Monday, March 28, 2011

In Which The Van Wouldn't Start...

First off, I am not a car person. I drive them, but that's about it. I depend upon them and trust that when I turn the key, it will start; push the gas, it will go; press the brake, it will stop. As to the magic behind the scenes that allows all this to happen, well ,that's the wizard behind the curtain. The Dodge version of "Great And Powerful Oz". And today I almost caught a glimpse of his elusive person...

This morning I dropped the ladies off as usual, waiting in the playground until their class was called in. Returning to my car at a run (brrrrrr, it was cold), I hopped in to start her up. Sadly, "tickticktickticktickticktick" was all I heard.

(What the?)



I began firing phone calls off in rapid succession: Husband. Mom. Dad. Brother. (Everyone needed to be in on this).

I've never really been in a non-starting car before; my aforementioned trust has never been tested, you see. I called AAA (so this is why you join every year? Miraculous!). They were very kind and helpful, and got a tow truck out to me faster than I would have thought possible.

Hello, Roy.

With a smile, Roy attached cable-thingies (the technical term for "Jumper Cables"), and got my stubborn van started again. He left after giving me instructions to let the van run for 10 minutes and then go straight to Auto Zone (the closest place) to get a new battery.

Bye, Roy. Thanks.

My 2 mile drive to the auto store was fraught with nerves for me. I was now officially wary of my once faithful companion: my car. Every light, every stop sign, I wondered, "Is this it? Will it stall? What will it do?" (It clearly couldn't be trusted, after all.)

The folks at Auto zone were all smiles and joy when I walked into the store. (I have that effect on people wherever I go, you see). They tested and affirmed Tow Truck Roy's diagnosis of a bad battery and got me hooked up with a brand spanking new one. (Oooohhhh! New battery!)

So now the van is "fixed" and should be "okay". But I admit that I hesitate and whisper a prayer every time I go to start it. "Please start. Please, please start." Exhaling with gratitude as the engine catches and sparks to life.

As I said before, I'm not a car person. I just trust that whatever the mechanics are that make the thing go are all lined up and in place when I need them. A magic-machine. That's what it is. And when the magic falters, even if only due to a dead battery, some of the sheen of that is scuffed up a bit.

Here's to auto clubs, tow trucks, auto stores, friendly people with smiles, and new batteries.

And may the remainder of this Monday be just a bit less eventful.

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