So, there I was. Standing next to my broken down car, while drivers honked and yelled “You’re blocking the lane,” I wiped the tears from my eyes as I was put on HOLD by AAA. How did this happen…what did I do wrong? How did my little red car become this mass of smoke and steam? I’ll tell you how! Because, I listened to THE MAN!
I remember how proud I was six years ago when I first laid eyes on my precious little bug of a car. It was shiny, it smelled good, it ran like a top and it still had a warranty. Fast forward six years and the little red car was still the apple of my eye. Sure, it had a few dings and some of the love bugs that smashed into the bumper and hood became imbedded for life. But, it was mine and I was so proud the day I made the last payment and received the title. It was finally mine after six years of soul sucking payments!
I never worried about the little things, such as windshield wiper fluid, oil or other silly little things that made cars go Vroom..Vroom. MY MAN took care of those details, or so I thought. He laid down the law when I first got the car. NO ONE except THE MAN was supposed to open the hood and fiddle with this part and that without his supervision. I followed the LAWS OF MAN to a T…so why was I now on the side of the road unable to find that thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up?
Of course, after a fifteen minute conversation with the AAA representative and finding that a tow truck would be on it’s way in a timely manner (one or two hours minimum since “It is Memorial Day…we’re pretty busy!”) I phoned THE MAN and informed him I was on the side of the road, dodging irate drivers, and needed his assistance.
A half hour later I was soaked to the skin in sweat and ready to shoot the next person who honked their horn to let me know my car was in their way. No one stopped to see if they could help me push the car into a safer location. They were too busy yelling at me to open my hood so cars could see that my little red bug was broken down. I did manage to get the hood up after pulling out the manual and locating the thing-a-ma-jingy and I eventually located my Hazard lights to warn drivers. I had reached the limit of what I knew to do with a broken down car and awaited the arrival of THE MAN!
I almost wept with relief when he finally arrived with a bucket of water.
“What happened?” he asked.
“I don’t know! It was kind of chugging as I drove and then when I got off the exit, it exploded!”
“When’s the last time you put water in it?”
WHAT! Hold on! Isn’t that THE MAN’S job? I don’t even know which of the strange containers under the hood holds water. I didn’t need to know such things, because THE MAN was taking care of maintaining my car. Right?
No, my friends, as in any situation when dealing with THE MAN, I was now subjected to a litany of sins I had committed prior to having my car decide to do a rather admirable imitation of an erupting volcano. I was supposed to check something called the temperature gauge. I was supposed to notify THE MAN the second that the car didn’t act right (yeah, okay, I’ll call from the highway and say “Hey, my car’s chugging a bit” while deep in three lane traffic traveling at 75 miles or more.) I was supposed to check the fluids periodically.
As much as I wanted to throttle THE MAN, I held back since there were far too many witnesses.
I answered my phone, shaking with rage and heard the AAA representative ask me if I was in a safe place until the tow truck could arrive.
“I am,” I told her, “But I’m not sure about THE MAN!”
Eventually, as days went by with my car in the shop receiving a new engine, THE MAN admitted to not fulfilling his duties in maintaining my car. I admitted that I was silly to trust the care of my car to someone else. I have now learned how to check the water, oil and more importantly the location of the thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up. Balance has been restored in the house and the little red car is once again parked in the driveway after costing a couple of thousand dollars to repair.
Yesterday, I noticed that the air conditioning unit has now become inoperable. It shoots out hot air faster than a furnace. I think I’ll wait a few days to tell THE MAN. I’m sure it’s my fault the damn thing is broken!
I have decided that if my car bites the dust I’m going to convert to an alternate, cheap and easier to maintain mode of transportation.