Transportation at a Steal

Written by Lisa Stager

A few years ago, Himself and I set off for what we in this area refer to as “Up North.” We had a nice, relaxing weekend planned – awesome room in an awesome bed & breakfast, various luxuries including incredible meals, champagne, Jacuzzi, you get the drift. I got behind the wheel of my Reatta and backed out of the driveway before I realized that Himself was not in the car. Oops. I remedied the situation and off we went.

Here is what happened:

Mission aborted after driving for about an hour and a half. Shuttlecraft Reatta Ver. 2.0 suffered a systems failure of as-yet-to-be-determined origin at Mile Marker Number 172 on Interstate 75 North. The pilot of the shuttlecraft cussed what is known in some circles as "a blue streak," to the seemingly vast amusement of the co-pilot. Further grumbling and inelegant language could be heard from the pilot when she learned how much it would cost to have a vehicle towed for 93 miles. She became crankier than the lone sheep at an Alabama shepherd’s convention.

The option of instead having SRV2.0 towed to a nearby repair facility and arranging for alternate transportation back home was promptly dismissed upon the realization that in this neck of the woods the cost of such transportation would have far exceeded the cost of towing. So much so that if I were ever to lose my ability to drive, rather than rely on taxi services I have devised the following economical contingency plan:

Step 1) Obtain roadside assistance coverage and make sure to stay current on the premiums.

Step 2) Peruse automotive section of want ads in local newspaper, focusing on subheading "Piece of Shit."

Step 3) Select the least expensive P.O.S. (vehicle need not actually run) and purchase. Chances are good that there will even be listings for P.O.S.s with prices such as "Free" or "Will Pay to Have Removed." These are the ideal choices.

Step 4) Park newly acquired P.O.S. in unobtrusive section of property, preferably concealed behind a privacy fence to prevent neighbors from (a) snickers, guffaws, or unflattering name-calling every time I so much as walk out to my mailbox; (b) calling the cops to report me for operating an automobile salvage yard in an area not zoned for junkyards; and (c) in the case of one rather... eccentric... neighbor, stealing the P.O.S and trying to sell it at his next yard sale along with all of the other items he (and I swear I'm not making this up) takes from the garbage bins and piles at the curbs throughout the neighborhood on trash day, only to put price tags on them and attempt to peddle them at his regular yard sales.

Step 5) When the need for transportation arises, call up AAA (or whichever company chosen for roadside assistance policy) to report that my car has broken down. Friendly tow truck driver comes to my house and goes through process of hooking up P.O.S. to his rig (entire process completed in less time than it would take a taxicab to arrive, even if friendly tow truck driver and I linger over a leisurely cup of coffee or two), I climb into passenger seat of tow truck, and friendly tow truck driver delivers me to the requested destination, with the added benefit of lower traffic accident odds according to my research on the driving style of tow truck drivers versus taxicab drivers. Friendly tow truck driver disconnects P.O.S. and leaves it in a discreet corner of the parking lot, and off he goes.

Step 6) Repeat Step 5 when ready to return home.

And voila! Safe, no-fuss transportation at substantial savings! Granted, this just might technically qualify as fraud, which just might technically be illegal, but I’m sure the chance of getting caught is in the low percentages – surely less than 50%. I think we can all agree that the benefits outweigh the risks, right?

I haven’t actually implemented this plan myself, but I encourage you all to give it a try. Let me know how it goes.