We've been thinking a lot about what to do with our car situation. Mine continues to suffer from gremlin-itis, which isn't exactly debilitating (the latest thing to go was a vacuum hose, which slipped off its bracket and got chewed up by the alternator and made the engine sound like a lawnmower for two days) but it is very annoying, and makes me nervous that a Big Break is looming on the horizon. Joel's truck works fine, but is nearing its fourteenth birthday -- not to mention the fact that it's a bitch to find a parking spot big enough for a pickup truck. We've considered selling the truck and making do with the ailing Jetta for as long as we can, since a sedan is far more practical than a pickup... and we've considered selling my car and learning to live with the truck, even though the seatbelt chokes me and it's impossible to park.. because after all, it's a perfectly good vehicle.
And then we took the Jetta to York, PA for Joel's race last weekend -- the weekend when it was 90 degrees out -- and were reminded of what it's like to drive a car with no air conditioning in the summer in Maryland. That settled it for me: we need a new car.
So we've been looking at cars online, buying car magazines, even test driving a few at Carmax this weekend (a Mazda 3 and a Nissan Sentra, both of which we liked very much). And on Sunday, we implemented Step 1 in our plan to become a one-car family: we added this beauty to our fleet.
She's a 2003 Honda Metro scooter, and isn't she adorable? I really think that downsizing to one car is do-able, especially since once Joel finishes coaching in two days' time, neither of us will need to use the car to get to work. But even so, I thought we really should have some way for the person left carless to get around. And so Joel found this little beauty on Craigslist, and we drove to DC on Sunday night to pick her up. I didn't get to ride her to work yesterday because I couldn't remember how to release the kickstand lock, but I DID manage to ride her to yoga and the post office and it was FUN. Oh, how I loved our new little red scooter.
Notice I said "loved", past tense? Yeah... that's because someone stole it last night. Just over 48 hours after we bought it. That's got to be some kind of record.
Both the built-in locks (the kickstand and the front wheel) were on, and neither can be released without the key, so the thief must have lifted it into a truck and spirited her away. I also had it chained with a cable to a signpost, just to to be extra-sure. If I'd been smarter, I would have put the U-lock directly through the front wheel (instead, I just used it to secure the two ends of the cable, and the cable was looped through the tire and around the post). But... I didn't think of that. I actually thought it was pretty redundant to be locking it up with two built-in locks already in place. But we hoped that a visible lock would deter people from even trying to steal it. I mean, that's why I put The Club on my car. Sigh.
It could be worse, that's what I'm telling myself. We still have the two cars, there are bigger issues in the world, yadda yadda. But I'm really sad. Now what? We're out $1150, for starters. We could get a new scooter, but would that just get stolen too? Do we try to be a 1-car household with no auxiliary vehicle? Do we go back to the drawing board?
I filed a police report first thing this morning (and I do mean first thing, Joel noticed it was missing at 5am when he left for practice), so maybe the thieves will ditch it when they realize they can't ride it. Maybe. We can hope. IN the meantime, if you see this scooter, tell her to call home immediately. She's in big trouble for breaking curfew.