Thanks California

by Lesley on January 11, 2009 · 1 comment

in make-you-think

My husband is inquisitive. He is known for asking questions in any and all situations. From why I’m using a certain type of chocolate in my cookies than another, to where I’m going when I walk out of the room. (To the bathroom! ok?) His questions are always meant with the best of intentions. They are not accusatory (although sometimes I take them to be) but rather, he really just wants to know. His mind rests easier when he has answers.

His inquisitiveness really pays off though when he wants to save a buck. In case you haven’t already gathered, we like to save a buck. Who doesn’t, right? He will stay on the phone with airline reps or computer companies for hours at a time, just for an answer. He’ll ask question after question until he can find a better flight time. I, on the other hand, am too impatient and would rather give up.

In December, Jonathan’s little red 1990 Acura wouldn’t pass smog. He bought some type of liquid to clean it out, and even drove it all the way up to Placerville to run the liquid through before getting it retested. The car failed again. We were worried. If the problem is what the mechanic guessed it was, we were looking at $500-600 to get it fixed. The car isn’t worth much, so we began looking at other options. Should we sell it? (Nah, can’t sell it if it can’t pass smog). Should we sell it for parts? Should we buy a moped? Should we not get it registered and wait for a ticket?

Instead, Jonathan hopped on the Internet and started searching. He found out that a program exists through the state for cars that don’t pass smog. He went into their office with his receipts from smog, filled out a sheet of paper, and was told that if he paid $100, they would pay $500 towards getting the problem fixed.

He followed the instructions, took the car in on Friday, got the issue fixed for $400, and passed smog!

While I am thrilled out of my mind that we found such a perfect solution to our problem, I also can’t help but call out the irony of such a program. In the middle of a State and National budget crisis, when our schools have no money, and government jobs are being cut, ANYONE that doesn’t pass smog in California can get up to $500 to fix their car?

And we wonder why public transit is underutilized and overpriced. Hmmmm….

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