The estimate came back for Great Scott's car. Twelve hundred dollars. I held the phone against my ear and closed my eyes. There was no way. No way we could manage that. The lady from the body shop seemed surprised. She listed the repairs that needed to be done. Blessedly, I'd looked the car over very carefully before taking it to the shop and based on my own observations had the miraculous presence of mind to express my doubt about any real need to do anything to the hood or the left fender. She said she'd run a new estimate. Two hours later we were down to six hundred and twenty dollars. Nearly half the original quote. My grandfather, who before his death had a reputation as our town's foremost friendly tightwad, would have been proud.
This morning the shop called back. The used part they'd ordered just happens to be the same color as our car. Would I like them to just put it on without painting it? Gratefully, I confirmed that, yes, indeed, that would be just dandy. So now we're down to three hundred and something. This is much better.