. Called Liz to let her know I'd be late. Waited for the rental car guy to arrive with my means of getting home. More paperwork. Pleasant small talk. Finally, I drove home in my rental -- a silver Jetta, sadly a low-end model bereft of most of the goodies that I have grown accustomed to, but thankfully worlds better than the crappy Chevy Malibu that I got during the infamous Hubcap Incident.

Now, the first thing I do when I get home is to go check the mailbox to see if there's anything in there, and as Liz was still out running some errands, there was indeed new post to be retrieved. And what, pray tell, should be at the top of the pile of otherwise useless dead tree pulp?

A little white tri-fold piece of mail addressed to me...

...from someone named "VW Window Regulator Litigation."

Yes, kids, the part of my car that just broke is the subject of a class action lawsuit that's about to be settled, and they were letting me know that I'm part of it if I want to be.

Now, I can never remember if that's irony or coincidence, but it did have me laughing out loud as I stood at the mailbox. And really, that's about the best I could have hoped for given the circumstances.

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