Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Be careful where you PARK...

Last Thursday was an interesting day.  I've held off on this blog post till I could finally get pictures to upload and I've finally figured out how to type the blog on the computer and add the pictures via the Blogger app on my phone.  Its my compromise till somebody gets me a computer!

So I have a new friend named Nameless*.  He's totally my new BFF, though I'm sure if you asked him, he'd be like, "um, yeah, I think I know that Jessica girl.  We've met, maybe once?"  So, just don't ask him, and listen to my side of the story, ok?

* Nameless has asked that he remain nameless so as to "reduce his internet presence".  He did this after first finding out that he might be on the blog, and I graciously allowed him to have approval of my blog post to make sure he wouldn't be offended (I don't know why HE'D be offended-- this blog is quite obviously making fun of me, not him. but hey...).  He first said to change his name but wouldn't agree to any of the names I suggested (Lawman, Mr. Mister, Running Man, Awesome McAwesome), and then later decided that my blog was worthy of his actual name, but I've decided not to allow that.  Nope, from now on, he shall remain Nameless. Also, there is a picture of him at the bottom, so Nameless will not remain Faceless.   

As many of you know, spending money is one of my favorite things to do.  I love shopping!  This month, I've loved shopping a bit too much and been financially embarassed.  Since I was no longer able to spend any money, I decided its a great idea to try to spend someone else's money.  I harrassed and annoyed Nameless until he finally agreed to let me help him spend his money on a new pair of shoes.  I love seeing a well-dressed man, and I think Nameless really appreciates my sense of style.  At least, I thought he did till last week when he complimented my new tan leather jacket (Exhibit A to my financial embarassment).  I was so glad someone noticed how awesome that jacket was and I was like, "Thanks!  I love it too!" And then he finished the sentence by saying, "But, are you supposed to wear a brown jacket with black shoes? That doesn't really seem to match."  Shut it, Nameless.  You're dead to me. 

Anyway, I forgave him for his judgmental attitude toward my accessories (I mean, come on-- my shoe wardrobe has been significantly limited in the last few months-- most of my beautiful shoes are heels and those are off limits right now!  I mean, do you always make fun of temporarily handicap people?  I bet you hate kittens as well, Nameless.).  I forgave him because I needed a shopping fix and I suggested we go to Abraham's downtown to shop for shoes.  I might have mentioned there was a sale going on, which wasn't exactly true. 

Regardless, we shopped, he deemed all those beautiful shoes too expensive for his blood, our sales person turned out to be a defendant for my upcoming courtdate, they tried to convince him to open up a charge account, and he resisted his urge to hit me over the head with a Cole Hahn shoe when I suggested a really nice tweed pair of pants would look great on him.  It was a fun afternoon. 

Afterwards, we went to Airport Grocery to have an early dinner.  I was supposed to meet a friend for water aerobics at 7:30, so we scooted on out to the cars.  This is when tragedy struck.  My car wouldn't crank.  I flagged Nameless down before he drove away, which was lucky since my phone had lost all battery and wasn't working.  We determined that I needed to be jumped off, so I headed inside and found one of the waiter guys who had some cables.  Matthew was his name and he was so sweet- he came out and tried to jump me off using Nameless' car and his jumper cables.  It didn't go svery well-- there were actual sparks that flew off the car, burning Matthew's hand.  It wasn't pretty.  It was decided that we needed to handle this in the daylight, so Nameless took me home, and I left my car there. 

Friday was my day off and I had intended to go to Clarksdale for a funeral and then drive on home to Newton for the weekend-- Betsy's Laurel engagement party.  However, this car business literally threw a wrench in my plans.  An actual wrench.  Or rather, a bolt that just refused to loosen.  The next morning, we went to the car.  We determined that the problem was the leads.  They were corroded and damaged to the point that they were no longer even connected in a circle.  Now, I don't actually know if that's the right term-- leads.  Perhaps its spelled leeds?  I don't know.  Its the little metal circle thingys that connect the battery to the rest of the car.  Or something, I don't really know.  We decided to take the battery to Auto Zone and see if its the battery or the leads.  We successfully undid the bolts (using the wrench Nameless had the foresight to bring from his house in his jacket) and drove down to Auto Zone. 

