Today was one of those days when I really wished my dad wasn’t in Panama.
I decided to take a midday break from work and run a couple of errands in the ‘hood. Unfortunately, my car had other plans. I have no idea what happened between the hours of midnight and 1:00PM, but my car – which had been running perfectly fine until yesterday – decided to go on strike.
I’m sure the expression on my face registered somewhere between “huh?” and “wtf??” when I turned the key in the ignition and instead of hearing the soothing purr of my engine roaring to life, the sound was more akin to something like the clacking of horse hoofs on a tin roof. It took a second for the reality of the situation to sink in. I immediately looked down to see if the car was in park. It was. I looked at the radio display and the Snow Patrol CD I had put in was playing. All the lights on the console were on. I tried to start the car again.
Nothing. Well, okay then. So, of course, I did the next logical thing… I popped the hood.
Go ahead, take a moment and let that sink in.
Yeah, I popped the hood. But wait, it gets better. I got out, opened the hood and looked inside.
Now, see, my dad taught me how to change a tire and how to check my oil level and where the antifreeze goes; all that kind of stuff. But that’s the extent of it. So someone – ANYONE – please, for the love of Jehovah, please tell me what the heck I thought I was looking for, because I really have no idea. I don’t know what I was expecting to find. Perhaps a flashing neon sign that said “Look Here” pointing to a specific part of the engine??
See, normally, this would be about the time that I would have whipped out my cell phone and called my dad. “Papi, le paso algo al carro. Tu puedes venir?” (“Dad, something’s wrong with my car. Can you come over?”) And my dad would have come over, popped the hood, jumpstarted the battery, and taken the car “al mechanico que es primo de mi socio” (“to that mechanic that is my friend’s cousin”). A couple hours later he would have driven up with my car, running good as new, and probably washed and waxed, too! (Yeah, my dad’s awesome like that!) But Dad is in Panama. So what did I do? I grabbed my purse, shut the car door, and came back upstairs to my apartment. I sat down at my desk and IM’d Fanless to let him know what happened. Let me tell you, my boyfriend is a smarty. He replied “does your insurance offer road service?” Oh my God. He’s right! I have Geico and it includes emergency roadside assistance.
So I called Geico and spoke to a very sweet girl in Georgia, who set me up with a tow service in no time at all. The tow truck driver showed up about 20 minutes later and managed to get the battery jumped in less than 2.2 seconds. As soon as he got the car started, I jumped in and took it to the Tire Kingdom down the road. They ran a test on my battery, alternator and starter, and found that it was the battery that was bad (it died in the middle of the diagnostic test, so you know, I think that sort of gave it away). So they replaced it with a mega-super-fantastic new battery that will probably outlive the car, and 30 minutes later I was back home.
Sure, it was kind of annoying to have to deal with this, and being out $100 for the new battery sucks, but I have to say, all things considered, I think my dad would be very proud of me for handling things today!