July 20, 2005

Odds and Ends

Went yesterday at (late) lunch to see about how much it would cost to get the Volvo painted. Even at the cheapo mass-production paint slopper, it would cost more than it’s worth. Walked in to the shop over in Fairfield, and was surprised to see the exact same badly bewigged dude who used to work at a different shop out in Roebuck. You know, some guys can look pretty good with a hairpiece. But there are just some hairpieces that look bad, period, and the guy under it would be a LOT better off to just let the wind blow through his scalp. Such as this guy. The fur pile, something of a late ’70 groovy swooper, was daintily perched atop his pate, with a nice broad gap between the edge of the piece and the skin, all around the perimeter.

Anyway, these type of paint places work on volume, and they don’t really do a great job of painting, but what they CAN do is an incredible job of coming up with all kinds of pictures to show you what all can go wrong with paint. But not theirs, of course.

NO, never.

Theirs is the best in the business. See? A warranty, and for a whole YEAR! That means QUALITY!

But, I knew that going in, and wanted to at least see what their price would be.

Hair Patty Guy had another customer in the shop, whom he coddled and joshed with and fed him a continual line of soft-soap patter about how great his car looked, and how nice his daddy was, and how pretty that flip-flop paint was and how it made something like a purplish aura around the car--or something like a violet-blue color, but more in the purple range, especially out in the sun. Really pretty.

Finally, he got through blowing smoke up that guy’s skirt and got to me. “HEY! You know what--you look just like Stephen King! You know, the author---Stephen King!”

Folks, I have been told I look like country singer Roy Clark, and like “Voice of the Crimson Tide” Eli Gold (in fact, the moronic color copier guy just came in to give us a chat, and the first thing he said when he walked in the room was, “Hey, you look like Eli Gold!”), and even like genial local television anchor Scott Richards. But I have NEVER IN MY LIFE ever been compared to Stephen King. As you can imagine, I was speechless. “No one ever told you that!? You look just like him! Guy that wrote all them books.”

“Ah, well, no, no one’s ever said I look like Stephen King.”

“Well, you do! Let’s go look and see what you got out there.” We walked to the door, “Bet you wish you had his money, huh?”


He and his clipboard walked around the car, and he went into full, feeding-frenzied-shark mode, tapping on various body panels and sighing and whistling and figuring with his tiny little pencil. “What sort of paint job did you want--I mean, I can paint it and send you away, but it wouldn’t look like the factory paint, or I can give you a full job--strip the roof, the trunk, the hood, fix the dents, make it look real pretty and new and shiny--whew! Boy, that acid coming out of the building into the sewer pipe smells BAD!”

“I don’t want the cheapest job, but I need to know a general price for painting it so it looks like factory paint.”

“Okay, come on back inside where it’s cool. It’s hot out here.”

We went back inside where it’s cool, and he started scratching with his pencil and humming to himself and figuring and ciphering and carrying the 1 and such, then got agitated and said, “Well, if we do the prep package--and look--look here at this picture I got here--this here’s what’s happening to your paint on there now, it’s got these here cracks--” He had jumped up and was patting a poster on the wall that detailed the horrors of paint badness--like one of those gingivitis posters in the dentist’s office, except with sheetmetal.

“Look, I just need a price for painting the car--I’m in a hurry, I’m on my lunch hour, and I need to get back.”

I think I hurt his feeling.

He sat back down and started more figuring and finally arrived at a figure of $902. I asked him if they gave written estimates. He wrote it on the back of his business card.

Thanks, mister.

Out the door, and then decided to go by my first choice, but one I knew was going to be tremendously expensive. Don Lenoir Auto Paint and Body, out in Ensley, has been in the business forever, and do some of the best paintwork in town, and more to the point, are scrupulously honest and forthright about what they’re going to do, and how, and how long it’s going to take. Super nice folks, but what I figured was right--more than the price of the car. But they do it right, and I know it would be better to pay more and have it right the first time than to keep screwing around with the paint slingers and have them mess it up. Time to start saving up. I figure by next year I’ll have enough in the Moron Project Fund to make it look brand new again.

