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Scarvey column: Bad Jetta juju turns good

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I knew something bad was going to befall my daughter’s Jetta last Saturday on her way back to school. I’d heard those little clicking noises and suspected that trouble lurked under the hood and down the road.Why else would I have said a little car prayer, when I really believe God has a hands-off policy when it comes to mechanical things? About 60 miles down I-85, we saw a stranded Jetta, and that didn’t make me feel better.
Neither did the next sound I heard ó something like rocks thumping under the car.
Since we weren’t driving through gravel, that wasn’t an appropriate sound. When the RPM gauge got stuck as we limped off to the side, that didn’t seem too auspicious either.
All I could think was, “It’s the *!#*? transmission.”
The day was clearly shot and we were about to place ourselves in the hands of someone who might not have our best interests at heart.
My husband was a few minutes behind us ó we were driving two vehicles to Georgia, only one back. After the tow truck got there, he and Spencer headed onward while Quinn and I got into a tow truck bound for Gaffney, S.C., known for its giant peach and, recently, its serial killer.
I was prepared at this point to have a full-blown, no-good, very bad day. It turned out to be anything but.
Did you ever have a day when everyone with whom you came in contact was kind, helpful, funny or empathetic, whatever the situation called for? A day when nobody was cranky or short-tempered or ridiculous? A day when nobody tried to take advantage?
It was that sort of day. Quinn and I spent much of it with Jason, the Meineke front desk guy, who kept us laughing and up to date on the state of the car. He recommended a restaurant, where we ate big sloppy burgers. We brought him back a sweet tea.After lunch, we found lots of cool, fun things at a Goodwill store nearby, including a vintage 1989 Rolling Stones concert tour shirt for a buck.
Later, we hung out with other customers, including a guy who gave off a slightly scary skinhead vibe at first but who ended up being entertaining. We talked about the strange hold the movie “Twilight” has on teen girls, and how we both love the book “The Kite Runner.” Four or five of us then discussed the 7-year-old boy who went on a joy ride in his parents’ car, and we all agreed that a spanking would have been far more beneficial than four days without video games or TV.
The shop had Wi-Fi, so I posted our plight on Facebook. Within minutes, two friends had volunteered to pick us up (thanks, Doug and John). We didn’t need a ride, but it was wonderful to realize the option was there.
By 5:30, we were driving out of the Meineke parking lot, with two new axles and a decidedly reasonable credit card bill.
We were actually kind of sad to leave.
I felt we’d just been granted a charmed day, with universal forces conspiring ó in Gaffney, of all places ó to lift us up and even things out.
We felt blessed out of nowhere, and maybe those blessings are the best kind.
Contact Katie Scarvey at kscarvey@salisburypost.com.


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