Freddy's Last Stand

Ford Escort

Is it my imagination, or has the Internet gone grotesquely slow? Could it be related to the blackout?

Anyway, I’m sorry to say that Freddy, our faithful Ford, died on the side of the road, yesterday. It had been working fine that morning as Erin and I drove to Chapters in South Kitchener. Then, leaving Chapters, we headed up King Street when we noticed this burning smell, and I saw the temperature gauge on the dashboard creeping rapidly beyond normal. I pulled off the road on King Street just before the Highway 8 onramp.

We opened the hood and checked the oil, but it seemed fine. Trying the ignition, again, produced a stuttering engine and very low power, so we shut down the car and walked three blocks to William’s Coffee Shop to call CAA.

The CAA, despite its patently ludicrous and uncalled for positions on new highway construction, is invaluable for offering free tows, so we didn’t have to wait long before some kind soul with a tow-truck came along to take Freddy to the garage. My complaint is with the Tim Horton’s and the William’s Coffee Pub that we tried on the way.

You see, for some reason, no less than three payphones enroute were out of service. So, I walked up to the counter at Tim Horton’s and said “my car’s broken down, can I use your phone?” and the response was “here’s a quarter. Use the payphone outside.” “But the payphone outside isn’t working; can’t I use YOUR phone?” “I can’t let you on this side of the counter. Sorry, you’re out of luck.”

Actually, the guy behind the counter was more polite than that, and he did offer me a quarter; the real villain, here, was this strict managerial policy that no customer could use the business phone, apparently even in cases of emergency. And it wasn’t even limited to Tim Horton’s. Williams refused to give me access to their phone, pointed me to a payphone beside Wendy’s, and offered me a quarter. Fortunately, that payphone worked.

But, forgive my language, what was up those business’s asses? Generation X video allowed me to use their phone when my alternator went out; is it really so much of a burden to let somebody across the counter to make one quick, toll-free phone call?

The garage was closed when the towtruck delivered Freddy. I won’t know what’s wrong with the car until Monday. At 201,000 miles, Freddy really owes nobody anything; still, I’ll be sad if this truly is Freddy’s last stand. We certainly won’t be able to get a new used car for some time.

At least public transit here in Kitchener-Waterloo is very decent.

Kudos to Jim Elve of BlogsCanada for setting up an excellent blog directory dedicated to Canadian bloggers. Just as the GTABloggers website filled an excellent niche, the BlogsCanada Directory is an excellent tool that will build up, I expect, a distinctly Canadian blogging community. The websign design is ingenious (and I hope government of Canada copyright lawyers don’t come knocking) and the directory is very user friendly and easy to use.

I am also honoured that my own site comes recommended. Thanks again, Mr. Elve!

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