AS IT IS, it looks better with the new hubcaps--even Reba thought so, and she’s notoriously unpicky about such things.

Here’s the before, with the pizza pan wheel covers--

And here is what the wheels themselves looked like underneath the wheel covers--

And, finally, here is the hot sexy Swede NOW!--

The photos look a bit hazy because the camera had been inside the house in the cold air conditioning, and the moment it hit the tropical air outside, everything fogged up. And then, yesterday when I drove home, it came another one of those late afternoon monsoons, and it messed up my nicely polished trim rings! ::shakes fist at Mother Nature::

IN other odds and ends, after we got home last night, we went back to the Galleria so I could get myself a couple of suits. Same store I visited the weekend before last, except THIS time the sales manager was working. Now, THIS guy knows how to move material! Completely efficient, called me back first thing this morning to let me know he’d ordered my plain, uncuffed pants, and said he’d let me know when they were in and I could come back for the fitting. He was so nice I bought two suits--one a charcoal with faint multi-colored pinstripes something like I have now, and a navy blue pinstripe like the kind I used to have that I wore slap out. In all, I was in and out in about 15 minutes.

I will be so danged purty, people are going to start mistaking me for that George Clooney feller!

THEN we went shopping for Rebecca and Catherine some pants. It took two hours, and they got four pairs of pants. ::sigh::

Now then, off to go get my black shoes reheeled and get some lunch, and then back here to finish some more stupid typing work.

OH, HEY--another odd end--CNN/Money Magazine voted my little ville of Truss to be the 56th best place to live in America this year! WOO-HOO! WE'RE NUMBER 56!! Watch out, Madison, Mississippee--next year we're gunning for 55th!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 11:14 AM

It is probably your dearth of bars that kept you out of the top 10.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at July 20, 2005 11:37 AM

Only finding 25 within 15 miles tells me someone wasn't looking very hard.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 11:40 AM

Jeez. Half an hour per pair of pants? 15 minutes per leg, and/or cheek?

You could make a pair in less time than that.

Posted by: skinnydan at July 20, 2005 11:47 AM

Girls + clothing + trying on = inordinate amount of time. ::sigh::

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 11:58 AM

Boy you got some big ol ‘spensive houses in that neighborhood.
But it fits with all the new cars and suits and stuff.

Posted by: jim at July 20, 2005 02:27 PM

It's actually a Potemkin village done up by the Chamber of Commerce to justify our #56 ranking.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 02:38 PM

Man, yesterday I saw the worst toupee EVER. I think it was in the St. Louis Airport. It was made to cover the ears with a feathered-back look, but what it actually looked like was a hair hat with ear flaps. I felt bad for the guy.

Posted by: skillzy at July 20, 2005 03:06 PM

It's especially bad now that bald is so fashionable--you'd figure guys would see that as a big relief to keep from having to deal with a follicle fedora. Oh well.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 03:41 PM

I got roped into shopping this weekend, sox, boxers and new very comfy sandels all in 30 minutes... most of that waiting for the shoe clerk to find my sizes in back. On the gripping hand 4 hours of a sexy woman poping in and out of a fitting room on a 95º day wasn't all that bad either. They did have nice steelcase chairs for us package boys ya know.

Posted by: Tony von Krag at July 20, 2005 09:08 PM

Hmmmm--Chef Tony, never mind the chairs, let's go back to the sexy woman popping in and out of a dressing room...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2005 07:14 AM

Wow, 56th Place!!
My aunt and uncle live in Trussville, so I'm sure they're thrilled too.

Posted by: UziQ at July 21, 2005 10:48 AM

We'uns has done got quite high-toned.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2005 12:34 PM

Y'all have a lovely Texaco station right off the interstate. Very handy, good gas.

Posted by: James, LOPM at July 21, 2005 05:27 PM

HEY! WAIT JUST A MINUTE! You were in town and didn't say anything!? For SHAME! We could have gotten a Coke and some crackers at the Texaco, for pity's sake!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 22, 2005 07:34 AM