Tag Archives: minivans

Adding Insult to Injury with a Dose of Minivan Thrown In

As mentioned the other day the Triple B Family Truckster has been ill over the past week or so with a faulty sensor that has all kinds of lights on the dash illuminated and prevents the use of cruise control among other creature comforts.

This is a bad thing since it is the main mode of transportation to get to the various sights and sounds that make it onto the pages of Triple B.

Knowing that the car was in need of repair I made an appointment to have it fixed. I learned of the need for appointments last week and following the Dealership’s guidelines I called and got my place in the queue.

When the time for my appointment came I went to the dealership with plenty of snacks and my laptop since I wanted to be productive while waiting for my car to get fixed. I also figured that they were more likely to put a rush on the repair if they knew that I was sitting there as opposed to dropping off the car and returning later to pick it up.

I should have known that the day would not go to plan upon my arrival at the service department counter when they could not find any record of my appointment in their system.  I assured the technician that I did in fact have an appointment and they agreed to fit me in.

Bryce Harper's debut showing in the Home Run Derby Monday night was to be the focus of today's column. Unfortunately in the words of John Lennon, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." Photo R. Anderson

Bryce Harper’s debut showing in the Home Run Derby Monday night was to be the focus of today’s column. Unfortunately in the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”
Photo R. Anderson

As I was settling into the waiting area for what I figured would be several hours I pondered what to write about for today’s column.

I thought about how an article about the father/son dynamic of Bryce Harper and his dad finishing second in the Home Run Derby would be both timely and entertaining.  I have seen many Spring Training games that Bryce has played in and he is always fun to watch.

I even thought about writing about the epic spread of food that I was going to have for the All-Star Game. Picturing Nathan’s Hot Dogs on pumpernickel bread with all kinds of condiments as I watched the American and National League squads battle each other would have been a stroke of culinary genius.

And then as I settled on a topic and my fingers started hitting the keys bringing the words to life, fate stepped in to show me that this would not be a day for a column about baseball, instead it would be a column about a man, a Jeep and a minivan.

It turned out that the service technicians were pushing back on the crazy promise that the service manager made me that they could finish my car yesterday. So they sent the red shirted ensign to the customer lounge to tell me the news that they were too scared to tell me themselves.

So as I looked up and saw him approaching at first I thought that perhaps they needed another signature or had a question for me. Instead I was informed that the repair would not be completed and that they were getting me a loaner car at no expense for my trouble.

While I was disappointed that I was not getting my car repaired and would have to make yet another trip to the dealership I was excited at the thought of what new vehicle in the Dodge/Jeep family I would get to play with while my car was repaired.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo would have been a lovely choice for a loaner car while my jeep was in the shop. Unfortunately it was not to be. Photo R. Anderson

A Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo would have been a lovely choice for a loaner car while my Jeep was in the shop. Unfortunately it was not to be.
Photo R. Anderson

My initial thought was that a Grand Cherokee Laredo might be offered if they needed to keep it in the Jeep family.  My next thought was that perhaps it would be a Dodge Charger since I know that they are often included as part of rental car fleets.

So, as I waited to see what car would arrive I got a few essentials out of my car and my excitement level grew at the chance to have a new driving experience.

As the big white minivan approached I thought surely that is not for me. Sadly I was wrong and indeed it was.

Now, let me start by saying I have nothing against minivans, as long as someone else is driving them.  I know that they serve a great purpose for people with large families and dogs or other animals that like going for rides. As an aside, I was told that I was not allowed to haul any dogs in the loaner minivan during the time that I had it.

Instead of a Grand Cherokee I was presented with a Grand Caravan. Photo R. Anderson

Instead of a Grand Cherokee I was presented with a Grand Caravan.
Photo R. Anderson

This would have been bad news if I was actually an owner of a dog.

So while the service advisor was telling me about all of the features of the minivan and trying to compare it to my Jeep all I could keep repeating was when will my car be ready? The service advisor did not have an answer to that question but assured me that I could keep the minivan for up to seven days while my car is in the shop.

I am sure that somehow the fact that I have a minivan as a rental car is payback for making fun of other minivan drivers in the past.  I am also sure that there has to be some other lesson or reason why instead of getting another Jeep to drive or a lovely Charger I am instead driving a vehicle that comfortably seats 8 with a fold flat third row.

That much passenger capacity is completely wasted on me and makes me wonder what vibe I gave off that said; let’s give this guy a minivan that is big enough for his car to fit comfortably in.

If I ever find myself needing to move a whole orchestra on short notive I think I have the van for the job. until then, this really is too much storage space for one guy to fill. Photo R. Anderson

If I ever find myself needing to move a whole orchestra on short notice I think I have the van for the job. until then, this really is too much storage space for one guy to fill.
Photo R. Anderson

It is my hope that by the time many of you read this I am already back in my Jeep where I belong and not cruising the streets of Houston in a Grand Caravan of fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the repair is under warranty and that I have a vehicle to drive and that there is no out of pocket expense for me, which is rarely said when it comes to car repair. I just wish that the vehicle was not large enough to hold an entire youth soccer team and their gear, and the gear of all of their friends.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my minivan driving self has a feeling like I am supposed to be heading to a soccer game for some reason. I really want my car back.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson