March 13, 2002

assorted pinheads

Thank goodness for Zippy.

(That would be the Honda, not the Pinhead.)
My truck has been at the dealer since Saturday. They did the estimate on fixing
the dash panel and the broken back window and sent it to the insurance company,
who has *still* not given them an OK to fix it. Most people here cannopt afford to
have their cars out of circulation for this long. Yes, I have another car to drive
meanwhile, but they don't know that. (Actually they do, because they insure it,
but still.) This is Arizona, not Philadelphia or New York; it is not possible to
get anywhere without a car. What do they think, I'm going to walk 40 miles to
work? Or even two miles to and from the nearest supermarket? Carrying groceries?
Not unless I wanted to shop daily, for the amount I'd be able to

Typing the above made me feel really ungrateful and whiny, for
the view into life below the poverty line -- and there's a lot of life below that
line, out here. Any of you who were reading this a year ago may remember me
complaining how low our unemployment insurance is (currently $205/wk); at the
moment, it's the lowest in the country, bar none. Even Mississippi and Alabama
raised theirs above ours. And though we've now got a horrible definict, for a
couple of years there we had a surplus, so it wasn't the state as a whole being
poor that kept that number down. (We had an extremely messed-up reimbursement
program for alternate-fuel vehicles that wiped out the surplus, along with falling
tax revenues.) Though to be fair, our poorer neighborhoods tend to have shops,
schools, and bus stops mixed in much closer to the houses. Also lots of muffler
shops, for some reason (older cars?). So it might be easier to do without a car
.... until you had to leave your neighborhood. And while they also have libraries,
welfare centers, churches, and other services locally, there aren't a lot of
doctors or hospitals.

So I need to stop whining about my truck being
out of commission, and be grateful we can afford a third car. But that won't keep
me from taking a stern line with the insurance agency! Speaking of pinheads...

Posted by dichroic at March 13, 2002 04:59 PM
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