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fast furney's auto repair I

Okay, so we can consider this a prequel to the Back to the Metro Bus series. Before I totalled my car, I had already been in a few accidents, and my car wasn't exactly street legal.

The front headlight and turn signal were destroyed in this debacle, and I was likely to be stopped for this at any moment.

Plus, my tabs had been expired for over a month, and in Washington State, you have to be able to pass an emissions test on your vehicle every two years to be able to keep your license plate current. I couldn't go take the emissions test because my tailpipe was corroded off.

This could have amounted to a couple of hundred dollars worth of tickets if a cop had decided to give me a hard time about it, and I knew I needed to fix it, but it was just so much money, and it was too easy to just ignore it and keep driving.

Luckily I knew Terri, my neighbor, and her boyfriend, Fast Furney.

I had known Terri for awhile, and I remembered when she told me she was hooking up with an ex of hers, and that she had a good feeling about it. It wasn't long before I started seeing him come around. I was introduced, and he seemed nice enough. Whenever I would see him he'd always grin and say to me, "How ya doing? Are you behaving?"

Why on earth he asked me that I still do not know to this day, but he said it every time. He's pretty shy and has a wicked stutter.

I was pretty curious what kind of person could be a boyfriend to Terri. She's a pretty intense lady. I heard a lot of stories from my next door neighbor who had lived there for a while, sometimes I would hear her yelling at people on the phone upstairs from me, and she likes to drink a fair amount.

She seemed to take a liking to me though, and would come down and ask me to teach her about buddhism, and bake me brownies, and fold my laundry sometimes. It's true, she is pretty intense, but I guess I'm a little intense myself, so we got along well.

When she came home the day I had really smashed my front end, she came over to my house, said, "Daniel, oh my god, what happened to your car?" and invited me up for a beer.

I told her I had been in an accident and said, "My boyfriend fixes cars...he'll help you." she volunteered without consulting Fast Furney. She looked at him sharply and then suddenly he got the picture.

"Uh-uh-uh yes. We can probably got a new hood for $100 and uh-uh I know a cheap place to get a headlight assembly for a Honda Civic. Uh it's no problem...I'll just charge you cost for parts, that's all, I won't even charge you for labor. Hu-hey, let's go look at that car." And he began to drag himself up off the couch.

I saw he was making promises under duress, but he also seemes like a genuinely nice guy and I could hardly turn down the inexpensive help. We went out and looked my car up and down. A new hood, a new bumper, a new headlight and turn signal assembly and it would be street legal and even look pretty good again. It's gaping headlight-hole and bent hood truly looked pretty grotesque.

Then I told him about getting tabs and passing emissions and he said, "Well, we'll take care of that first...I just happen to have an extra tail pipe sitting around and I'll just weld it on for you so you can pass emissions."

I told him he had to charge me something for his work, so he said, "How about 25 bucks?" Now if you've ever owned a car you know damn well that mechanics don't even peer under the hood of a motor vehicle for less than $200, much less weld something, so this was an amazing favor.

Sure enough, he took my car one morning, came back with a tailpipe, and I promptly passed emissions and got my proper tabs. I was on my way to being street legal. We were just talking about how much the headlights were going to cost when tragedy struck...


I know how this goes. Someone hit my front left end about 6 years ago - knocked out the side blinker. Hit-and-run and all, and I am poor, and never had the money (or the time) to fix it. But I finally went to get it fixed about 2 months ago, and I was told the entire bumper needed to be replaced - the part where they hook in the headlight part was gone, and the only way to hook it in was to replace the metal strip that ran along the backside of the bumper.

Nope, no moolah for that kind of work. So I still have no inspection sticker. I'm just waiting for the ticket on that one! I swear, when you're in these kinds of situations, I seriously think they should give you a break. It wasn't my fault the thing is missing - it's that asshole who hit me and was never caught. But no, I have to drive, worrying every time I see a cop, that I'll get pulled over and handed a nice-sized ticket.

Man, I wish I could give up my car sometimes!