Lovely Lettuce and the Motor Crash

Yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 11) whilst I was counting auto parts at the NAPA store on Military Rd. in Niagara Falls, I got a call from the Lovely Lettuce.

“Hi, dear,” said she, “Don’t panic, I’m ok but I was just rear-ended by some <expletive-deleted> old man.”

It seems that this old man was in  a hurry to get somewhere and tried to pass her on a gravel shoulder while she was the third car stopped waiting for the first car ahead of her to turn left into a driveway.   It ended up being a 4 car chain reaction. She’s ok physically but a bit bruised from the seat belt.   Emotionally, she is still angry.

The police officer who handled the accident told her that the 79-year-old man who ran into her was at fault. One would think that on a clear and sunny morning, he would be able to go around (however illegally) a group of stopped cars without hitting any of them. And one, in hindsight, would be wrong.

Lettuce’s 1997 Saturn SL2 was her first car. She had to buy a car so she could get to her job at the Western New York Developmental Disability Service Office in West Seneca. The place is nowhere near a bus line. And now, her car is not drivable because, in addition to the more or less superficial but expensive to fix damage to both the front and rear bumper, the drivers seat was damaged in the impact and will not stay in an upright enough position for driving. Based upon the age fo the car, I reckon that the old man’s insurance company will total it instead of trying to fix it.

Despite its quirks and problems, Lettuce was quite fond of her “blue bitch.” The car was her “blue baby” until the transmission fluid started leaking. Ironically enough, on Wednesday, she finally got her transmission leak fixed. A nice mechanic at a Valvoline oil change place figured out that her “slip on” transmission filter had some pinholes in it (probably from gravel or stones on the road) and the fluid was leaking out of them while the car was running. A new filter was installed and no more leak. I knew she had a compression leak because the transmission didn’t really leak when the car was not running. But I didn’t even know that it had a transmission filter. I’m older and wiser now.

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