My Jeep Was the Victim of a Professional Hitman
My Jeep Was the Victim of a Professional Hitman
During a popcorn break in the middle of the movie we were watching, Chris turned to me and asked, “Where did you park your Jeep today?”
Chris thought that I had politely parked on the street so he could use my driveway, as I live in a busy neighborhood bustling with nightlife. Friday evening parking is kind of impossible to find, but I had forgotten to move my Jeep.
…I had parked it in my driveway. And it was no longer there.
My Jeep was pretty amazing. I bought the Rubicon used off Craigslist from a corrections officer who relieved job stress by building and operating off-road vehicles. My unanswered emails and calls, the faded “For Sale” sign on the rear spare, and the back-of-the-driveway parking job led me to believe that he really didn’t want to sell it. His wife did an end-around him by listing her number in the ad, and I was the first to call. “My wife said that I’d have to sell something if I bought a new ATV, so I guess my Jeep has to go,” he said glumly.
This guy had attached every bell, whistle, and gewgaw that could be added to a rock crawler. Lift kit (done right: perfect suspension set-up, new drive shaft, even a speedo adjustment to compensate for the big tires), racks, three different roofs, two sets of doors, full underside plating, etc. etc. etc. This thing was a gorgeous beast and had been featured in a couple of off-roading magazines.
I had been home all day, working at my desk just inside my driveway. I had heard a kerfuffle outside, but a plumber had been working on the water-heater next door, and I thought he was still fussing around with that. In hindsight, I seem to remember the sound of a heavy chain. You know, the type they use on a tow truck. Those brazen m-f’ers towed my Jeep out of my driveway when I was HOME! I was right there!
(When I told my buddy about it later, she commented dryly, “Did you get his number? Sounds like someone you’d date”, which is both horrible and possibly true~.)
This was a planned, professional assassination. That Rubicon was gone forever, either stripped for parts or sold in Mexico, 15 minutes away.
Insurance. Note to self: insurance only covers the value of the vehicle as it was when it rolled out of the dealership. This was also news to my agent, who told me that the accessories were covered when I bought the policy. Paperwork stories are boring, but please know that I had a horrible month of insurance hassles. The bottom line is that we agreed on a number that was less than the value but more than I feared, so it was probably a fair settlement. Somehow I still love my broker, too, which is a testament to his charisma.
Now I need a new vehicle, and I’m spoiled for choice. I really need a truck, but I’ll tell you right now that I’m a danger to humanity in a Ford F-150. Scariest rental car experience ever. Maybe I’d get used to a big ol’ truck, but I’m sure the casualty list would be pretty long before that happened. That knocked out a whole category of choices. Here’s my thought process:
• Tacoma: too expensive, even used. That weeds out pickups in general.
• Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet: Just no. I’m American, but not so much that I’d buy an overpriced, bland car.
• BMW: too expensive new, huge depreciation rate even on used vehicles
• Exotics: If I can’t afford a Beemer, it seems that Bentleys are out, too.
• Audi: too expensive, too grown-up. Same for Volvo
• SUVs in general: They’re all Ford Aerostars to me.
Hey, what about a Mazda? I loved my Miata and only sold it because I was afraid I’d get run over by other drivers who can’t operate their oversized vehicles, either. The Mazda 3 is compact, stylish, priced right, and is getting good reviews. That’s a practical choice, and maybe I can get used to the gutlessness of the underpowered motor.
…… Ooooooo but the WRX: now that’s a sexy car. High performance, moderate gas use, and freaking awesome. The car comes standard with race seats. Yes.
Want it. My task is clear, make the numbers show that the Subaru is the more practical choice. I went to college to learn how to justify my impractical choices. Here we go. (Quick note: that really is my monthly insurance payment, something about tickets and a totaled car? Look, I don’t judge you, so I’m asking for the same~.)
Unacceptable. There’s no way I’m going to be OK with that Mazda being the better choice. Justification process in overdrive: cost of projected depreciation. Mazda 3s depreciate half their value in four years. The WRX loses less than 25% of its value. I’ve found my loophole!
The WRX wins! …OK, the Mazda wins by $75 per month. Whatever: I want the WRX. I’m off for my test-drive; let’s see how it goes.