Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Sketchy Craigslist Experience: Strangers in a Strange Land

I need a car. I don't like to admit it; I was hoping to borrow my boyfriend's car forever, rather than own one for myself. But I need a car to get to work five days a week. The commuter rail just doesn't do me right--driving takes 30 minutes in the morning, the rail system takes three times as long.

So I was scanning Craigslist for cheap cars, looking for something reliable to get me to and from work. That's all I really need. I found an old civic that seemed promising so we packed up to go look at it.

Now, I'll admit the car wasn't in the greatest shape. And we knew that before we left to test it out. The looks of it and it's location should have told us not to bother. But we had a mission, a need to appease.

We got to the car and it was as ugly as we expected. Though the car was originally all white, the hood and the trunk were black--replaced for one reason or another. Oh, there was always a reason. In fact, we got in the car to test drive it and there was a reason for the pull to the right (one tire with more air than the other), a reason for the door being in pieces ("it's in my garage"), a reason why it couldn't be driven too fast, and a reason why the A/C didn't work (apparently, if you disconnect the A/C, you get three extra miles to the gallon).

So with all those reasons, it didn't take much to imagine how I was feeling about the civic when I got behind the wheel. Then I got to experience first hand all the clicks, grinding and rubbing noises the car made. Turn the wheel and it sounded like the wheel was rubbing against the quarter panel, only it wasn't that consistent. I wanted to check it anyway, so I asked where there was a big grocery store, thinking I could make use of the parking lot and give it a thorough look-see.

The owner asked me to pull into a gas station. The car was on empty, so I decided I'd run in and get something to drink while he filled up the car. I got my drink and we were talking about the car situation, without realizing the owner had come in to pay and could hear us. By the time we had paid for my drink he had left.

Yes. I said left. We didn't believe it at first. We walked around the gas station in all directions to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then, to remove all doubt of his intentions, he came back and said he needed to show the car to someone else, that he'd come and get us in half an hour, that we had wasted his time.

His time? He stranded us at a gas station! Moreover, a gas station in a town we had never been to. Time? Let's talk about safety and respect!

Roughly half an hour later, we arrived back to the car we had parked outside of this man's house. The spotted civic was parked out front too. Our car was untouched (thank goodness).

Sure we thought of all the nasty things we could do to the car, though he would have just spray painted it again, and we entertained all the spiteful notions we could muster. But can you imagine actually stranding someone at a gas station in an unfamiliar town?


Todd said...

Holy crap that's rude!

Sandy said...

I know! We couldn't get over it.

I was fortunate to have someone with me or I might have freaked out. Instead, we got to laugh about it.

Sid said...

How did you get back to the dudes house?

Sandy said...

We walked. Lucky I have a decent memory... Or we would have been in deep trouble.

Although, we were toying with the idea of having a police officer drive us back. Serves to purposes--scares the jerk that stranded us and gets us back to the car.

But we just walked!