ZYTARUK: This New Year’s, raise a glass to the end of AirCare

Good-bye, Aircare! Oh, the stress you caused.

I, personally, lost two vehicles to you: A ’77 Nova and an ’89 Escort.

They were fun cars until you, Aircare – YOU! – wrecked everything.

Not being among the well-heeled who could afford to buy the kinds of vehicles that escaped your greedy jaws, I was among the many not-so-well-heeled who was forced to play your game, jumping through your hurdles and not enjoying one tiny bit of it.

Sure, my big blue Nova, fondly remembered as “The Chick Magnet,” burned gas like a battle tank. But it got me to where I needed to go during my university and early career years.

I’d bought it for $200, and got $300 credit from a car dealership for it, after evil Aircare pronounced sentence. That credit was toward my next purchase – a zippy red Escort that would accompany me down into Mexico and on many other storied road trips.

Former Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell drove it one afternoon in Surrey while I interviewed him from the passenger seat. I also had that Escort when I met my wife-to-be. It carried our twin babies home from the hospital when they were born.

Gee, I loved that little car.

Then, one day, it began pushing white smoke and Aircare, like the Grim Reaper, consigned my faithful pal to the scrap yard.

I yet wonder what became of it.

Was it turned into shopping carts? Paper clips? I like to think it was melted down into a wrecking ball that will hopefully soon be used to smite down, with a righteous vengeance, those now-redundant Aircare centres that so unfairly picked on the poor.

Aircare was also unfair in other regards, picking on tiny little beater Escorts and such when heavy duty trucks were left free to puke out their black exhaust with impunity.

So, Aircare, I will happily no longer be held hostage to you.

No more will I have to pay the $45 or $36, or whatever it was, for the privilege of being made subject to your dubious tests.

Your website indicates your 20-year reign of terror will end on Dec. 31.

Midnight, is that right?

When the time comes, I will kiss my wife to usher in the New Year, lift a glass of champagne and make a short toast to your timely demise.

Tom Zytaruk is a reporter and photographer with the Now. He can be reached at tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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