Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Stranger than fiction

Here’s one from the “I can’t make this shit up” Department. Yesterday I woke up feeling like 8 miles of bad road. Sick to my stomach, bleary-eyed, all those things I’ve come to expect from a long night of gamboling and drinking. Except I wasn’t doing either of those things (for very long) Sunday night. I was in bed by 11PM. Eastern time, even.

So I called in sick to work, and proceeded to try to sleep off whatever it was. And failed. Along about 9AM, the project manager for a church I’m working on called me to inform me of an important coordination meeting on site at 2PM. 90 minutes away. Reset the alarm to noon, and we’re off.

Meeting goes well, get back in the car, put my hard hat in the back of the Cruiser, sit down, insert key, turn key…

Well, you knew where that was going, right? A whoooole lot of nowhere. And getting there fast. So at that point, I whip out ye olde celle fone and call AAA. Except no calls can go through due to sunspots. Or walruses. Or some-goddamn-thing-that-was-thwarting-me-at-every-goddamn turn.

So one of the electricians on the site walks up as I pop the hood and says “What’s wrong with it?”

“I dunno.”

“My brother-in-law had one of them PT Cruisers and he said it was a piece of shit.”

I felt oddly compelled to defend my somewhat geigh purple car at this point, but was hard-pressed to do so, as I was stranded over an hour from home by a traitorous machine.

“Try it again, maybe I can see what it is.”

I comply.

“It’s your starter. Battery’s fine. Starter’s gone. You got a tire tool?”

“Excuse me?”

“A tire tool, like a crowbar?”

So I’m now looking in the jack for a tire tool (remember, AAA, I don’t change tires, I pay a yearly fee so I don’t HAVE to change tires) and pull out the crank for the jack.

“Will this work?”

“Nah, that’s too short. Lemme go look.”

So he comes back with a 4-foot stake, sharpened at one end and vicious-looking enough to make Buffy cream herself, and proceeds to try to insert the stake through parts of the engine of my car to reach the starter.

“If I can tap on it, maybe I can get ‘er to go.”

I sit in my car, somewhat dumbfounded by this turn of events, frantically wishing I had stayed in grad school, watching the very helpful electrician “tap” the starter with a 4-foot STICK.

“This is too big, lemme git something else.”

So after my savior finds a narrow metal rod that better navigated the innards of my car, he successfully reaches the starter with the rod, and says “Try ‘er again.”

It worked. In the 21st century, with a vehicle made by robots containing a minimum of 3 computers each of which would make NORC look like a helmet-sporting retard, a 7-toothed electrician hit the starter with a piece of rebar and made the engine start.

I drove straight to the dealership, left it running in the service bay, got in my rental, and drove home. I love technology. No matter how advanced we get, sometimes the best option is to just find the appropriately-sized stick and beat it into submission.

Adder: Here's something I'm proposing. Fat Dan the Fat Fish is trying to become less of all that except for the Dan part, which is probably unalterable. BSN and Hoff are in on the whole weight-loss thing, too. I want to make a wager. Go to Dan's weight loss blog, give him a shout out, and if you've got a few pounds to drop, maybe join the eating of twigs and berries. I'm starting at 255 and want to drop at least 40 lbs.


iamhoff said...

Ain't technology great? Hope you're feeling better. I'll check out the pizza blog and see what that's all abooot.

Anonymous said...

What kind of shit are you saying about electricians? Next time your car won't start call a damn plumber. For God's sake don't call a lighting tech. You'll be stuck for years.---Uncle P.

TeamScottSmith said...

I have hit the starter with a stick plenty of times. It's an old trick everyone should know. Some vehicles have a similar problem, on occasion with the fuel pump (Inside the tank). I have witnessed a 7 toothed redneck beating the hell out of the gas tank with a brick--and it worked.

I'm on the Get-in-Shape regimen. Any weight loss will be appreciated.