The nice Auto Zone worker asked me if this battery came out of a race car.  There was a picture of a race car on the label.  It seemed, at first, that she knew about as much as I did in this situation.  She did know enough, though, to tell us it wasn't the battery.  We found some new leads and decided it was within our skill set to replace the leads. 

This was not as easy as I just made it sound.  We got back to the vehicle and found that the leads and the bolts attached to the leads were so incredibly corroded that we couldn't loosen them.  At all.  Not even budge.  It got ugly pretty fast.  This bolt was owning us.  Then, a brillant idea struck me.  Can't you use Coke to unloosen a screw?  Like you can use Abner's sauce to shine up a penny?  Luckily, I NEVER clean my car out, and I was able to find a never-been-opened Diet Dr. Pepper.  Even better, when I opened it, the yellow lid was a winner- Free 16 oz.  Score!

This is where our luck ends.  I pour a bit of the liquid onto the lid and all it does it make a mess when it goes everywhere, turning the leads a pretty turquoise color.  I don't have anything to clean it with, so I find a red  sweater originally intended for donation, but has sat in my backseat along with a ton of other stuff for months because I'm too lazy to find somewhere to donate it.  Now, my hopes of heading to the funeral are dashed, my worries about the car are growing, and I'm standing in the middle of a parking lot with a Diet Dr. Pepper and a dirty red sweater in my head, growing more concerned by the minute that Nameless is going to throw his hands up any minute, jump in his car and leave me behind. 

We head back to AutoZone and buy some substance meant to loosen bolts and a towel to clean it up.  Back to the vehicle, nothing.  No movement on behalf of this stubborn screw.  Its beginning to be lunch time, so I walk inside and ask if anyone has a monkey wrench.  Or some tool that Nameless said we needed, I don't remember if thats the right name.  Frank, the handyman does, and he comes outside, but he cannot get this screw undone either.  I'm beginning to see a tow truck in my future.  Next door is a used car place and Nameless walks over to see if they have a mechanic that would be willing to help us.  He comes over, and cannot get it unscrewed.  He suggests that the guy who used the jumper cables the previous night hooked them up backwards, thus explaining the sparks and the extremely corroded and burned leads.  He goes and gets more tools.  Still no movement.  Finally, I'm sitting in the car, and he gets some blow torch or something and I'm beginning to get super defeated and all the sudden I look up to see Nameless smiling and saying it was loose!  I was so very thankful!

We replaced the leads, I go to crank the vehicle and.... Nothing.  At all.  I am a very unhappy camper.  I'm tired, my knees hurt from standing up, I feel bad that Nameless has had to take off an entire morning to help me and the BBQ smell wafting from the lunch menu is making super hungry since I didn't eat breakfast.  Finally, the guy comes over and we realize that... the car is not in Park.  I'm pretty sure Nameless wanted to kill me right then and there (I'm surprised he's still speaking to me.)  The mechanic guy tells me that this happened recently... to his mother... and a couple of her elderly friends.  He actually used the term "elderly." 

I will forever maintain a small amount of dignity about this situation-- my car will not allow me to turn off the vehicle if the car isn't in park.  I am going to believe that it got knocked out of park AFTER the disastorous jumping office or after the leads were replaced.  At least the leads are shiny and new. 

I am greatly appreciate of Nameless's apparently endless patience during this situation and even gracefully endured his remarks about coming up with a nickname based on this incident (which, thankfully, is a subject he has dropped.)  I promise next time I try to get him to buy new clothes, I will let him drive and leave my car at home.  In park. 

NOTE: Blogger won't let me move these pictures like I normally like to-- interspersed throught the story, making it visually more interesting.  If not actually more interesting.  Instead, I'll have to caption these at the bottom. 

The battery which turned out to be in good working condition.  And my lucky bottle of
 Diet Dr. Pepper. 

Nameless assessing the situation.  Or, more likely, sending a text to some friend of his about this crazy girl he is stuck with.  Who is she, Nameless?  She sounds lovely. 

The corroded "lead"-- I mean, look at how bad it looks! You can't tell from this angle, but the circle is broken and isn't even attached anymore.  So, my theory of the vehicle being messed up is perfectly rational, even if it wasn't in Park the entire time. 

My red sweater turned rag. 

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