5.04.2007

So Long, Kermit

For those of you distressed by the name in the title and the picture to the right, don’t worry: as far as I know, Kermit the Frog is as healthy as ever.

No, it’s Kermit the Saturn, my first automobile, that I am referring to.

As readers of this blog know, I was in a car wreck Sunday evening, which left Kermit in critical condition, and then Wednesday afternoon I got the news that he had been deemed “totaled.”

For most of the time I’ve had Kermit, I haven’t really been a big fan; I had to replace the engine within a month of buying him, and have had to deal with almost constant problems ever since.

Here is a (partial) list of former repairs and current problems that I’ve experienced with my car:

Former Problems/Repairs:

  • Replace Engine
  • Replace Alternator
  • Replace Brakes
  • Repair Passenger Side Electric Window
  • Repair Rear Driver Side Electric Window
  • Replace Serpentine Belt
  • Tire Blow-out
  • Repair Fuel Pump
Current Problems (Prior to the Accident):
  • Coolant Leak
  • Malfunctioning Driver Side Windshield Wiper
  • Overheating in Idle
  • 3 of 4 Air Conditioning Vents Broken
  • Missing 3 of 4 Original Floor Mats
  • Leaking Spare (Donut)
  • Cracker Passenger Side Inner-fender
  • Scratched Paint
  • Dented Hood
  • Broken Tape Player
  • Broken Handle/Clothes-Hanger
  • Cracked Reverse Light Cover
  • Cracked Driver Side View Mirror

For a long time, the myriad of problems was a source of constant frustration for me, but recently, I started to appreciate how reliable Kermit was despite all of his problems.

It kind of reminds me of an athlete who has constant nagging injuries but still plays hard every day anyway. That’s the way I was as an ultimate player, so maybe it’s fitting that that is the kind of car I had.

That, and the fact that I bought Kermit used, in 2002, for $4,000, and I’ll be receiving $4,039 for him from the insurance company have helped me to better appreciate how good of a deal I originally got.

I went to the collision shop yesterday to clean out the car and say good-bye, and Kermit left me with a parting gift: $21.07 in change, collected from various places throughout the car.

When I got Kermit, a 1999 Saturn SL-2, he already had 85,000 miles on him. Later this month would’ve made five years, and in that time, I’ve raised the odometer to 126,000.

Those 41,000 miles over the last five years haven’t been perfect. In fact, they’ve generally been slower, louder and hotter than I would’ve liked, but all in all, they’ve been good miles.

Kermit, you were a good friend, and you will be missed.

10 comments:

Angela 5/5/07, 12:16 PM  

Who will be replacing Kermie now?

Paul Murphy 5/5/07, 2:48 PM  

It will always be said of Kermit that he drove hard, was fuel efficient, and always did his best to keep up with Patty.
Our thoughts our with you and your family. We know Kermit was a great car that we all have good memories of.

Will 5/6/07, 1:02 AM  

Don't forget the window wouldn't roll up at one point, allowing an unscrupulous person to unlock your car and fill it full of easter grass.

Clay Hendrix 5/6/07, 5:38 PM  

I wonder how frustrating it is do discover the spare leaks. I don't "check" my spare. I pretty much forget its there until I need. Now, when you NEED a spare is far from the most convenient time to realize that it has leaked.

Edward Carson 5/6/07, 6:40 PM  

So, I just bought another Saturn -- the 2007 Coup. It is nice. I had to let the Saturn SL2 go. My wife bought one as well. The 4 door 2006 Saturn Ion Sadan. I feel kind of cool for once. Of course, it is just a Saturn.

Amanda 5/6/07, 10:08 PM  

http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/lms/drive_free/

Sorry to hear about your car, glad you are not hurt! Before purchasing a replacment Kermit, this video is a must see! :) It reeeeally works!

Paul Murphy 5/7/07, 2:23 AM  

who's making 12% on a mutual fund???

Luke 5/7/07, 7:57 AM  

Angela,

If the car is blue, the name will be “Grover.” Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

Will,

You jerk. I was still finding easter grass from time to time. It was also nice when the window was broken because everyone decided that my car was the world’s trash can. I had never seen so many Wendy’s cups.

Clay,

As you pointed out, I didn’t realize how low the spare was until it was on my car. Fortunately, since it was just a donut, I was already driving around 4 mph, and I just got my other tire fixed as quickly as possible and it was okay.

Luke 5/7/07, 8:04 AM  

Eddie,

I’ve actually been pretty impressed with the ions, but I don’t think I’ll be going back to Saturn again…I would never hear the end of it from the kids in my youth group if I showed up with another one.

Amanda,

Is this my cousin Amanda? Thanks for the advice; I watched the video. Whatever we buy will be largely paid for up front with cash. Of course, we won’t tell that to the dealer from the beginning, and will hopefully be able to get our payments as low as possible, and for not very long.

Paul,

I concur; 12% seems a little high unless you have personal stock in Steve Nash and Alex Rodriguez.

Edward Carson 5/7/07, 7:17 PM  

Luke,

I can see that. Hey, my students ride me for having a black Saturn, just like the one my wife has -- okay, close.

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