Muddville saw it coming--in their hearts, they knew...

Jesse Hazel once claimed that no car had ever bested him. I was more than willing to believe him. The first year I lived here, I watched him fix an unceasing queue of vehicles: imports, domestics, motorcycles - everything. He even helped me diagnose some car problems I'd been having and loaned me the tools to fix it myself.

Back in March, my timing belt snapped. I enlisted Jesse's aid. Some six months later, his work is done.

He was going to drop the car off if he could get a ride back, or swing by and leave the key with Wyatt.

Yesterday or the one before it, I found out he left the key inside the gas tank compartment.

I finally got to go look at it today.

By way of TKO, '95 Escort over Jesse Hazel in the 6th round.

Even if it was bullshit braggadocio, I take solace in the fact that my car handed him his first defeat and he opted not to show his face to drop the key off, which would have led to him being questioned about the car's status.

Nope, he left the key in the car and split for Fort Collins, Colorado.

The only evidence that he did anything to it all is a socket left on a head bolt, some unreplaced covers, and a thin bead of sealant on the head he replaced. Probably. I don't really feel like opening it up to see if he did the valvework he said it needed.

Most notably irritating is that he didn't leave the new timing belt, which represents the first chunk of money I gave him back in the day, something like $180 for a kit including a new water pump, belt and new tensioners.

All said, I gave him nearly $600, and while I might have a partially rebuilt engine, I also have an unmoveable car about a mile and a half away and no parts to fix what the original problem was.

This seals the fate of the Xbox, which I'd actually figured I was going to be able to keep, financially wise. There's only so big a bath you can take, even on technology and its depreciation, but--

After consulting my email, I may even be selling it tonight. I feel better about the purchaser, having just spoken to him on the phone. He has to see if he can get a ride from a friend because he has too many DUIs to drive. Now I feel like a charity, but in a good way. Here's what you should have been doing while drinking in the first place, buddy...

Wy and I took a break to play some Guitar Hero, the only video game he's ever gotten into, to my knowledge.

For nine games, most of which have value, two controllers, charge cables and the general kit'n'caboodle, I'm getting $350. Blech, but if selling it means I look at my bass and keys with something other than mystery and apprehension, then excellent. I just wish I hadn't spent the like $800 dollars on new stuff in the first place.

On the other hand, I find it best to not complain about beer already drank.

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