My car breaks down one Saturday night after I picked up a $20 chicken-and-steak hibachi dinner from Oliran Hibachi Steakhouse. The ignition key switch won’t turn!

Car breaks down

I curse at my 2007 Honda Accord. I pound my fist on the steering wheel. Nothing works.

After being stranded for two hours in the parking lot, I decide to eat my hibachi dinner on my car trunk lid. And make a YouTube video!


Tow truck to the rescue

I call Mausteller’s Service Center for a tow truck. One of their drivers says he’ll get there in 20-30 minutes.

I can hear a baby crying in the background. The driver must be with his family. It’s around 10:30 p.m., and he doesn’t complain about being called out.

The tow truck arrives. The driver is with a woman. I assume she’s his wife or girlfriend. My mom sometimes accompanies my dad when he has to drive at night, too.

The man teaches me how to get a car in neutral even when it won’t start, so it can get towed. He busts my chops about the car failure, but offers me a ride home.

On the way back, he and the lady asked if I worked at Oliran or know the people there.

“Nah, man, I just like to eat there!” They laugh. We talk about our favorite sushi rolls there.

$700 repair bill!

The tow trucker takes my car to Mausteller’s. I get it back Thursday morning, about four days later.

A mechanic says the ignition key tumbler is worn out. He explains the tumbler is made of brass, a soft metal, so it wears down over time. It’s a common problem with many cars.

Normally, you can replace the tumbler only. However, Honda makes the tumbler part of the ignition switch, so you must replace the whole thing. That’s how Honda makes money!

My repair bill totals $700, including $75 for towing. This takes a big bite out of my savings!

To save money, I decide to eat instant ramen and Spam. And make another YouTube video …


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