It's not about the house.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Chuck (TFT) wouldn't start this morning.

Remember how I said yesterday about how he's been giving trouble lately, and how I'm not decent in the morning and all that? Well, this morning we went out to take Johnnby to work (Johnnby -- I like it. I think I'll call him that one from now on), and I turned the key and I got nothing.

Sometimes lately it'll give one feeble turnover -- wa -- and then nothing, but usually on the second or third try it goes. But this morning, no wa, no nothing, no matter how I tried.

So I sat there in the same hot-weather pjs outfit I decribed yesterday -- no, actually, I was less decent: I had on a wife-beater undershirt instead of a T -- and I turned the key and I pumped the gas, even though I knew it was going to do anything because it's like a reflex for those of us over a certain age, and I told Johnny to get out and give the thing a shove because someone told us to give that a try because the problem might be a tooth missing on the flywheel (or maybe I'm just projecting). And I screamed "F-WORD!" every time I turned the key and got nothing but a single click.

Then I realized that my window was open and so were the windows in the houses of everyone who all summer closes up with air conditioning but they'd already put their window units away for the season and weren't going to haul them back down from the attic just because it's freakishly hot in practically-October. Hello, neighbors! F-word, I say!

Finally I gave up and called AAA. I didn't think the problem was the battery -- considering the fact that this was happening last week, and I did think it was the battery then so I replaced it -- but in my experience, nine times out of ten if you call AAA the problem will fix itself before they get there (unless the problem is a flat tire, in which case some random friendly stranger will come along with a lug-bit on a drill to loosen that stubborn nut for you).

AAA put me on hold for like, freaking ever, so while I was on hold with them on the cordless phone in one ear, I called Larry on my cell phone in the other to tell him Johnny was going to be late for work (Johnny was in the jakes at this point, pooping pennies). Larry's phone rang three times and just as he picked up, AAA came on the other line. Confused, I slammed the cell phone closed.

Grand, now not only is Larry standing around wondering where Johnny is because he's supposed to be arriving at work right this very second -- now he also thinks Johnny just called him and hung up. He probably thinks he quit or something. Oh well, AAA...

Do you know, in the past I have preached evangelical about the American Automobile Association. I've not understood why anyone would own a car and not sign up. I've even suggested it to some folks who don't own cars, because if you're a member they'll help you anywhere -- with a rental, or a friend's car, or anything. Bravo. But for the first time in seventeen years of membership, this morning I felt condescended to.

First of all the on-hold had all these recordings trying to sell me things, which they never used to do. Second, I don't know what kind of emergency they're having on a beautiful morning in September -- I've never been on hold this long in an ice storm in March. And when someone finally did come on the line, he wanted to sell me a new battery and then, when I said no, he questioned my ability to judge what was really wrong.

"You just have no power then, Miss? You think maybe you might have left your lights on last night or something?"

Balls to you , man, I know when I need a jump start. And I happen to know I don't particularly need one this morning right this second, but I know that if I sit here any longer trying to start it through whatever's really wrong, I sure as hell will need a jump start soon. I just want to know you folks are on your way. So hop to!

He told me it would take an hour and gave me my confirmation number. I called Larry back -- he didn't answer this time, great -- and left a message telling him the f-word car wouldn't start and the f-word AAA had me on hold which is why I hung up on him, and they were coming now but they were going to take an f-word hour, at which point the f-word bridge was scheduled to go up, so Johnny would hitch the closest flying pig and be there as soon as f-word possible.

Then I got dressed, so as to be marginally decent when the AAA guy came. Then I went out to wait in the car for him. Then while I was sitting there I decided I might as well run down the battery trying to start it, since he was on his way with a jump and all, and so I turned the key...

And Chuck (TF-wordT), F-wording started.

So I took my house keys off my keychain with the car key in the ignition, ran in the house, hollered for Johnny (who yelled "F-word!"), grabbed my wallet and etc., and called AAA to cancel (they picked right up on this one). Johnny made a quick call to George to come look at the F-word car this evening for us, and we were off.

I fully expected and planned to get stuck behind the bridge on my way home, but that sign is never right. I drove over the bridge at 8:01 and there was no evidence of any planned opening in sight.

I have to go now. The F-word truck has to start for me three more times today before George gets a look at it, so here's hoping (this is not what we're praying for, so don't waste my mojo; if I have to take a cab to the dentist's office, I'll be fine).

But I did just hear a big boat blow it's big boat-horn, so I suspect I may get caught on the bridge on my way out. I'm going to leave Chuck running the whole half-hour if I do, and I don't give an F-word about global warming.


MD said...

That happened to me in the jeep this summer remember when you came up? and it was the starter. Certainly worth replacing as if it is being tempermental it will eventually go.
Or in the merz when I was coming home l2 weeks ago for vacation. I had the click thing and I did need a jump start. Check to see if your alternator is shot as then all power is draining from the battery, lights, radio, even ignition. Nobody asked, just my opinion

Leslie said...

I think you should just call it your Fruck.