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The Yankee Express

Merry Christmas: Amy bruises her BMW - Fuller Automotive buffs it out

Chris and Josh Fuller.

By Amy LeClaire
The holidays are upon us. We’re supposed to be merry. Yet everyone seems miserable. Servers are (reasonably) grinchy with “the whole world being short-staffed” and parking lot drivers continue to rage over (what seemed) a mutually available parking spot. Gas prices rise, food prices inflate and, meanwhile, Amazon capitalizes on the merriest part of all—shopping from home. Sigh. We’ve all been there. Welcome to the holidays!
Holiday hullabaloo or not, kindness still exists, simplicity is still possible, and people (some of them) are still as warm as a cup of hot cocoa. Take my holiday story. It’s living proof that such exists. 
My garage has been problematic. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful and blessed to own one, especially as a non-rugged New Englander whose idea of cleaning off my car is to run it for thirty minutes and allow the snow to melt and drizzle from its exterior. The problem, more practically, involves physics. The garage, or at least the square part of it designed to house a vehicle, is simply too small. There hasn’t been a vehicle able to withstand its confining perimeter. The hatchback trunk door of my former Honda Pilot took a screechy hit when it rose to kiss the garage door one unfortunate night. Now my new BMW is on the chopping block. 
I drive straight. I drive sober. I drive with patience. I back out slowly. Yet, somehow, a cursed garage door, on multiple occasions, has frozen one quarter of the way up, stopping in its tracks, spookily high enough to betray a full picture in my navigation window. My back view appears clear, a few leaves dancing atop the driveway pavement while I slowly back up. Bang. Off comes my back windshield wiper.  Seriously? Nothing is more awkward and wrong than busting up the body of a new BMW. I sit in my bruised, parked car and feel sorry for myself. I work hard for that car! I tear up for a moment then collect my thoughts. I wasn’t going fast. Time to inspect the damage. Miraculously, the only thing needing a fix is the plastic attachment of the back windshield wiper. Renewed, I tuck myself back in and sigh, relieved. That hit could have been so much worse. 
Fast forward three weeks. 
The frozen garage door syndrome has forced me to take proper measure. I activate it’s opening from the far wall now, watching it rise to full potential like a bouncer checking a fake i.d. I climb into the driver’s seat and take an additional look behind me, just in case I’m spooked. All is calm. All is bright. I back out slowly. Another habit, another errand to run, another day of driving. Screeeeech. The sound of my front end smooching the dented frame of the garage chills me to the bone. This can’t be happening! I creep out of the garage, my foot barely on the gas pedal. I must bear the sound of a residual squeal, as the front end of my vehicle divorces from the garage frame I regain composure, exit my car, and survey damage. Scratches and more scratches. No dents, but deep, ugly scratches that add ten years to my new car. 
“I think you need to start parking outside, Amy.” My mom’s voice is calm and caring. “That’s exactly what I’m going to do,” I huff back. Little did I know—I would not need to park outside at all. Little did I know—an easy solution more joyful than an angel dropping straight out of the sky was about to find me.  
“We can easily buff those out for you.” Josh Fuller, co-owner of Fuller’s Automotive in Auburn, tells me this from his Collision Center, where he was able to take a quick peek without a scheduled appointment or without offering me forty pages of paper-work. His mouth produces the melody. I imagine him singing Hark the Herald Angels. 
“You can buff those scratches out?” I can barely believe my ears. This has never happened to me. Typically, my fender benders have led to body work measures more complex than a calculus problem. William Nunez, the mechanic assigned the polish job, appears on the scene. He is enthusiastic, cheerful and articulate in letting me know exactly what he’ll do to erase the scratches. “It will just take me a few minutes.”
I sit in the waiting room, and ponder my good fortune. I have somehow managed to create and erase a problem with the ease of a wet cloth wiping away ink from a whiteboard. How did I get so lucky?
“It looks pretty good now.” William shows me the result of his work. He has breathed life to my car and has made it new again. I feel a sudden urge to buy for him this Christmas. He has given me hope that mistakes are just that, mistakes. An area that appeared more scratched than an overripe onion now glistens with a color I’d title New Car White. I dig into my pocketbook for payment. I’m overwhelmingly grateful. Josh Fuller waves me away. “You’re all set.” 
I back out of the Collision Center ever so slowly but my heart skips with the flutter of a problem solved with ease. 
“This is how it used to be,” I think to myself, and I can hardly wait to pay forward what I’ve just experienced. The holidays are supposed to be kind.  Just like this.  
Visit Fuller’s of Auburn – Automotive & Tire Center, 505 Washington Street, Suite 3, Auburn (508) 832-0900.