On Wednesday night I got a call for a short notice job at Sun Peaks, and thought, what a great opportunity to take my lovely wife for a overnight trip away from home - and I'll write my column there.

I had a $50 coupon for Budget Car Rentals, and thought, I should rent the most expensive really nice comfortable car for her because she is the love of my life (and considering that she has had two neck surgeries and lost her job in December - she could use a trip away - dinner and a stay at the Hilton).

After leaving Kelowna, once I reached 90K, the car reached speed-wobble-shimmy. The experience was similar to one of those old exercise machines with the belt that went around one’s spare tire - the Mueller Exerciser Belt, to be precise. It was kind of like riding in a jello car with a vibrator. After four hours of driving, the speed-wobble-shimmy and I synced. My wife synced earlier.

Sun Peaks was a hoot - for an hour. It was such a barrel of laughs that we decided to head back to Kamloops, where, by the strangest of coincidences, we ran across my best friend’s homeless daughter walking the streets of Kamloops, not in Kelowna where she was supposed to be.

After sorting that, I decided to sort the car, and went to the Budget office in Kamloops. They told me that they would have one of their technicians take the car for a test drive for a diagnosis. 

I told them that I was a certified technician and had just taken the car for a four hour test drive, and my diagnosis was a speed-wobble-shimmy that started at 90K, meaning that one or more tires were likely not balanced. 

After accepting my diagnosis, they offered to to let me take the car to the tire shop for repair. I declined, because I wasn't willing to rent their car then spend my valuable time fixing it. Then, the Budget customer satisfaction representative offered to replace my $80,000 luxury vehicle with a Chevrolet Impala.

The offer was tempting, because the Impala is the basic utility car of choice. Weighing my options, I decided to leave it. Before I could get my mobile Mueller out of the parking lot, a manager ran out. 

Well, not really ‘ran out’, it was a fast gait while waving her arms, which made it look like she ran out. She offered to replace my Mueller with the same model that wasn't a Mueller. This one featured a broken windshield that would impair my vision for the last three hours of driving, and a sunroof that rattled right above my head the entire way back, but I thought, life is short and and I should live a little. Like a king for one day.

Since things were really going our way, we decided to check into the Pet Room at the Hilton. The dog didn't notice what a nice Pet Room it was, but she was impressed that I was a member of the Hilton's reward program.

Then it was off to the pub to re-hydrate after the four hour Meuller workout, celebrate the donation of my social worker skills, and revel in my negotiation skills with a non-caring major international corporation. 

I was in luck. Double Caesars were on special, I had $40 to lose at the Keno machine, and the Canucks were on TV. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

Well, we escaped with our lives, then made a stop at another establishment across the parking lot, just for victory's sake.

At the hotel, someone somehow got into our room and stole the pillowtop bed and replaced it with a pizza box with pillows. When that happens, and when Double Caesars are on special, and when $40 is lost gambling, and the Canucks lose in the third period, and when the victory party didn't end up being any better, the only solution is to throw the windows wide open and turn the air conditioning on high. 

This approach cures menopause and eliminates hangovers. The only real danger of such low temperatures is waking up covered with a sheet and wondering if you are in the morgue. 

So what if we slept in until 6:30, and the car was subject to a $211 late fee? 

There is nothing like not bathing and driving home with bed-head, looking through a broken windshield in a car with a sunroof that rattles, wondering all the time about letting your publisher down yet again. And again. 

At least we have the memories.

I will find the column. It was right here, under the desk, or in the recycling, or in the Mueller, or the streets of Kamloops, or lost in my head somewhere. I will find it, damn it!

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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