It's not about the house.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Say We Go Get the M'F'er!

Oh, man, am I the only one bored to beers with this Car Battery fiasco? The nice thing about writing it instead of living it (or, for that matter, reading it), is that you have the power to speed it up.

Everybody ready? Okay set go!

Johnny tried to take the dead battery out of the car and replace it with the one he charged, but he couldn’t get the old one out because he’s not a mechanic and he didn’t have the proper tool, so instead he hauled the charger out on an extension cord and hooked it up to the dead one. He left it out there for freaking hours, and when it started to rain I unplugged and disconnected everything and closed the hood and hauled the charger in the house. The next morning I didn’t feel like dealing with anything so when Chuck (TFT) miraculously started I went ahead and drove him where I had to go, and at the end of the day he started again and brought me home.


Maybe all he needed was to know I would buy him a new battery if he asked for it? Maybe he didn’t really need a new one after all?

No. Bad idea. Because the next day Johnny had a dentist appointment and my Lady’s cat had to go to the vet, and while these things could be accomplished sans a car, they’d be ever so much easier avec one, and they’d be ruined all together if Chuck (TFT) up and died en route, so I called AAA at 8:00 a.m., figuring I’d have my battery by nine.

I did, too. Technically. It was right there on the ground in my driveway for about an hour while the AAA guy (who was really more of an aaa kid) fiddled with the bolt and hemmed and hawed and stared at it and I sat in the shotgun seat reading Vanity Fair until finally the aaa kid said the bolt was rusty, he couldn’t get it off, and he was not allowed to break it because of liability with AAA and blah blah.

I said “I’ll break it! What do I need? A hammer? A flathead screwdriver? A rubber mallet? Hang on, I’ll go get all those things and come right back and bash it for you POW!”

“Well, no,” the aaa kid said. “Actually, if you had the right tool to unscrew it, it would probably just break. That bolt’s hexagonal, see, and my ratchet set is round.”

Oh. So what you meant to say was not “the bolt is rusty” but rather “I came to your house specifically to replace your battery and I didn’t bring my battery-replacing tool.”

(There’s a joke here to be made about battery-replacing tools, but the aaa kid is not the butt of it. After all, he’d have to actually replace a battery to qualify.)

So we said we’d just take the battery, then, and figure out how to get it in ourselves, but aaa kid said he couldn’t sell us the new battery without taking away the old one, so we had aaa kid give Chuck (TFT) a jumpstart, and then just left him running for the rest of the day.

You think I’m kidding? I am not. Well, I am sort of. That was at 10:00 a.m, and I did not shut Chuck (TFT) off again till nearly 2:00. I dropped Johnny at his dentist, picked up my Lady’s cat, left the car running while we were in the vet’s office, dropped him off, picked up Johnny, stayed in the running car while he ran into one store, left him in it while I ran in another, risked explosion by getting a quick $10 worth of gas with a combusting engine (the better to let it keep running for hours if need be in the driveway), then went home, sat down at my computer, and completely forgot there was something I was supposed to do.

Car started the next morning, so I took it to work again and, on another wish-and-prayer, got home. Then we called George. George showed up after work with the proper ratchet set, loosened the bolt in a whopping seven seconds, and said “Okay, where’s the battery?” I said “Oh, George, they wouldn’t sell us the battery, we just need you to loosen the bolt.” He said “Amateurs,” got back in his car, and went home. I’m pretty sure he was talking about aaa kid.

We waited till the next morning (this is Friday now; the car first died on Sunday) to call AAA again. I don’t know why. I almost went to the Auto Parts store and bought one and put it in myself, but in the end we decided that since I fuck up absolutely everything I touch, I’d better not. I’d get the wrong one and lose the receipt, or I’d get the right one and it would explode. In fact, just to be double-sure, I made Johnny be the one to stand in the driveway with the AAA guy this time.

Johnny says that this AAA guy (the third in this ordeal, plus George) said “Jesus, I would’ve just broke the fuckin’ thing. Kid must’ve been new on the job.”

Which is nice and everything, and it’s done now so I don’t mean to complain, but you see, AAA Guy #3, the point is not whether you would have had the balls to break the bolt. The point is the bolt did not need breaking. The point is all we ever needed was the proper tool.

There's still a tool joke to be made here. I know there is. Even if, after 1000 words, I still can't find it. One thing is certain, though:

It isn't George.

Here is where I would put a picture of George if I had one, and let you make your own decisions about whether it was worth a thousand words. But I don't have a picture of George. George has such inherent dignity about him, it always feels like too much of an intrusion to ask him if he minds. So instead I give you this:

Poop, two ways. 

T'ain't nuthin' dignified about that shit.

Right, Chuck (TFT)?

Whoops. Sorry. Make it three.


12ontheinside said...

I am so pleased I am not the only person in this world who makes things hard for themselves. With lots of help from others!

Sashimi said...

And I'm so pleased I'm not the only one who names cars! Someday..i'll tell the world about my little son on four wheels -> Coco!

Do tell Chuck(TFT) from me to be a good little man now that he has the nice new battery.

Sparkle Plenty said...

BLARGH. Haven't been able to comment because this whole thing has given me flashbacks to bad auto repair trips. And AAA dudes. And batteries. And driveway vigils. Also because I'm superstitious if I say anything my car will go four wheels up. It probably just did.