Thursday, June 4, 2009

The $17,000 Triathlon--Deuces Wild Part Deuce

"What condition is the Blazer in?"
My mom, dad, and I shot our eyes at coachubby.
"Uh, he runs a little rough--but he's 9 years old, so..."

We had spent the entire morning putting the Blizzay Wizzay back together, returning the UHaul, and test driving horribly wussy American crossovers and terribly girly-looking Japanese crossovers.

After the Chevy salesman tried to sell us a car that was already sold, then tried to have us test drive a car that had a dead battery, we left for lunch. Chevy is running a little rough. All of Chevy, not just the old Blazer.

After deciding Toyota's crossover options were not competitively priced, or particularly manly enough for coachubby, I suggested we go to a Jeep dealership. They're all closing--they'd give us a car!

Our salesman was friendly. He knew nothing about the cars, but that was to be expected after he explained that he was actually a laid off civil engineer. I'm guessing he didn't build cars.

When coachubby laid his eyes on a kakhi green 2006 Grand Cherokee, I knew any efforts of mine to have our next car be infinitely more fuel efficient than the Blizzay were shot. Turns out, after all of that looking, coachubby wanted a mantruck afterall.

The salesman was visibly relieved when I had finished the second half of a footlong sub, and was no longer dangerously dangling sweet onion sauce over his clean cars. It was time to make a deal.

Coachubby offered $4000 below asking price. They came back at $2000 below.

We drove away to think about it.

Half way home, a phone call came. They'd do $4000 below, everything included (taxes, etc...) out the door, if we came back right now with the Blizzay as a trade in.


We rushed home and prayed the Blizzay would fire up. It had that morning. All it had left to do in its entire life was go 7 more miles. What's 7 more when you've already gone 155,000?

After a quick charge, coachubby and I jumped in for one last Blizzay ride, followed by my parents.

2 miles into the ride, the Blizzay died. Completely. We rolled off of Scottsdale road into a parking lot in front of a Mexican home furnishings store. We had to roll the car back and forth to fit it into a spot.


Jimmy called the dealer.
"So, what if the Blazer doesn't run?"
Our salesman consulted with his boss.
"Deal's off!"
"OK, so I should just have it towed home, then. OK, bye."
"They'll call you back," I said. I felt it. They needed the sale.

We called AAA, thereby using up the 3rd and 4th calls allowed this year in 2 days. They'd come in an hour. It was 102 degrees outside, so naturally, coachubby and I went to Dairy Queen.

While we were walking back from Dairy Queen, the phone rang.

"OK, here's the deal," said the salesman, "If the Blazer doesn't run, it's $1000 more. If it does, same deal's on."

It was like playing Russian roulette with a blue heap of metal. Whenever the Blizzay cooled down a bit, it would start. We ran over to the Blizzay.

Rrrrrr...Rrrrrr...RRVRroooom! He started! Praise the Lord! We'd tow him to the dealer so as not to squelch his juice, then start him up, then drive off the lot in a beautiful, new(ish) Jeep!

AAA arrived in the form of a beefcakey bald guy about 30 years old with a major 'tude.

Where you towin' it?
To the Jeep dealer, I said. It's gotta run when we get there, so don't start it now!
What's wrong with it?
It's dead.
Then how's it gonna run when you get there?
We're trading it in. If it runs, we make the deal. If it doesn't, we don't. So don't start it up!
I don't know if I can do this.
Do what?
We don't tow to dealers. I'm not going to tow it if its not getting repaired.
OK, then we're towing it to the dealer to get it repaired.
No, you're not.
What do you care?

Bald AAAss rolled up his window to call it in to AAA headquarters. Without a word, he took coachubby's key, stuck it in the ignition, rolled the Blizzay onto the bed, then drove like a madman to the Jeep dealership. The day before, the Blythe AAA guy gave coachubby his car keys back. Bald AAAss was draining the Blizzay of his final life force, and coachubby hadn't thought about it.

My parents and I followed.

The Blizzay, Coachubby, and the salesman disappeared into the back lot. WHAT WAS GOING ON!? Would he start? Could the Blizzay give us one final hurrah to prove he was worth $1000 extra than he would be dead? Oh please, oh please.

Coachubby walked out of the back. We all stared at him.

Didn't start.
(Final photo with the Blizzay.)
I knew exactly why. I wanted to sell AAA man to medical research and demand $1000 for his body.

It was 7pm. In the end, we got $1200 for the Blizzay, but it wouldn't live indefinitely in my mom's front yard, which she was happy about, and we'd be rid of it for good. Even at $1000 more, the low-mileage, 1-owner leased Jeep was a fab deal. It felt strange to drive it off of the lot after 2 days straight of AAA, waiting in the heat, and dirty Blizzay issues. It was so beautiful. So shiny. So dent and stain free.

I called him Laree. (Pronounced Larry.)

We ate dinner with my parents, then loaded up Laree, stuck the bike rack on top, and headed off into the night to drive to Show Low. There was no way we were missing XTERRA now. Even after such a mentally, financially, and physically exhausting 2 days. That's the reason we started this adventure.

We had to finish it.



  1. All I got from this post was that I drive a wussy car.

  2. Haha! You do not! The car in question, which is far more practical MPG wise, and possibly repair wise, than Laree, was a RAV-4. :P (And the underpowered, wussy Chevy crossover was an Equinox.)