We’ve both got a nutso week here at Chez NuWo, and so I was close on my husband’s heels this morning, leaving for work. Up until I got behind the wheel of Mimi and tried to turn her on. I was greeted with a strobe-light effect from the automatic headlights, and the worst rapid-clicking sound you could imagine.
Then tried it again. (Perhaps I just had an out-of-body experience and it didn’t really happen.) (Denial)
More clicking. I tried to turn off as many things as I could. A/C. Radio. Lights. (Bargaining)
Tried it again. Nothin’. (Acceptance and Panic)
At this point I think at the least, it’s a dead battery. At the worst, the car no longer has an engine, as the “Service Engine Soon” light does remain on. So I sent up the ChocoCat signal (Dulcedosa to the rescue again! Though I yanked her into fourth gear out of first, unfortunately.) I look at the clock and realize James probably hasn’t turned his phone off yet, so I call him. He informs me there’s a battery charger in the back of his truck, and what settings to put it on. So off I go, I plug it in, and wait. After twenty minutes, I think it’s good and charged and then stop. What to do next? When you jump start your car you keep them both running. Do I leave the charger plugged in while I attempt to start it? My gut said “no”, but at this point, I can’t check with my husband, so I call the next person who comes to mind: Shan, my creative director at work. He confirms I should unplug everything, then unclamp the contraption, THEN start it up, and sure enough, it fires up and I gingerly start driving. Carmen still rode backup, just to make sure I didn’t sputter out, and off it was to O’Reilly’s for a new battery.
I go in, and am helped by a young woman who informs they do NOT install batteries. I look at her and start bargaining. She informs me that she herself has changed a few batteries in her life, and she’ll take a look at it, but they are not licensed or insured to do it. I offer to be a willing student, just tell me what to do. She proceeds to test the battery (dead), and then goes at the battery hold-down and gets the battery out. Without breaking a single long, fuschia-french-manicured nail. I am agog. And paying very, very close attention, because I do like to learn things and feel capable. Carmen heads off to work once she knows I’m not going to be stranded and she gets another pair of Friendship Angel wings. I pay for the battery, we get it installed (I use “we” quite loosely), and I handed her a $20 while thanking her profusely, because by golly, she not only earned my appreciation, but my respect and amazement. She didn’t want to take it, but I was having none of it.
When I got to work, Shan gave me a bit of a hard time, saying how funny and ironic it was, this independent, strong woman who can do anything, but when it comes to something with a carrrr, (yes, he got sing-songy) I had to call a MAN.
I’d like to point out that the difference between me and a man? (besides the obvious)
I call for information BEFORE I potentially blow up my vehicle or electrocute myself.
I rest my case. (But thanks, Shan! I knew you’d know the answer!)
* I am coining my own slang. “Blowdy” is short for “shit gettin’ blowed up in here”. In other words, you want to AVOID The Blowdy. Unless you’re looking for blowdy as part of an action movie. Car chases and Blowdy, YEAH!