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Ah, well, I took Foxela (my 2002 Ford Focus) in for her scheduled service today. I had an appointment for 7 a.m. and the Ford place is near my work location, just north of the airport. A co-worker on his way in to work picked me up at the Ford service department, so I got here just on time.

My baby is being poked and prodded and evaluated, just as I was yesterday at my annual physical.

I had requested that Foxela's service be finished by 3 p.m. so that I could cadge a ride here at work back to the Ford establishment before everyone went home. They promised, yes, sure, 3 p.m. no later--after all, 8 hours should be enough time to take her temperature and draw a little fluid for analysis and hook her up to the automobile equivalent of an EKG. Right?

Well, evidently not. They called and said my car wouldn't be ready until 5 p.m. So here I sit as everyone charges out the door to go home, waving friendly good-byes with big smiles. I smile back and say, "Good night! Have a nice evening!" all the while wondering how the hell am I going to get my car whenever the service department decides it's ready.

And of course I left my jacket in the car. And my thermos of coffee.

This has happened before. As far as I can figure, there are "emergencies" that come up which take precedence over appointments for regularly scheduled service. I guess every emergency service vehicle in my city needs urgent repairs on the day I take Foxy baby in for service. Right. That must be the explanation.

Next time, I'm bringing my sleeping bag and my coffee and my latest book with me. And I'll tell them I'm perfectly prepared to camp out in their Customer Service Lounge until Foxela is ready. And if you don't think I'd do that, you don't know me very well--I'm a child of the 60's and gray hair is no deterrent to protest. Power to the People!

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