The car thing
My car is a 1988 U.S. made Toyota Corolla FX, which was never made in Canada. I like it. I’m used to it and it has served me well for many years. So has my local mechanic, whom I am very fond of and who has often been more than kind and considerate. When he said my troubled car needed a new carburetor and that he could not find another for my old faithful, I asked what alternative we had.
‘We’ll have to fix your old one.’
‘How much will that cost — about?’
Was the old car worth it? Perhaps not, but I thought it might be to me — I’m in no position to purchase a new one and not quite ready to give up driving altogether. He’d need it for a week, so shortly after this conversation, I left it with him when I went to Montreal to visit family.
He had no way to reach me for any changes in cost or confirmation of any kind while I was away. When I returned home and went in to see him, he asked about my trip. I told him I was spoiled rotten as usual, and asked how my little car was.
‘Great. It runs beautifully now.’
‘What’s the damage?’
‘Yikes! I was not expecting THAT much….’
‘We had to replace a lot of parts, plus rebuild half the carburetor.’
I thought about it for a few moments, what to do? I was ready for $400/$500, but wow. I decided, even though he’s often been very good to me, to ask if there was anything he could do.
‘W-e-l-l, I’ll cut the labor by $200, there’s nothing I can do about the parts.’
I appreciated that. I was also glad I had worked up the courage to ask. $200 is a lot to me. Yes, it was still a lot for an old car, but it is running very well and I am pleased to have it.
The phone and internet thing
I called my server and the conversation over the phone went something like this:
‘I’m ready to move to another provider for my telephone and internet service.’
‘Are you not happy with our service.’
‘It’s okay, but my friend is paying $45 a month for the same service I pay over $100 for. She also gets free calls to China while I have to pay for every single long distance call I make.’
‘But, you realize that’s only for six months, after which her costs will go back up to the regular price.’
‘Six months? Listen, I’m 78 years old. I may be dead in six months. I don’t care about what happens in six months?’ (What could the poor guy say to that?)
‘Well, I could reduce it somewhat for you, but not that much.’
‘Good enough, but I also want free long-distance calls to the U.S. and Canada.’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that.’
‘C’mon. You can tell your supervisor I threatened you.’
‘Are you threatening me?’
‘What will you do?’
‘Go ahead and sing.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Okay. “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, Hug
around the neck and a barrel and a heap, barrel and a heap and I’m talking in my sleep, about you, about you, Oh, I love you –etc., etc…..” (Right to the very end of the song. The guy never even interrupted. He listened quietly to the whole thing and then..)
‘Okay. I’ll give you free calls to North America.’
‘Ah, you are a dear. Thank you so much — can I adopt you?’
Then he asked if he could help me with anything regarding my internet service. I told him I had taken enough of his time. I’ll bet he had the greatest time afterwards telling his friends and colleagues about this crazy lady who sang to him that day. Right? And … I am very much enjoying the free long-distance calls I have — until October.