Monday, January 13, 2014

Normal People Problems

I've got a normal problem for a change. Last week when it was -17 degrees outside, I went outside and tried to start my car. Click, click, click... The engine wouldn't turn over. Try again. Click, click, click... Nope.

Get out of the car and go back in the house. Warm hands on the dog. it just needs to charge. I brought the emergency jump start battery to the car. I pulled the lever inside the car to open the hood.  The worst part was finding the lever under the hood to unlatch it the rest of the way. My fingers burned like I touched a hot stove. Prop open the hood, attach the red jumper cable to the red battery terminal. Attach the black cable to a piece of frozen metal. Push the button. Charging.

Get out of the driveway and go back in the house. Warm hands on the cat.

Go back outside into the Polar Vortex. Feel like I've dropped on Mars without a space suit. Get in the car, sit on the rock hard car seat, turn the frozen key. Click, click, click.

Get out of the car and go back in the house. Warm hands on other dog.

Repeat this several times. Finally, I gave up. The car battery is dead and it's way too cold to replace it with a new one. A few days later my husband and I wrestled the dead battery out of the car, went to the store for a replacement. Ka-ching! Ow! That was expensive. We went home and wrestled the new battery in place. I turned the key in the ignition... VAROOOOM!


While the car was warming up, I noticed a trail of exhaust coming out from under the driver's side. Um, I don't think the car is supposed to smoke like that. But, it's probably steam from melting snow, so I'm good to go.

Two days later, I started my car and instead of the happy VAROOOM, my car made a roar loud enough to be heard three counties away. VAROOOOOAAAAAARRRRRR! OK, maybe that smokey trail under the car wasn't just steam from melting snow after all. VAROOOOOAAAAAARRRRRR! VAROOOOOAAAAAARRRRRR! OMG, I have the world's loudest Ford. Something is wrong. Very wrong.

The world's loudest Ford is at the shop getting a new "flex pipe." Or, at least that's what the mechanic told me. "The flex pipe is broken at the flange." He could have told me, "The snargle-fargle is broken." I wouldn't have known the difference. Still... Ka-ching! Ow! That was expensive.

In the middle of all this, I kept thinking, "Wow, I have a normal problem." Car trouble happens to everyone. It's not, my blood sugar is soaring at three am and I'm too tired to deal with it. It's not, chemo is making me feel horrible. It's not, my left arm won't move from MG. Nope, I've got a normal people problem. Even though it's expensive, at least it's a problem everyone can relate to for a change.

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