Heat Wave!


Chip in the windshield from a highway stone on the way back from Mardi-Gras 2014.

Starting this week’s entry with small talk, let’s chat about the weather, shall we? The summer so far in the Philadelphia region has been brutal, worse than in the past two years with not an end in sight.

No one can tell me global warning is a myth. This past June alone has been the hottest on record in the US, but let’s not talk politics at this time. I’ve lost enough of my followers on Social Media as it is, due presumably to my posting political spoofs. People can dish it out, but can’t take it in.

Besides, isn’t everyone tired of seeing political diatribes and vitriol spewed everyday on their timeline? Sure, we need to be informed; but please send politics my way unbiased and based in facts, not just by posting someone else’s lame meme or opinion from the Internet.

I can go on to list how hot it is, but this topic was dealt with in length last summer.  One of the best analogies from that discourse is, “You discover that in July, it takes only two fingers to drive your car.”

Speaking of which, the ongoing vehicle-inspection saga continues. The other day, the Cooper made it finally to my regular inspection facility to get a valid sticker for the windshield. In Pennsylvania, as in most states, we have to bring our cars to privately run stations, usually repair shops, to have the deed done.

That, to me, seems like a conflict of interest, whereby the shop looks for things to repair and make some additional cash in order to pass the vehicle. They are bound by the law to not fabricate deficiencies, but unscrupulous individuals exist surely in the inspection-station industry, as they do throughout everyday society.

I had finished eating my traditional breakfast after leaving the auto at the shop who last year stripped the plug in my oil pan, necessitating its replacement. No oil change was needed this year. I had it done recently at the Mini dealer, whom I trust.

While approaching my haircutter’s shop nearby, I answered a call on my cellphone. The service manager at Dynamo Brothers (not their real name) told me my car failed inspection after the first thing the mechanic saw while driving the Cooper into the garage.

“There’s a chip in the windshield,” he said. “I won’t be charging you for this. You have to get it repaired to pass inspection.”

“Wait, I had that chip fixed already.”

“Who fixed it?”

“All Right Glass Repair (not their real name).”

“Well, you better bring it back to them.”

“I had it repaired almost two and a half years ago, after which your facility passed the car for the next two times around, up until now. And it’s not even in direct line of sight.”

“Although it’s not in direct line of sight, you can feel the crack on the outside of the windshield, which will damage the wiper blades. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing else we can do unless we charge.”

“OK, I’ll be right over.”

I should have known better than to bring it back to them after their paying me $1,000 for outright negligence during an oil change at last year’s inspection.

Having picked up the key, registration and insurance card, telling the service manager he’ll never see me again, I looked at the chip in the windshield and noticed immediately a gouge, as if done with a screwdriver, or pick, in the center of the epoxied repair made previously. Running my finger over it, I could definitely feel it.

Every new, little ding and scratch I notice straightaway on my beloved car. Certainly I would have seen that defect in the windshield before taking it in, leading me to believe it was done purposely, vindictively, or negligently.

Unfortunately, I can’t make that claim assuredly and went on my way. So now, I’ve made an appointment with the Mini dealer to have the windshield replaced next Tuesday, after  which I’ll have to make an appointment with another outfit to finally inspect the car.

The reason for not taking it back to All Right Glass Repair is they had installed the present windshield, mounted it crooked—as per the Mini dealer—not fastening the side covers properly, causing the them to fly off while I was traveling down the highway on my way south to Mardi Gras. Fortunately for me, the windshield didn’t pop out.

That was an unlucky trip for the car, as a rock had made the infamous chip that’s seen above, mentioned in this week’s tirade, which was repaired when I brought it back to All Right upon my return. They replaced the covers at no charge, but I had to pay to get the chip fixed.

The covers blew off again, prompting me to bring the auto to the Mini dealer, who told me these discount-repair shops typically don’t know how to button them correctly; and it was a common dilemma. That’s when I learned the windshield was installed improperly as well, directing my current decision to replace it at an authorized dealership.

As a result, I’ll have to bear the heat, which forecasters are predicting to be in the 90s Fahrenheit (+32 Celsius) for the next two weeks at least, or until my car passes inspection. Hopefully that will be by next Thursday or Friday, after which I hope to take off for my yearly heatwave escape up North.

That will give me enough time to settle on a destination and make my reservations. More to follow. Thanks for your continued support.





About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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3 Responses to Heat Wave!

  1. This infernal streak of bad luck for the Cooper continues with the disappearance of its serpentine belt, which spins the power-assisted steering, air-conditioning and water pumps, not to mention the alternator. Happened on my way out yesterday.

    Fortunately I was close enough to returning home before the vehicle overheated and the battery died, stranding me without transportation in the meantime. Now the car needs to be towed in for service tomorrow for repairs that were originally slated for getting the windshield replaced.

    Honestly, I’m glad it happened now before bringing the car for scheduled repairs, preventing an upcoming trip out of the area from turning ugly. Think it’s time for a new auto?

  2. Kristen van Ouven says:

    Ah, poor baby. Call Uber if you need a ride somewhere. Isn’t there one near you?

  3. Mike Slickster says:

    Very funny, Miss Wisenheimer. Why don’t you drive up here and shuttle me around? 🙂 I’ve thought about it actually. I really hate to depend on anyone.

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