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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Maybe We Should Use Public Transportation

Every Saturday morning I drive 40 minutes to bring my 5 yr old to gymnastic class. One of the things I like about it is listening to the radio. I also like the fact that the car is peaceful, since it is usually just my 5 yr old, me and the baby. The 5 yr old has no one to fight with, or heck even talk to, since I am too busy singing along to the radio.

One of the radio stations plays music from when I was in high school, which they call Way Back Weekend. Oh yes, way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and we wore fur pelts as clothing, we listened to R.E.M. and Madonna.

This Saturday, on the way to the gymnastic center, we almost had a car accident. An old man driving in front of me slammed on his brakes at a blinking yellow light. I had thought he was one of the few okay elderly drivers, since he was driving over the speed limit. But I was proven wrong when he slammed on his brakes and I had to slam on my breaks and swerve on to the other side of the road to avoid hitting him. The two cars behind me had to go up on the curb to avoid hitting us both. The oncoming traffic went up on their curb.

Since I was driving Rob's car I couldn't find the horn without looking so I couldn't immediately honk it. I had to wait until I was completely stopped, which took a good 20 seconds longer, to located the horn buttons, so by the time I actually honked the horn it was a rather useless exercise. It was so frustrating that I'm not sure what annoyed me more the old man or the fact that I couldn't find the horn to express my displeasure.

Then on the way home something fell out of the bottom of the car and was dragging along underneath it. I later found out that the catalytic converter had broken off from the muffler pipe. The car was really really LOUD. It was kinda cool. I felt like I was driving a powerful race car at the Daytona 500. All the other traffic got out of my way and people stayed way way behind me, probably fearing that the important piece of the car was going to fall out and they would end up driving over it.

I stopped about half way home at a baby store to buy a present for a friend of Rob's who is having his first baby next month. When I pulled into the parking lot, there was a man trying to put a crib into the back of his SUV and he came over to have a look at my noisy car. He ended up climbing under my car and fastening the catalytic converter back up to the chassis with a bungey cord. And did I mention it was bitter cold outside. I was freezing cold just standing there watching him. I was half tempted to just go in the store and leave him there fixing the car, because really I was contributing nothing but staring at his legs.

And speaking of which, he was wearing this ankle bracelet that I found a bit distracting. He was dressed in uber conservative clothing, but then had this shiny thin ankle bracelet peeking out over his sock. I had no idea what to make of it. But I am so out of touch that, for all I know, male ankle bracelets are a really cool fashion statement.

Anyhow, who says chivalry is dead?

We dropped the car off at the shop to be repaired Saturday and this morning they called us with the estimate. The $1200 estimate. Apparently my driving with the part unattached and dragging along behind me on the ground caused about $600 worth of the damage since it broke some other vitally important car part. Ooooops. If you can't yet tell, my car knowledge is limited to locating the gas tank when I need gas. Or if I were really honest, locating the button that opens the little gas tank door so that the man can pump my gas.

I guess pretending to be a NASCAR driver was a wee bit costly.

Hey, Rob just came in the house holding the windshield wipers to my van in his hand. It seems they were frozen to the windshield and when he went to move them they snapped right off. We are just not having luck with motor vehicles this weekend.

I realize that his mistake will only cost $20 and a trip to Walmart, but there's no need to split hairs now, is there?


Blogger RANDI said...

AARGH! What a day! One of my pet peeves is car problems-can't stand spending the money on them.

I got a good chuckle out of the windshield wiper incident! When it rains, it pours, right?


4:50 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Super cool conservative anklet bracelet wearing guy or perhaps a medical I.D. bracelet. Either way he sounds like he was one cool dude for helping out. Sorry about the car bill though.

7:43 PM  
Blogger eko said...

OMG, I about spewed four times reading this; fortunately I KNOW not to actually be drinking something when I read you. WHEW!

Glad you're all okay, but YIKES what a bummer about the cost to repair the fallen out part.

My bil always says to watch out for old/short men wearing hats who are behind the steering wheel of a car.

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