The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 29 June 2006]

It’s a good thing I’m rich

Like any household with a toddler that needs to be delivered to day care, mornings at the Lindhs are an exercise in stress and the futility of imagining that a 4-year-old will understand the concept of the word “hurry.” Ninety-nine mornings of a hundred, this means that I roll to work at one particular time, and my wife rolls to Andrea’s daycare and then her job at some other time. It’s just how things are.

But for some strange reason, we found ourselves leaving at the exact same time yesterday morning. In the garage, I gave Andrea her kiss and hug, and then gave my wife her kiss and hug, and then got in the car to begin The Trek to Work On The I-10. I pulled out, waving them goodbye, when my wife all of a sudden waved at me to stop. So I stopped. Then she waved at me to get out of the car.

I was fairly sure at this point that I hadn’t run over anything, and there wasn’t much that had to be said that couldn’t be said later, but obedient as ever, I got out of the car.

To be greeted by the fiercest of rackets coming from underneath the hood of my car. Metal-on-metal mayhem. So I reached in to the cockpit and turned the A/C off. Racket stopped.

Aw, hell.

Air conditioner.

Anybody who’s spent any amount of time in hot climes knows that the first rule of air conditioner repair is: Air conditioner repair is expensive.

The second rule of air conditioner repair is: If it’s June, you will pay. It’s 109 Fahrenheit here in the days, or 43 Celsius for those of you playing along Metric style. This is not a temperature where you can elect to roll down the windows.

So we got the car in for repair, and $1,300 later, the air conditioner is working again. Yep, one thousand three hundred dollars. Which is a bit of a bummer in that we were planning to go to San Diego in a month. Had budgeted about, oh, I don’t know, $1,500 for that exercise.

Do you smell an eerie coincidence here?

The thing is, though, that it “only” cost $1,300 to fix the A/C unit in the Honda because the compressor hadn’t degraded enough that it had damaged the rest of the system. At a worst case scenario, it would have cost $2,200 to replace the entire system. Which would have been the case if I’d gone to work and back with the A/C blasting in the car. Which I would have done if my wife hadn’t happened to be in the garage waving goodbye to me that morning of all mornings.

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