Wednesday, May 09, 2007

a visit

Mr. Friendly Codes Inspector Man just paid me a visit. You many remember that my busted ass Buick Skylark earned us an orange sticker, that same orange sticker that we usually see on cars left by the side of the interstate for too long.

I'm sure a certain part of me understands that the city needs codes, needs to require a certain standard of its citizens. I wouldn't want to live next to some neighbors I've seen, porches overflowing with crap, grass allowed to grow wild, cars sitting for years on end rusting away to nothing. But such is not the case with me and my Buick POS.

The car is inoperable, and for anyone looking behind my house, it's probably something of an eyesore. But therein lies the clincher for me, that the car is in fact behind my house. It's not sitting on cement blocks in the front yard, though it is on jack stands. I'd love to be rid of it, but I'd also like to get something in return.

It bothers me that the city has the power to make blanket decisions about the property of its citizens. It makes me a little mad that they have the power to just take a car that they've decided to take. Momma and I paid real money for that car. Her grandparents helped us out some, finding the car and helping us make a down payment, so they too have some investment in it. Momma's grandfather has a fair amount of sweat and even blood donated to that car in terms of repairs and repair help. Anyone who's done auto repair work knows that the gods of auto repair often require some sacrifice of blood, though why it must always come from the knuckles is the greater mystery.

So what's to be done? I sent a message to the National Kidney Foundation's local office a week ago and have yet to hear from them. I was completely honest in my description of the car. The body is in great shape as is the interior. Most of the engine that we actually still have is in great shape as is the transmission, though neither of those parts are currently in the car. They are in the garage taking up space I'd love to use for other purposes.

But Mr. Codes Man was exceedingly friendly, even when he was reminding me that we'd discussed this problem a year ago. I was under the impression then that the car at issue was the Subaru DL that we did get rid of around that same time. It was in sad condition in terms of body and interior, but it could easily have been made to run and is now gone. That one was not behind the house and was imminently more viewable by random passersby. Apparently both cars were a problem.

So what's to be done? It's doubtful that anyone accepting cars for donation would want this heap. It would cost them more to tow it and its parts than would be worthwhile I'm afraid. It would cost a good deal to replace the broken and missing parts, probably again more than the car would then be worth. Who the hell wants a 1990 Buick Skylark?

I thought I had a lead in selling the car for parts. That lead has had to take some time to visit his ailing father in Chattanooga, and I'm not willing to bother him about this issue right now. So I have seven days to either part with the car for whatever money I can get, hopefully including the engine parts and transmission, or I can find myself, seven days from today, watching the city tow truck haul away part of my problems, leaving me with worthless auto parts, large, cumbersome and not easily removed auto parts. They would willingly take my car and leave me with a greater problem because at least the engine parts are not out in the driveway. Maybe I should just drag the transmission into the driveway next week and let the tow truck driver figure out how to get the car out around it.


Michele said...

Lots more places to donate your car. Because you should have a choice.

Rosie said... are just living in the wrong place. I am considered a pauper indeed, for my lack of rusting old gentlemen of the road and field in my yard. There is a family near me who has hundreds of these old bits of cars and machinery...the tale is that their father was a geological surveyor and they can't haul them off because he hid their inheritance somewhere in the kudzu draped wrecks. They are a sort of wealth here.

I wish you much luck in finding a home for the old thing.

In retaliation, might I suggest some innovative yard art making use of old toilets