Thursday, December 08, 2005

Car Trouble: It's What's for Christmas

What is it about cars? They have this intuitive sense of when the worst possible time is for them to break down.

Not that there's ever a super-great-wonderful-hooray time for car problems. I mean, really. How often do you get in your car and cherish a tender hope, sweetly in your heart, that just this time, it won't start up? Not very often? Didn't think so. (Though I guess it might depend on where you're headed.)

My car started giving me trouble today while heading away from where I didn't want to be. I had to go to Wal-Mart today. Gahhh! The very thought makes me recoil in horror. Wal-Mart, in December? Could there be anything worse?? Unfortunately, they have my contact lens prescription, and I'm out of contacts, so I didn't have a whole lot of choice. If you think I'm going about my daily business wearing glasses, honey, you have got another think coming.

So on the way back from Wal-Mart I start to notice that the heat (because, let me tell you, it's fucking freezing out today) smells a little off. I try to ignore it, but at a stoplight a couple of blocks from work, I see a little smoke coming out from under the hood. And through the cabin vents. Well, that can't be good. And then I see more at the next stoplight; and by the stoplight after that, I'm firmly convinced that if the light doesn't turn green soon I'm going to die a horrible fiery death, so change, damn you, change change change change change!!!

But I seem to have made it back in one piece, so I parked my car and went back to my desk.

Now what? We have a regular mechanic, but he's on Saturn* which is somewhat far away from my office. So I grab me a coupla guys from the marketing department to come help me look at my engine, which is a large, incomprehensible object located under the hood.

As it turns out, I have no oil. None. Now, I'm sure there should be oil; in order to ensure that there was an appropriately oily component involved in the successful operation of my car's engine, I actually had the oil completely changed out only two weeks ago, when I was in Houston. But no. No oil. It's all gone.

So, I call my Saturnine mechanic; he comes out, tows the car away, and leaves me at the mercy of my coworkers for a ride home. (I found one, thanks for offering.) But who's to say when, if ever, I get my car back?

Hopefully by Christmas. Because naturally I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet; and if the mechanic leaves me any money to shop with, I really should get on it. But I'm sure as hell not doing it at Wal-Mart.

*That joke just gets funnier every time, I tell you!


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