The long version of "the short version" I talked about goes like this:
Yesterday, my parents and I drove my busted-up car out to a dealer; Grandpa had found a car that was fairly nice (a Taurus that had spent the first two years of its life at a rental car place) and wanted me to drive it and to see what I could get for my car as a trade-in. The car was fairly nice, I suppose; it had a CD (although I kinda prefer a tape, since you can use one to pug in an MP3 player), plenty of room, a trunk large enough for several dead bodies, and some actual pickup. It was also large and white, both of which were negatives, but ones I was prepared to ignore.
It turned out, however, that my car was probably worthless as a trade-in; combined with the need for a longer warranty, it wasn't likely we'd be able to get the car at a price we could afford. So we drove back home to get some lunch before setting out to find a sufficiently cheap lease.
As I was parking near our house, two guys in an immaculate red truck waved at us and rolled down their window.
They explained that the two of them were bodyworkers who didn't have enough gas money to get home. They offered to fix the body damage, right then and there, to the "safe and legal" point for $220--far better than the $650 estimates we were getting elsewhere. They also said they'd get a replacement headlight and another damaged part fairly cheaply and drive back down to install them.
We talked for a few moments, then decided we had nothing to lose. So they pulled their truck up in front of my car, popped the hood, and went to work.
45 minutes passed before they were done. They closed the hood and it latched--something that hadn't happened since the accident. They then encouraged Dad and I to both pull up on it as hard as we could to see if we could unlatch it; we couldn't. They fixed the little flex marks we had created by pulling on it and showed us how the area around the missing headlight had been put back into shape. It looked pretty good, so we payed them, and offered a tip once the headlight was installed.
So, now I have a car I can safely drive during the day, and in another week I'll be able to drive at night too. Wai.