I am tired of being duped! Tired of being cheated, taken advantage of and hoodwinked! I am tired of having the wool pulled over my eyes while I am bent over and cleaned out of all my money. No, I am not talking about taxes. I am talking about something much more evil, much more cold and calculated. It is something so sinister that to utter it's name brings chills to your spine. It is my yearly state car inspection. The time of year that brings fiscal terror to your checkbook. This horror starts when you get the notice in the mail that your registration is due. Talk about a joke! Why do I need to register my car with the state? So they can keep track of how many cars are in the state of Pennsylvania? No, it's nothing more than a money maker. A raping of the people of the Commonwealth. This is where I start to unloosen my belt because I know whats coming....MY INSPECTION!
With this thought burrowing into the back of my wallet as well as my brain, I sit down to break the bad news to my family that nothing extra can be purchased until I get the car inspected. This brings sheer terror to the eyes of my family for they know from past experience what the result will be. Poverty! As we sit down to map our a financial battle plan, I call the shop to make the appointment. This year I was only 3 months late getting my car inspected. There were other priorities such as my future trip to Ireland that delayed this horrible inspection process. Now the appointment is made and the gut wrenching wait begins. Day after day goes by as you think about nothing other than the bill that your mechanic is going to slide your way as he explains everything that was wrong with your seemingly perfect car. Finally, the day arrives. You bound out of bed that morning with thoughts of the inspection. You are trying to keep positive as you say to your wife, "I think we should be good to go today. The car seems fine to me". She chuckles because she knows the yearly "Whacking of the Wallet" is coming. Your wife chirps out some words of encouragement and goes to take a shower. Thoughts of the razor blade are running through her mind but she will never let you know. While she is primping up for work, you are so nervous that you simply throw your work clothes on and bolt down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Thirty minutes later the wife comes down and says, "Let's go"! It's time to put your car into the hands of an expert...and expert duper.
As both of you drive off to the garage, wild thoughts of nothing being needed run through your head like visions of sugar plumbs on Christmas. Don't believe them for one minute. They are residual memories of your childhood coming forward in a time of great despair. Of course on the way to the shop, you hit every traffic light which just prolongs the agony even more. Finally, you are there. You are at hell on earth, the garage. We all have our own hell on earth that we visit once a year. This underworld of grease and rubber strikes fear into our hearts every time we drive by them. It is time to now drop off your car. Wait, no one is here yet! That's an omen of good things to come. I beat the mechanic to work today. What do I do now? I know, he told me with a laugh, "Leave your keys in the ignition and the registration and insurance card on the passenger seat. I will take care of the rest". You complete the evil task as requested and then you jump into your wife's car because she must give you a ride to work. There is silence for most of the trip, but just as you pull into work, you utter those insane words once again, "I think we should be good this year". She rolls her eyes, gives you a peck on the lips and says, "I'll pick you up at 4:30". You say OK and head into the office.
There you can barley concentrate on work. Hell, I should have just taken the day off! You wait on pins and needles for the call that tells you your car is done. About 2 hours later, the phone rings and it is your friendly neighborhood mechanic. He states that he looked over the car and it is going to need some work. WHAT! WHAT! ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME! You answer, what kind of work? In your mind you know what it needs. Why even ask? As he utters the words, you lip sync right along with him. Well, it's going to need brake pads, rotors and calipers on all 4 tires. The inspection repair of champions. Cheap parts and a high mark up. You say, "Hell, my brakes seemed fine, I don't understand"? Your mechanic states that he cannot put the all coveted stickers on the front window without the work being done. Now comes the $1,000,000 question. How much? As your grease monkey works up the numbers on his adding machine you wait in sheer terror. Here it comes, like Michael Meyers out of the darkness. Well, with parts and labor it "looks like" about $700.00. WHAT! WHAT! Seven hundred dollars, I don't have that kind of money laying around like a walrus on a beach! Your stomach drops into your testicles because you know you are helpless. You say to your mechanic that you don't have that kind of money to dump into your car and is there anything better he can do. He hits his magic adding machine again while mumbling into the phone and comes up with around $600. At this time you can do nothing but belly up and say OK, get er done.
As the day passes, time now flies by because you know the duping that you just took is for real. Before you know it, it's time to go pick up your car. You jump into your wife's car and off you go. She asks how much the damage is knowing full well what ball park this screwing is going to be in. She knows because you are choking on your testicles as you spew out around $600. Then she utters the words, "I thought you said everything would be good". What can you say? There are no words to come back with. The trip to inspection hell is a quiet one. Again, you hit every single traffic light which prolongs the agony. Now, the shop is in sight. You pull in and off you go to give him your first born and a 1st and 3rd round draft pick. You walk in and the duping vehicle of the state is sitting there waiting. You walk up and utter those dreaded words, "How much is the damage." He pulls out the invoice and starts to read the repairs. Brake pads, rotors, calipers, a left front blinker bulb, new wiper blades........$703.00. Wait a minute, I thought you said $600.00? Well he says, I put the top of the line pads on so you won't need them for some time. Along with those pads I had to get a certain type of rotor. It was a little higher that I thought. As your intestines leak out of your anus, you tell him that you can't pay for it all at one time and can you pay half now and half with your next pay. He thinks for a few seconds and say's sure! WOW, a victory you think. You have been going to this mechanic for some time now and he knows you are good for the money. You then write out the check for $350 and a post dated check for the remainder. You thank him for the hoodwinking he just gave you and off you go, good for another year.
As you and your wife walk out you actually utter the words, "He is a good guy for letting us pay in 2 payments". You are again fooled. The first payment pays for the parts and the second is his beer money which he is good to hold for two weeks. Make no mistake, your mechanic is the spawn of Satan himself. He is the deceiver of repairs. The Beelzebub of the car world. He is an expert at bending you over and giving it to you where the sun don't shine. It's all a sham! The state benefits from your inspection and emissions fee's and so does your mechanic. Why does the state of Pennsylvania feel so concerned about the conditions of our cars? I'll tell you why, the money. They rake in millions of dollars in unnecessary inspection fees and have been doing it for years. Why do we have to get our cars inspected each and every year? It's nothing but a rouse. I say if you have to have inspections make it every 4 to 5 years. By the time I am done with registration and inspection I have been dropped close to the poverty level. No wonder the national level is rising.
House of Kroy tour - *...sans the basement and garage.*
10 months ago