Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Always look on the bright side.....

My car battery is dead....deader than disco, and that's saying a lot.

I hear some people have the "good fortune" to have advance warning about their upcoming battery failures: not me. My car worked fine on Sunday and then refused to do anything on Monday morning. No lights, no automatic door unlock....zip, nothing, nada.

Hmmmm....what could have caused a parasitic battery drain? I figured it was the cigarette lighter, since I had been using a car charger that disintegrated in there, forcing me to adapt a plastic straw into a pair of tweezers to pull out the pieces (stupid me first tried with a ball point pen and got quite the spark for my effort!) Turns out that wasn't the case, since pulling the fuse proved that I had blown it when I had my in-auto fireworks display.

Regardless, my roommate came to the rescue and hauled my pathetic butt to work and then back again. My sweet home teacher came over, gave my car a jump start and we went for an impromptu drive down to the lake and back to be sure it wasn't an alternator issue. The car drove wonderfully (once it got a bit of a charge back into it) until I parked it back at the house, turned off the ignition and then tried to fire it back up again.

Nope. As the song says, it was really most sincerely dead.

So this morning found me making calls around town for a replacement battery. I have quotes (not cheap, but not so expensive that I am passing out). Sadly, the only place that has it currently in-stock is an auto dealership who, while not charging the most, are not the cheapest either. The best pricing (WallyWorld) should have them back in stock by Thursday...if not, I'll just go through the dealership.

So I am sitting here at the office today. The day has been fairly quiet and both bosses are out of town so there is no one available to run errands. I clear it with boss #1 to take the work truck to deliver a battery order to a customer and to drop a load of packages off at the post office. I turn the office over to our part-time gal and drive off in our big bruising diesel rig, happy to be behind the wheel again. Stop #1 is about 5 miles from the office. I deliver them to our customer, head back to the truck and turn the key.

A sick sounding choking comes from under the hood, followed by a "you have got to be kidding" from me.

I wait a moment and try again. Weaker choke this time.

I pull out my cell phone and call Boss #1 (Boss #2 was unavailable at a trade show in Texas).

Boss #1: Yes?

Me: I think the battery on Boss #2's truck is dead.

Boss #1: (silent pause)

Me: This is not a joke.

Boss #1: (sigh) Turn the key and hold out your phone.

Me: (turning key) Hear that? And all the dashboard lights are lit up and flickering like crazy.

Boss #1: (sighs again) Yeah, its dead. (pause). Do you know how long its going to take to charge that thing? (another pause). What is it with you and dead batteries this week?

Me: uh..............I didn't do it, its not my fault and you can't pin nothing on me copper! (okay, so that last line didn't happen, its just a flashback to some bad B-grade gangster film, but you get the idea).

I ended up having to call the part-time gal (thank goodness for cell phones!), get her to leave the office and come rescue me. Boss #2's truck is sitting abandoned until morning when Boss #1 can come into the office, get the keys and go jump start the monster. Apparently its too big of an engine for we girls to do with the part-timer's tiny car.

(Dear Santa, I need one of these!)

So where am I now? Sitting in the office after hours and waiting for my roommate to get off of work so I can go home. But my roomie/chauffeur did agree that tomorrow we could stop by Zuppas on the way home (hey teachinfourth...they just opened a Zuppas on my side of town!) If I ever had a night where I needed a bowl of restoring, soothing, comforting Chicken Enchilada Chili its tonight...but tomorrow will do just as well.

So, for the next day or so at least, I will have chauffeur service....which means I will be getting to work early and staying late. Oh well, I can catch up on my Photoshop edits. And at least it was just my battery and not the alternator or the starter. And I'll have a brand new, shiny, durable, rugged battery for this winter. And I had a funny story to post for you today. Oh, and Santa? Never mind on the Jump Starter; I can't wait so I'll just buy it for myself.

Sometimes all you can do is look on the bright side of life....it sure beats crying about it. So, in that vein, I was going to give you Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" but thought that might be a tad blasphemous for some readers..so I give you this one instead:

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