Sunday, September 12, 2004

"I want my two dollars!"

The Movie: Better Off Dead…, 1985 (Savage Steve Holland, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Demian Slade as Johnny Gasparini, the paper boy
The context: Johnny chases angst-ridden teenager Lane Myer (John Cusack) all throughout the movie, demanding payment as Lane makes various attempts at suicide, courts an exchange student and skis down a double-black diamond trail.
How to use it: To acknowledge that you’re obsessing over something that may seem minor to other people. My sisters Peggy and Susan both use this line a lot, although I think they just say it because it cracks us all up.

Before I launch into the continuing saga, happy birthday to the one and only Frau Susanne Schulz, who is already responsible for several of the lines in this blog.

Since I was not able to reach Bill, the man in charge of my car repairs on Friday, I went over there yesterday morning. I asked for Bill at the cashier's window. She said he wasn't there on Saturdays, and then said, "Oh, you mean Bill [last name]?" "I think so," I said. "He's on vacation," the woman said; he'd be back Monday. I asked whether there was anyone I could talk to, and she paged the body shop.

The one customer service representative in the body shop was with another customer, so I waited to talk to him. Ken was his name, a 50-ish man, tall, bald. He was abrupt and unhelpful. He didn't know anything about my car; he couldn't find out anything about my car; Bill was the only one who could help me, and the best he could tell me was to call Bill on Monday morning.

I don't know how long Bill has been on vacation. Maybe this explains why he returned none of my calls the week of August 30. If he's been on vacation this whole time, however, where would the insurance manager have gotten the idea that my car would be ready on September 9 or 10, as he told me on the 2nd? If someone other than Bill has been working on my car, why couldn't anyone refer me to that person? And why didn't Bill's voice mail message say that he was out of the shop? (It's a pre-recorded message that says the extension is not available.)

Bill is supposed to be back at work at 7:00 tomorrow morning. At 7:15 I will call him. If I can't get in touch with him and get a direct answer about the progress of work on my car, I'm going over there in the afternoon. If I can't get a straight answer then, I'll arrange to have the car towed back to Santa Monica Volkswagen, where I should have left it in the first place.

I'm not posting a new itinerary because clearly, at this point, it's tempting fate. But it's obvious that I won't be leaving Los Angeles on Monday, whatever happens.

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