I would wake up late from a really sound sleep because I sleep so much better when the room is cool and I can have heavy blankets. I would make coffee, post my blog, and read my very good mystery novel. Then we would go to the gym and work out. Later, I would have sushi lunch with our son Court. In the afternoon, I would snuggle into my chair under a blanket and catch up on a lot of my programs.
My car, friends, had other ideas.
You might recall that last year, shortly after returning from our winter in Arizona, my 2003 Volkswagen Beetle decided to die a sudden death while I was stopped at one of the busiest intersections in the Denver metro area. That particular car escapade ended up involving AAA and several police departments (it’s amazing what happens when you call 911), and ultimately ended in the purchase of a new battery (seems like it should have had a more sensational conclusion, but alas, a battery was all I needed).
So while I was gratified to see that my car started immediately upon trying it after we got home from this most recent Arizona trip, I was disgruntled to then see the FLASHING radiator light accompanied by a piercing alarm. Not good, I brilliantly concluded.
But, Bill added radiator fluid and the problem seemed solved, at least temporarily. The flashing red light stopped. Perhaps a teeny tiny leak somewhere which could be fixed at my convenience.
Yesterday morning, after waking from my good slumber, we determined it was FAR TOO COLD to work out. Clearly, we are looking for any excuse. Instead, we drove the car over to Einsteins for breakfast. It again started right up, and no flashing red light. I was quite content. We ate our bagels and returned to the car.
Here’s where my day’s plans went awry. The car was absolutely dead. The battery wouldn’t even make that forlorn click click click sound. It was just dead. My head nearly exploded, because well, see above. A NEW BATTERY.
I called AAA. “Hi Kris,” they said. “What’s that little yellow bugger doing to you now?”
Just kidding, but I wouldn’t have been surprised. We are practically on a first-name basis.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that I had a full 10 minutes on hold to plan what I intended to say to the dispatcher when he answered, as soon as I heard his voice, my brain became a complete blank.
I remembered my name and could read the customer number off of the card. I even remembered the model and make of my car. That was it. And when my brain goes blank, I err on the side of giving too much information. Useless information.
“Um, my husband and I drove my car over to Einsteins this morning for a bagel,” I began. I’m sure his eyes were rolling back into his head. Please don’t tell me what kind of bagel, he was thinking. “The car started fine this morning, but when I tried to start it again after our bagel, it wouldn’t start. It wouldn’t even make that click click click noise that it usually makes when your battery is low.”
The next question was an obvious one for which I should have been prepared.
“What is the address where you are located?” he asked me.
Oh boy. I began frantically looking for an address, to no avail.
“I’m at an Einsteins on Hampden,” I said. Hampden’s a very long street.
“Are you at Hampden and Tower Road?” he asked me through gritted teeth.
“Oh no. That’s in Aurora. I’m in Denver,” I said. “I’m right next to a Chipotle.”
Oh. That’s helpful as there are only ten thousand Chipotle’s in Denver.
I’m happy to say that by this time, Bill, who had been yanking and pulling and pushing on cables and tubing and wires under my hood, managed to get the car started. He just didn’t know exactly how.
Now, $700 later, I successfully got the car fixed. Turns out I needed new brakes and some sort of radiator doohickey (though the word “doohickey” implies a quick-and-easy fix instead of the $700 thingamajig they actually installed).
As for the problem with the car not starting: apparently the service man simply yanked and pulled and pushed on the correct cable and fixed that problem after a $122 diagnostic. Bill’s work was considerably cheaper. But the service guy probably actually knows what he was doing.
Maybe I’ll get to that book today.