Out With the Old, In With the New (Off-Topic)

First, let me apologize. Too much doing stuff this week and no time to review anything. At one point I actually managed to break my key off in the lock to my apartment. On a 90 degree say. That was a pip.

But this isn’t about that. This is about thanking someone.

Some friends of mine did something incredibly generous, and I want to publicly thanks them.

I’ve been without a car for a while. Oh, I had one but it was waylaid by a two-dollar plastic part. I managed to replace the one on the tiptop of my brake pedal when that one went (keeping the brake lights on permanently until I pulled the fuse) but when the one at the top of the clutch went (which meant the interlock wouldn’t let the car start) there was no way I could get it in there without losing 50 lbs, growing my left arm four feet and developing a telescoping neck- and if you have a Honda this WILL happen to you. No biggie, since I take the bus or walk mostly, but people here look at you funny if you tell them you don’t have a car. They wonder if you have a personality disorder, or ran over a gaggle of pregnant clergymen carrying puppies while drunk. I think most of my friends just chalk it up to me being from “back East”

The situation was however coming to a head. This is the year the car would have to be smogged to be re-registered. Which means it would have to be fixed. Now, I have a very reputable Honda guy who gave me a litany of things that would have to be done, and pretty darned soon: tires, shocks, struts, axle boots, timing belts, schnitzel valves, catatonic converters, buggy-bumper mounts- well you get the idea, and yes I did make up the last three, but it was in the mid couple of thousands. All of which would leave me with a car with 120k miles and crummy AC.

So Im going from this..

I have these friends who are retired. Since they’re retired they don’t use their second car a lot, which was the wife’s. (which was the case with the Honda; I bought it off of a co-worker, she and her husband were moving back  to Italy. It was barely used). I asked last week if I could borrow it to go see my goldchild’s art installation near Pasadena since it would be three hours each way on the bus.

Then I decided for the heck of it to ask. They mentioned they were going to get rid of the car since they almost never used it except to run it to and service it- so much so that even though it’s only two years newer than my ’93 it’s only got 57k miles on it. So I emailed them asking if they would consider selling it. A day later they emailed me back saying that they would GIVE it to me. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I’m looking for work, and having a car that I know is reliable and well cared for and safe is a great thing. That’s hands-down the nicest thing ever done for me and although they likely don’t want it publicized I do have to thank them publicly somewhere, so here it is.

..to this.

I donated my car to the classical music station at USC.

  • nozknoz says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post, Tom, and thanks to your friends!

  • Perfumista8 says:

    Thanks for sharing this story of true friendship & the spirit of giving. Good luck on your job search, too.

  • jen says:

    Damn, isnt that a Caddy?

    • Tom says:

      Yup. An STS. Needs a couple things, like an AC recharge and a new wing mirror. I think the windows in the back need a new relay or something. But it will get me there so I’m happy as a clam.

  • Musette says:

    This is a lovely story, Tom. I’m so happy you shared it. I think there is way more good than evil in this world – it’s just that Bad News Sells. It’s up to regular people to remind each other that all is not Doom and Gloom.

    What nice friends you have – and, as others have said before me, you must be an especially nice friend, too, to receive such a lovely gift from them.

    Drive safe!

    xoxoxo :Devil:

    • Tom says:

      Actually, I’m not really driving- It’s still 90 out and the AC needs a recharge, which I will do soon. I’m still going to be good and walk and bought my monthly bus pass as usual.

      Gas is $4.50 a gallon after all.

      But I am thrilled and very grateful.

  • Aparatchick says:

    “Catatonic Converter.” I’m pretty sure I’ve had one of those – the car was definitely catatonic!

    Thanks for posting this, Tom. It’s really nice to be reminded that there are kind and caring people out there.

    • Tom says:

      Mine certainly was.

      Yes, it’s nice to know there are people like that out there. There are a lot more of them than the meanies.

  • Gwenyth says:

    I’m very happy you shared this wonderful experience with us.

    I have always felt that there is WAY more good in the world than bad, despite what the news stations tell us. Thanks for the validation!

    I also wanted to express my general appreciation to the community of Perfumistas/Perfumistos of the Internet world. I have found that people who are interested and fascinated by the beautiful things in life are some of the most generous and kind individuals I’ve ever come across in any setting.

  • marsha says:

    Oh Tom, how wonderful and special your friends are! (And lucky you are!) I’m so glad you had friends who could donate you a car and that you donated yours to SUCH a deserving place. I also have a totally listener supported classical music station in my area that is dependent on the generosity of folks like yourself. We need to keep classical music alive in our country!!!

    • Tom says:


      I already gave to our local NPR station because I listen to them at home, but in the car the classical music one is my anti-road-rage support system. So they deserved the money. I donated my last car as well.

      • marsha says:

        Tom – I live about an hour from the Triangle area in NC and the listeners of my radio station say the same thing about the anti-road rage during the rush hour times. Gas – $4.50 a gallon there? It’s just nudging $4.00 here.

        • Tom says:

          They really sell it that way- the call it the anti road-rage and play something really soothing for the evening commute. It’s fabulous. Much better than the news..

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    I remember living in the suburbs for a while and it was pretty pointless to own a car. It was so easy just to walk, ride a bike, or take the bus just about everywhere. But I live in a rural area where having a car is essential. Enjoy your new car!

    • Tom says:

      I’m lucky that I can walk or ride a bike or take (the admittedly infrequent) bus. But there are some things you need a car to get to here if you don’t want to arrive a sweaty mess.

      And people really do look at you funny..

  • smy says:

    Omg, this made me teary!

    • Tom says:

      Me too! That’s why I needed to share it- so much news about awful people being awful, why not tell about some wonderful people doing something really nice!

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Fantastic! Like Ann said above, we so often see people taking advantage and only worried about their tiny corner of the universe that it is incredibly uplifting to hear a story like this one. I imagine you must be a pretty wonderful friend to them as well else they would have never given you a car! I also love that you ‘payed it forward’ by donating your car to charity. Enjoy your new ride!

  • Francesca Belanger says:

    What a great story, Tom. I’m happy things worked out so well for you.

  • Ann says:

    WOW, Tom!! I’m nearly speechless just hearing of this amazing gift your friends have given you. People talk about how bad things have gotten in the world, but there are still so many folks out there who do good things and go above and beyond to help someone else. And it’s always so uplifting to hear about them, so God bless your wonderful friends. BTW, not to make fun of your car repair situation, but you nearly had me choking on my Cheerios this morning with “schnitzel valves” and such. I guess it’s good we can laugh at our troubles. Anyhoo, thanks for sharing this and enjoy that new car — it’s a beaut!