Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things That Are and Aren't the Bees Knees

You know this apple cinnamon variety of instant oatmeal is really hitting the spot for me this Tuesday morning. It's all hot and gooey with little bursts of apples surprising me here and there. Just puts a smile on my face if you ask me. A smile on my face and satisfaction in my bellly. Mmm mmm mmm. Instant oatmeal, you really are the bees knees.

You know what is not the bees knees? My car breaking down on the side of the road on Saturday night--err should I say Sunday morning. I knew something was amiss before I even left Maple Grove as my battery light was on. No. It wasn't just on. It was flickering. Obviously it was just a weird short in my car, since the light flickered with every pothole and bump my car ran over. Sure the only other time I've seen my battery light on was that one time my serpentine belt broke with T-Gro in tow on the way back from Bemidji a few years back, but that problem has been fixed. If it's not the serpentine belt, then it's nothing. It is easy to ignore things like this. You're supposed to watch the road when you're driving anyway.

But then the sun set and I noticed that my lit up dash looked not as lit up as it had in the past. I thought perhaps instead of my car failing me, it was just my eyes. I am in need of new contacts anyway. Obviously my eyes are worse off than my 1997 Mercury Sable with 175000 miles on it. Obviously the orbs I rely on for sight day in and day out are more likely to fail me than the hunk of steel I bought three years ago for $1000. Obviously that battery light and seemingly dimmer dash mean nothing is wrong with my car at all.

And as I found out on the way home after a night of karoaking with Kerin, it was obvious that my ABS system was having trouble, my gas was low (even though I had filled up earlier that day), and that my spedometer was having issues that are described as telling me that I was going about 0 miles and hour as I sped down the highway. Obviously all these things were not warning signs that my car was indeed failing right before my failing eyes. I refused to believe that I was about to stall on the side of the highway at 3:30 in the morning. As I suddenly felt myself slowing down, as I suddenly lost my power steering (which breifly brought me back to my '92 Topaz days in college) I pulled, no, cranked over to the side of the road a mere four miles away from home. My drunk passenger, aka boyfriend, awoke from his slumber confused at the situation at hand. I breathed hard and started crying, because as a girl, that is all I know how to do in this sort of a situation.

After some drunk frustation and an attempt of coaxing me down from my panic attack, my boyfriend suggested I try starting my car. I turned the key and it "roared" to life. I made it up the exit ramp and around the corner only to crank my slowing car over to the side of the road. 3 miles from home, but at least no longer on the highway. I'd like to continue this story with intervals of my car dying, and then me successfully restarting it for every mile of the trip we had left. What a clever and cute and happy ending we'd all have if that had actually happened. But here's the thing: Outside of the brilliance of apple cinnamon oatmeal, life is never quaint and clever like that. My car was dead on the side of the road. The culprit, a bad alternator. And here I thought my car ran on gas. Hilarious.

After 45 minutes of frantic phone calls, Ryan had signed up for a new AAA membership and we were being towed home by a very high tech truck complete with a camera that allowed the mildly retarded driver to hook my car up with ease and agility. He took the corners fast on the way home and all I could hope for was that the bottle of wine in my back seat would end up in one piece. It did. That was about the happiest of endings I could have wished for.

So anyway, I'm out of a car. I can't really afford a new alternator at this point in time and there are things called mass transit and bikes that get me around just fine for now. I'm not going to sweat it. Although what I am going to do is listen to the Savage Love podcast on my ipod because it is brilliant and raunchy and passes the time at my currently boring job. It is also the bees knees.

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