The morning went well for a change. The kids were happy to have eggos on the go, without syrup or the drink of the week, TMNT fart juice. We piled in the car, dog and all. I was agitated that the check engine light had turned off after 5 days of steady illumination…my appointment 2 days later would prove a complete waste of time without the dammed light on. I willed it to re-light.
After the kids were deposited at the sitters, Mandy and I made our way to her spa appointment. We didn’t get far. The car started to sputter and then the check engine light began dancing to an uncontrollable beat. The car stopped, right outside the entrance to the elementary school. School buses and busy parents dodged to the left and right, annoyed but still pleasant, as far as I could tell.
The ETA on roadside assistance was approximately 1 hour so Mandy and I walked home. The spring fur balls would remain for another day. Once she was safely barking her face off inside the house, I made my way back to the car. Being a good canine citizen and not wanting to tempt karma, I collected her droppings from the walk home, and fantasized about leaving them somewhere at the car dealership…don’t you even think about touching that link.
Three calls to work, 2 canceled appointments and 1 (long-overdue) crafted thank you note later, three guys in a tow truck arrived. I’m not sure exactly why there were three…oh yeah, it was training day. The funny thing was they all seemed to be in charge. I couldn’t tell exactly who was training who, unless it was, of course, me being trained in the art of, ‘just don’t make small talk, this will all be over soon’.
They sat me in the front seat and proceeded to coax and ram my car onto the truck. I think I heard it crying for me. I wasn’t listening, it deserved the rough handling. I was secretly hoping it would fall off the back and innocently roll off a cliff, never to be seen again. I was even willing to part with my favourite yoga mat and Justin’s most prized, “real” hockey stick, nestled securely in the trunk.
The drive to the dealership…don’t touch it…was…more male bonding than I had all of last year. The guy behind me was having phone sex with his girlfriend, “I love you…why? Because you take care of me…I think you know what I mean.” Fortunately, and I mean for me, he was interrupted by his other cell phone before the climax.
The driver then took a call, became agitated and threw his phone against the front window. Silence loomed large. “Wife?” phone-sex guy asked. “No, worse…my mother,” was the reply. That awkward exchange was satisfyingly cut short, when a call came over the radio, “When you’re done there can you call me, there’s a baby locked in a car.” I wanted to scream, “forget about me…go get the kid.” I didn’t. It wasn’t hot out, the child was likely not in any danger or they would have called the cops, right? I mean I just wanted to get to the dealership…ah, ah, ah…as quickly as that tow truck haulin my sorry-ass car would go.
Once we arrived, phone-sex guy kindly offered me his greasy, black, rubber-rubbed hand to help me down from the truck. Now, I’ve been in a truck or two in my day, and didn’t actually need the help, but didn’t want to appear rude or manly. I gently brushed the cleanest part of his jacket I could find, somewhere just above the elbow, and…I was free. Scarred but not cut.
My cab ride to the office was much more relaxing as was the return 7 hours later knowing my bank account was only dented $44. My warranty runs dry in August and it’s cliff or sale for my 2001 Jetta. I think every part has been replaced or poked at least once. This time it was the ignition switch and something was blocking the air filter, likely Mandy’s fur.
That’s what I get for buying a car in the rain. It looked so shiny and clean and worthy sitting there on the lot that fateful day at the dealership.