Saturday, April 17, 2010

Follow Up

Alas, my son's car has been returned.

And what an adventure it was.


First off, the man who was fixing his car was not a stranger. He was a mobile mechanic (which is quite common here, believe it or not) and the kind of guy you could call to do simple things at your home or work. He was recommended by friends and has done work for us 5 or 6 times.

He was cheap. And reliable. And cheap.

Did I mention cheap?

Which is perfect for an older car like Matthew's.

Anyway, Morales came out to my son's school right before Easter to replace the starter. That went well, and then we asked him to take care of another bigger problem which required him to put it up on a lift.

One other time, he had to do this for us and had taken the car to do this, returning it later in the day. Back then, we had followed him there because we were a tad more smart...but this time, we just let him take it.

At the end of the first day he called and said he would bring it back in the morning. No problema. phone call. And when I tried to call him back, his phone was disconnected.

In all honesty, I still wasn't worried. I mean, we 'knew' him, kinda sorta.

But then that one day turned into two and then into three.

By now, M and I instead of being panicky, thought it was sort of funny. I mean, come on...did we really just 'lose' a car?

No way.

I tried to find the shop (among hundreds) in Santa Ana. I kept calling his cell, with hopes that it was turned back on. I had his business card, which after closer examination, had no last name printed on it.

We were in a state of shock...and dealt with it by laughing. (OK...and praying. But it seemed silly to pray for a 'car'...KWIM?)

Anyway, on Wednesday as I was leaving a meeting, Morales called me. He apologized profusely and told me that his ex wife had taken his kids to Mexicali ( map it) and he had had to go and get them. He was sorry. The car was fixed and he would bring it right over.

I didn't think to ask where the car was. He was so nice and apologetic that I did what I do...I trusted him to bring the car back.

Problem was...he never showed.

No car.

I called. Left a message. No return call.

Thursday rolls around and now I am mad. I leave more messages. No call back.

Finally, Thursday evening I get a voicemail (I was on the other line...grrrr) from his nephew. He says Morales is in San Diego dealing with family business, doesn't have his cell phone with him but he (the nephew) will return the car on Friday at 1:00pm.

Of course he calls from a restricted number, so I cannot call him back.

Friday. I am home waiting. 1:00pm comes and goes. By 2:15pm, I am getting angrier. I call Morales and leave a message giving my address one more time, just in case the nephew doesn't have it. I was nice on the phone, but firm.

No return call.

No car.

By 4:15pm, I had reached the boiling point. I call his cell AGAIN and told him if my car isn't returned by 6pm, then I am going to the police and reporting my car stolen.

By this point, I am done. I walked to my neighbors house to share the latest development. And then my phone rings.

It was Morales' wife. And she speaks not a lick of English.

But my neighbor speaks Spanish. She tells her we are coming for the car, finds out where it was and off we go.

Two chicks in a mini van, drivin' to the hood.

The car was in a parking lot. She met us there, gave us the keys and told us (not that I understood much...and I took 4 years of Spanish. Lovely.) that he had left her and she was trying to clean up his mess. That someone else had called the police and she was dealing with that, too.

But in the end, we got the car back.

(and yes, it had been fixed.)

Today, the questions are there. Why would he go to San Diego without his cell phone? Why was she driving his car?

Seems fishy...

The End.


  1. Your story could truly be a Hollywood script! Glad you got the car back.

  2. Shell all I can say is I will NEVER forget this story. LOL

  3. Have you checked the trunk for a body?

    Have you checked the doors / side panels / tires / seats / floor mats for drugs?

    I bet you have learned absolutely nothing from this little fiasco and in six months you will be waving goodbye as Jose drives away with your car. :-p

  4. Hey everyone....want me to recommend a mechanic to you? =0)

    I forgot to add that Matthew says his car has alot of extra miles on it...maybe his car was driven to Mexico? Hmmm...


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