Chances are…

I am one in a million…unique and different from the rest. Stuff happens to me and I wonder what the likelihood is that the same thing happens to other people.

For example, when I was little I was chased by a large, persistent German Shepard. I thought I had outsmarted him by climbing to the top of the playground slide. When I looked around, I didn’t see him so slid down…but was met by his Cujo-like stare at the bottom of the slide. Cujo 2 wrapped his wide mouth around my small thigh and sank his teeth in.

A few years ago, as I was skipping along the beach, my foot landed on a dead bee’s optimally positioned stinger. Truth be told: a dead bee’s stinger hurts as much as a live one.

More recently, my Touareg is being held captive by the Santa Barbara VW dealership. It’s waiting for a vital part to come in. After much confusion and multiple phone calls, the special part was located by VW corporate and shipped from Germany.  The part had been on backorder which caused a significant delay. Not only that, the SKU was mismatched in VW’s inventory system so corporate had a difficult time locating it.

It’s just a matter of time before FedEx delivers the item so the VW mechanic with 20 years experience can stitch up my car again. And about that…I visited the dealer to take a look at the car. And it wasn’t a pretty sight. The Touareg was covered in dust and grey handprints. Its insides looked as though someone had stripped it for parts. The seats were gone and the dashboard exposed multiple fuses and wires. So many tiny, miscellaneous parts to make the Touareg run. If the 20 year VW veteran misses a screw or wire…well then…I’ll be screwed. 

Stephen, the service manager, assured the car will be back to normal and the fuel system will be like new. He proceeded to tell me that VW (corporate) has never heard of such a thing happening to a Touareg TDI. They’ve heard of the Jetta or Golf TDI shutting down but my Touareg was the first. And by a process of elimination, it was determined that the last gas station where I filled up had gasoline in its diesel fuel and contaminated the Touareg’s fuel system. (During my drive down to Santa Barbara – oh so long ago – I stopped to check out a campsite and fueled up at a nearby station. A couple of hours later, the car died in Santa Barbara.)

I can sit here and think, “Why me?” 

But instead, I think, “I’m so lucky this happened now and not while traveling through Yosemite.” 

I can sit here and think, “How could this happen to a new car?” 

But instead, I think, “I’m lucky the car is under warranty and that VW didn’t put the blame on me.” (Because in reality, it wasn’t the car’s fault that it broke down. It was the gas station’s fault for not being careful with their fuel.

And as I sit here and reflect, I’ve spent two weeks in Santa Barbara with friends, with Butters, and in my little home away from home. What are the chances all of this can happen? It’s probably one in a million.

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