So I have been getting my car ready to trade in to the dealer when I buy my new car, and the last incident was that my right tail light was rusted out so I did not have a reverse light or a right blinker. (We tried replacing the lights, but the whole thing was rusted beyond use.) I can honestly say I never truly appreciated the value of a back turn signal. But now that I drive 75 miles a day—about 72 of these miles on the interstate—I know just how important it is. Especially when you are driving in bats-out-of-hell traffic in Nashville and trying to merge in or out of traffic.
Well, Ian and looked online to see how much a tail light assembly would cost. $150. Screw that. Then Ian had the grand idea to look at an auto salvage lot or a junkyard. Surprisingly, several salvage lots in Murfreesboro had their inventory online. We found one for $50 that was in good condition, and headed out there Saturday. (“Out there” is an understatement. They supposedly were located in Murfreesboro, but it was in BFE. The streets changed withouts signs, and where you thought you’d go straight to stay on the road actually ended up taking you down a completely different road, though the numbers on the mailboxes still descended accordingly.)
Let me tell you this: If there is ever a time to look like a redneck, that time is when you go to the auto salvage lot. And yes, there really is always a dog at a junkyard.
This place ruled. Wrecked cars piled on top of each other, most behind a fence, but many just laying around where anyone could jump on top of them or do whatever you’d feel like doing at a salvage lot. I thought it would be cool to see a 25-car high tower of flames, but that’s just me.
So we walk in the office of this joint, which was, obviously, covered in parts pulled out of junked cars. (If you ever want a crappy stereo, head down Mt. Herman Road. They’ve got you covered.) We tell the dude behind the counter what we’re looking for, he punches some keystrokes on his computer’s keyboard, and we commence the following conversation:
Salvage lot dude: “Yeah, we’ve got one. It’s $85.”
Ian: “85 dollars!?!”
Salvage lot dude: “Well, we can do it for $75.”
Me: “Uh, your Web site said 50.”
Salvage lot dude: “Oh. Well we can do it for $50, that’s fine.”
Ian and I, thinking to ourselves: “Why didn’t we say $35??!”
I suppose because we had all of our teeth and funny, artsy glasses they thought we wouldn’t dicker over price. Well fuck that. I’ll argue over price with anyone, no matter what color their neck is.
So after what seemed like 3 hours of waiting in a diesel-covered waiting area alternated with 2 hours of kicking rocks outside because I couldn’t breathe anymore inside, our tail light appeared and we rocked out.
It actually was an interesting experience. I would have taken pictures of all the wreckage around the lot, but I was seriously afraid someone would have come out and shot me.