Saturday, April 24, 2010

Can't You See My Hazard Lights Are On, You Moron?

Like I mentioned earlier in the week, I'm quickly earning my grease monkey wings. I can't say that I'm thrilled about it, mostly because it has involved several trips to the Tire and Lube center at Wal Mart, perpetually dirty hands, a few dropped bolts followed by a few more curse words and a couple of scraped knuckles from trying to remove a heavy battery out of the car. No offense to the Tire and Lube employees, as they were really very nice and accommodating, but even *I* have more interesting things to do than stand around waiting for my battery to recharge.

Anyway, after Wednesday's big mistake of leaving my keys in the car and the resulting second dead battery of the week, I scored myself a new, shiny, well charged battery. Problem solved!!

Ah, but nothing is ever that easy. Right?

Not for me, anyway.

It's clearly documented, given the name of my blog and all, that I have some neurotic tendencies. Along with the neuroticism comes a laundry list of fears. Some are far fetched, irrational and down right ridiculous, but some are relatively common.

One of my greatest fears (besides having a snake drop on to my head from a tree or peek it's head up through the bathtub drain) is to get stranded with a malfunctioning car in the middle of the road.

Would you care to wager a guess as to what happened to me yesterday?

I'll give you a hint: it didn't involve a snake.

Nope, no snakes. But I did get stuck with a dead car in the turn lane of a relatively busy intersection. As much as I fear car trouble, I'd still rather be stranded with a dead car than encounter a snake in any manner.

I drove Craig's car to the gym because I wanted to make sure it got some use, with its brand new battery and all. Our trip there was uneventful..and quiet, since I still don't have the radio code to reactivate the stereo system. Things seemed to be going well on the drive home, too. Until I came to a stop at an intersection when the battery light came on and the car died. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

In the turn lane.

While I was in my sweaty gym clothes.

Of all the days to not shower at the gym, I chose the day my car died in the intersection to shower at home.


Sweaty. Stinky. Thirsty. Hungry.
And not going anywhere.

Sitting in the turn lane, hazard lights blinking, wondering why people kept stopping right behind me, not noticing my arms sticking out the window waving them around when clearly I WASN'T ABLE TO MOVE. If I see a car that isn't moving and has it's hazard lights on, I go around. I don't stop right behind them and get mad that they're not moving. Some people are really clueless.

Thankfully roadside assistance and cell phones make these inconvenient situations easier. I immediately called our insurance company for roadside assistance and got the ball rolling for a tow truck. I waited for a bit and then called my neighbor to see if she could pick me up once the tow truck arrived and towed our stupid, piece of junk car to the service center.
She agreed and told me that I should call the police (non emergency number) because something similar happened to her and she was told that it's wise to call them so that they can make sure an idiot driver, who might not be paying attention, won't ram into you.

Because I always do as I'm told, I called; a police man arrived a short while later.

A few people hollered out their windows to see if I need help, which was thoughtful. One particularly nice Guido-like guy, with a thick gold chain around his neck said "yo, do you need help?" That was nice. I declined, though. Knowing that help was on the way. Besides, who wouldn't want to sit in her dead car in the turn lane stinky, sweaty, hungry and thirsty?

After like 40 minutes, the tow truck guy called. On a whim, I tried to start the car and low and behold the darn thing started. Made me look like a real winner, huh? Dumb girl, panicking over nothing.

Still puzzled by the car's lack of cooperation this week, I spoke a little more with the tow truck guy, who said he had similar problems this very week. He suggested I drive the car to the service center and to call if I broke down again.

And that's what I did.

I put on my brave face and drove through lunch time traffic on a very busy road to the service center praying the whole time that the car wouldn't conk out on me. By the grace of God, I arrived without incident.

The service center people were nice and accommodating. I gave them the run down of all the problems I've had recently and promised that when I returned to pick up the car, I'd be showered and my sweaty hair wouldn't be plastered to my sweaty forehead.

My lovely neighbor picked me up and we had a nice chat on the way home. She has an 11 year old daughter, who is in the midst of all that undesirable tween angst. I can't say that our conversation made me feel hopeful for the future, but it was nice to chat without the kids disrupting us every three seconds.

In the end, I'm glad I met face to face with my big car-conking out fear. Despite the inconvenience of it all, I guess it turned out okay.

I just really wish that I had showered at the gym.

Am I really that shallow?

Yep, I think I am.

In all actuality, I thought the hard part would be sitting in an undriveable car in the middle of the turn lane, but as it turns out, I think paying the car repair bill will be the most painful.

$941 + tax.

I told the service guy that we paid $2600 in repairs and new tires back in September, so $941 + tax sounds like a real bargain.

Sure the bill might be high, BUT, on the bright side, they'll be able to retrieve the car stereo code while they're working on the car, so we can listen to the radio again.

I'm not entirely sure if the pleasure of listening to the radio is quite worth $941 +tax, but I'm doing my best to find the bright spot in the pile of crud I've had to wade through this week.