Wednesday, October 22, 2003

It's not just a car... 

...it's an adventure.

And praise be to G-d, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Yaweh, Jehovah or, for the atheists, no damn body that I made it home.

Monday night, after getting home from Tucson, I spoke with NeighborGuy for a few minutes. After shocking me with offers to help with the car hunt, including the offer of money (that's shocking part - no, I didn't take him up on that offer - maybe the marriage proposal, though drunken, was more sincere than I thought), he told me he had forgotten to tell me about checking the oil. He promised he would do so before he went to sleep on Monday night.

Tuesday morning I hopped in the car, through the passenger side since I locked the driver's side door on Friday when I went to the FlyAway and left the Mustang parked in the lot until Monday. I knew there were problems unlocking that door, but I thought I could unlock it from the inside. I was wrong.

Anyway, I started off for work. Halfway there I looked at the oil pressure gauge. It was close to low. Uh-oh. I thought that was probably a bad thing, but I couldn't quite remember because the gauge reads "Oil Pressure", not "Oil Level", and the word Pressure threw me off. I prayed, "Please let me get to work," and that prayer was answered.

I had intended to check it out during lunch, but it slipped my mind as I worked, trying to catch up after my days off, then went to lunch with FFDWG(FKaSarah). At the end of the day, after climbing into the car and driving to the writing group meeting, I noticed the gauge. The meeting wasn't far away, at FFDWG(FKaSarah)'s place, so I knew I could make it. After the meeting I would go to RiteAid to get the needed oil.

The meeting lasted longer than usual, but I still had time to go to RiteAid. Except they didn't have the recommended weight (20W/50W). So off to a gas station I went. Which didn't have that grade either. But the gas station guy recommended another weight and gave me a couple of those little paper funnels. Those proved to be utterly useless. Turns out the only place I could find to pour in the oil was a tiny little opening where the dipstick resided. I knew that wasn't the place, but I the only other place that looked likely was also possibly a place in which to pour that transmission fluid. I just didn't know. And the oil levels were dangerously low.

I managed to add a little bit of oil, then drove to a 7/11 in hopes of finding a funnel that would work. No such luck. They did have the proper weight, though. So I decided to get all MacGyver, buying a quart of the 20w/50w, some paper plates and little scissors. I fashioned a funnel with a tiny opening, which helped a little, but still didn't quite work. A possibly homeless woman did offer to help by standing next to the open hood and staring at the engine as I struggled with the oil, offering a few words of encouragement and asking if she could have my scissors. I declined, saying that I needed them, which I did. Besides which, I'm not big on giving sharp objects to strangers, especially when I'm not entirely sure about their mental stability. I mean, she seemed nice enough, but one never knows.

Due to spilling a fair amount, I think a grand total of 1/4 quart was added, just enough to get me home, with lots of prayer thrown into the mix. I left the meeting at nearly 9pm. I walked through my front door just after midnight.

Somewhere in the night's adventure I managed to turn on the hazard lights, which blinked off as suddenly as they flashed on with no warning, and I ripped my favorite jeans when they caught on the torn up front seats - seat covers previously prevented clothes from shredding to pieces, but the covers have a tendency to slip off. Then there's all the motor oil all over my hands, with some migrating to my clothes and, no doubt, my hair. And, despite scrubbing, I still have engine dirt and oil under my fingernails, lending my hands that chic auto mechanic look that's all the rage with the cool kids.

I gotta get me some coveralls. And maybe take an auto repair class, so that I feel a little more self-sufficient.

That would be nice.

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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