austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

They're all so beautiful I really don't know, so let me go down, get the low-down, and look at each one much closer

The Toyota dealership we went to has not always in the fullness of time been a Toyota dealership. In the misty, barely-documented days we know of as 1993, it was a Nissan dealership, and it was back in that era when my mother insisted that she was finished with the long string of used cars which could be relied on to have surprising and exciting malfunctions in the midst of winter far from home in lousy weather, and also all the rest of the year and sometimes nearer home. And so my parents bought a Nissan Quest, a minivan in the popular Vaguely Next Generation Shuttlecraft style. While it gave quite good service considering what it was put through including the challenge of moving me into and out of dorm rooms (I overpack), this doesn't mean that it never needed any kind of maintenance. And on a couple of those occasions I was brought along on the grounds that I was just a college kid home for a couple days, why shouldn't I get up before 9 am to sit around the Dealers' Service Center considering I borrowed this car when I was home?

And that is why I could give no simple answer to the question of whether I had seen Toyota's service center before. I had been to the service center in that location before and therefore in a sense I had, but it was not Toyota's and therefore in a sense I had not, but it had been the same dealer franchise back then and therefore in another sense I had, however I was mistakenly remembering the Nissan dealership as being a bit north of this dealership and therefore I was under the incorrect impression that I hadn't ever seen this particular spot before and therefore in another sense I had not, but that final sense was in factual error. You can see why I had no sensible answer to give. This may also reflect on why I can't do anything without it turning into an anecdote.

The sales guy showed off the parts store where they did, indeed, have what looked like a whole bunch of parts but tucked into a little convenience store-type display such as you might see in a hotel. Now and then I go shopping for car accessories, but that mostly amounts to buying failed compasses and realizing my cup-holding needs are adequately met. And he brought us just into the garage, which I did recognize and was the moment that I realized my memory of the Nissan dealership's location had been none too tragically mistaken.

He also showed off the waiting area, where people with cars in the garage were encouraged to wait. I think he had trouble figuring where to end that sentence once he had it started. The area was quite near full, to my surprise, although I guess early Saturday afternoons are a good hour for car maintenance visits, and the people inside didn't look too despairing. The sales guy mentioned, and my father endorsed, that they offered all kinds of comforts in the seats such as televisions, wireless Internet, a snack vending machine, and free coffee. Not just coffee, either: they also provide tea, hot chocolate (my father's choice), and oatmeal. I was left thinking about oatmeal at the service center while the sales guy walked back to my mother, who's seen the service center and didn't want the tour again, and news that my car was ready.

Trivia: After the completion of the shortened Gemini VIII flight, David Scott was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, while Neil Armstrong's pay was raised $678 to $21,653, making him the highest-paid astronaut. It was his twelfth year in the civil service. Source: First Man: The LIfe Of Neil A Armstrong, James R Hansen.

Currently Reading: All On Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, Henry Mayer.


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