Saturday, February 28, 2009
I have a Jeep Cherokee, which turned out to be the perfect car for someone in my profession. The majority of things I have to haul around are in the form of rectangular solids--furniture or props packed in cartons, lighting control boards, boxes of paint. The Cherokee is a box. It wastes no time or interior space with fancy shapes, like the Taurus with its sides that curve up to the roof, limiting the cargo space and making it impossible to get some things in at all. It’s great for long range driving because it’s comfortable, not too big to park in a city, and has great pick-up even now at it approaches the 200,000 mile mark.
The problem for me began when German auto giant Daimler bought Chrysler and decreed that the Grand Cherokee wasn’t enough, there had to be a second Jeep SUV. After a couple of years in development, the Jeep Liberty (we were still eating Freedom Fries then) was approaching its debut when gas prices started up, severely; SUVs were finally exposed as the gas guzzlers they are and Daimler-Chrysler’s profits began to sink fast. Realizing that they now had too many models on the market, Corporate looked at the situation hard and saw an established, utilitarian, reliable brand versus a newly tooled up factory producing a sexy gas guzzler--they did the logical thing which was to kill the popular, practical Cherokee in favor of yet another SUV.
So that’s my situation as we approach yesterday when I had to go down to Boston with a load of set pieces and props for the production, and see Shostakovich’s brilliant satiric opera The Nose after a short story by Gogol in the evening. Fritz and I had spent the morning doing errands when I stopped the Jeep outside his Center and went to move the control lever from drive to neutral. There was the most awful sound of metal scraping. Moving the lever back didn’t stop the noise, so I shut the car off, waited a couple of minutes and then started it again—no noise and the lever glided through the various options with not so much as grunt. After checking the transmission fluid, I left for Boston more or less on schedule. The trip down, around and back passed wholly without incident, driving and automatically shifting perfectly.
I’ll have it checked out when the rest of the weekend and Monday are behind me because if I don’t, I’ll have nobody to blame but myself for what might happen.
When my trannie elicits the horrible grinding sounds, it's because i forgot to engage the clutch!
And congrats on 190,000 miles. That is a long way for any car to go.
It's a group that just formed like 2-3 weeks ago. A gay dad in Texas sent me the link last week and I've been on it a couple times. It's a great hub for all dads and wanna be dads (and they have about 8 gay dads that have joined). They're still working out some kinks, but what they have so far is great!
BTW, love your blog.
Paul at itsdaddiesplural.blogspot.com
I hate car trouble! I am at the mercyof the local mechanic.
This past week my 2004 VW Jetta station wagon failed the DEQ test to get new tabs here in Oregon. When I was in line to take the test, not passing was not on my list of possibilities. $300 later...
Indeed, good luck with the jalopy.
Anyway, goodluck with the Jeep!