By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 10/1/2020
Posted: 7/31/2010
Topics/Keywords: #Michael Page Views: 2823
Michael gets a car of his own!

For the past three quarters of his medical school, Michael and I have been carpooling. Sounds efficient and green, right? But Michael's hours are different every day, making it difficult for me to work consistent hours at my job. And most days the Ford SUV wound up making two or even three trips between home and Chandler and/or Tempe. And so, it seemed more sensible for Michael to get himself a car of his own to "toodle" around in, as he put it.

So this morning we went through the ads on Craigslist, deciding to buy a car from a real person, thus avoiding the exorbitant fees a dealer would add on.

I sent Michael several possibilities, from which he chose two. The first one was located in Gilbert, and we got there about 2:30. Michael asked flat out: Why was the guy selling the car? The car, the thirtysomething guy explained, belonged to his sister and she didn't really want to sell it at all; but others in the family had what they considered a better car and had pressured her into selling this one.

Michael test drove it and it seemed suitable. So now all we had to do was give the guy $1200 in exchange for the title. In cash.

Not being a drug dealer, Michael doesn't normally carry that kind of cash around with him. And it was after 1 pm on a Saturday, when all the Bank of America facilities close. He was able to pull $500 from an ATM, but that was his daily maximum ATM withdrawal, leaving us $600 short.

So we went to a nearby Safeway (located by my GPS) and Michael bought some trifle, a box of cookies or a bottle of Gatorade or something, paid for it with his debit card, and got the maximum cash back…$100. We then drove to a Fry's, where Michael came out with another box of cookies, and then went back in…to a different register…getting a greeting card. He then sent me in with his card; I came out with some Fig Newtons and another $100.

Two final visits to a Basha's, yielded the remaining cash, plus a box of Pringles and a banana.

We finally returned to Robert, the car guy, and gave him the money. However, there was now another glitch. He'd checked online, and IN Arizona he isn't allowed to keep the license plate with the car. Realized that Michael might be pulled over if he drove without one, Robert offered to follow us home so he could remove the plate when we got there, which he did—though it was an hour round trip for him.

He also tried to sell us football tickets, which he apparently sells on the side.

In any case, with the car at home, Michael and I got the new vehicle insured and a temporary tag printed so he could drive it Monday to get it registered.

Zach tries to monitor our cat, Milton, who checks out Michael's new car.

Zach tries to monitor our cat, Milton, who checks out Michael's new car.

For those interested in the specifics, this is a 1994 Buick Park Avenue 4-door sedan. The engine looks pretty clean (without being suspiciously "too" clean); there is some rust on the rocker panels; but it will hopefully do the job of ferrying Michael to and from class for the next couple of years.