Know What
I'm Sayin'??
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
So...where to start?

Okay...let's first generalize, and then go into specifics. That should work.

The Generalization

You ever hit a bad patch? You know. Your dog dies, and then you get a flat tire or something on the way to work, and then it rains while you're changing the tire, and then you get sick. To top it all off, you have concert tickets or something, but can't go because you're just too sick! That's a bad patch. I'm having a bad patch.

The Specifics
So...Friday night, I'm heading out to hang out with one of my boys. Innocent and commonplace enough.

Let me give some background info. I have two cars. The first is the first car I bought with my own money. A 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible. Yellow. The second is a 1997 Cadillac Seville. Black. Two vehicles a world apart. The incongruencies, however, keep me balanced. When I want to be civilized, I drive the Caddy. It has luxuries like...air conditioning (that's a big one) and a CD changer, and leather. When I'm footloose and fancy free, I drive the VW. It's simpler. In some ways, more dependable than the Caddy. There's just not nearly as much to go wrong with the VW. I like the combination.

So anyway, this past Friday night, I'm heading out into the streets. I'm driving up I-20, and I'm in the VW. I'm chillin'. I'm feeling good. I'm relaxed. It's a Friday night, after all. I'm cruising pretty good, when all of a sudden, I'm slowing down. I'm still pressing the gas, but I'm slowing down. I pull over. The car stalls. Sigh. I take a few deep breaths. I try to restart. Sigh. Looks like I'm not going to make it out tonight. I call my lovely wife to fetch me. She arrives. We call AAA. The tow truck driver arrives surprisingly quickly. Maybe even quickly enough for this to be a AAA world record. But I digress.

Luckily, we're pretty close to the shop where I take the VW, and they have a key drop. The tow truck driver follows us over there, and as I pull into the parking lot - Sigh. The place looks like a bomb went off or something. One wall has been completely blown out. Usually there are like 10 cars of varying vintage parked around. On this night, there were 4. There's a sign posted on the door. The gist of it reads "Closed until further notice due to fire. Chase will be doing some things for a few weeks, beginning June 3. His phone number is...whatever" By this time the landlord has staggered out of nowhere, and he looks "half-there". He ensures me that it's okay to call Chase so late (by this time it's like midnight). Chase mercifully answers, and tells me that I can leave the car, and he'll take a look at it the next day.

At this point, we have not reached "Bad Patchdom", despite having my car break down at 11:00 on a Friday night. Keep reading.

So...I'm not worried yet. The beauty of having two cars is that when one breaks down, you have another. PLUS, it's much more graceful to go from the simple car to the luxury car, than the other way. Everyone isn't so lucky to have a backup that has the aforementioned AC, CD changer and leather. Anyway, I drive the Caddy through the weekend and Monday. I hooked up with Chase this afternoon, and get the VW back. Parked the Caddy at the rail station a block or two away from the shop, with plans of picking it up later, but for some reason I wasn't really pressed. He tells me the story of what happened to the shop. He's moving the whole operation. Cost to fix the Ghia: $60. Nice.

That's all well and good. I make it back home to spend a nice leisurely evening with my still-lovely wife. We decide to drive together in the morning, so that she can drop me off at the rail station to collect the Caddy. At around 1:00am, I'm antsy, so I decide to go for a ride in the Ghia, to help it get over it's hospitalization and get its confidence back. This will also give me a chance to go move the Caddy to a better parking spot, since it'll be there overnight.

The clincher is coming.

I pull up at the rail station, walk up to my car, and the car is...DEAD. Nothing. Caddys have remote door openers. Doesn't work. No problem, that's why they also have keys. Maybe I just need new batteries in the remote? I open the door with the key. Nothing. No interior lights. Nothing. I put the key in the ignition and turn. You guessed it - nothing. Sigh. Did someone steal my battery somehow? Nope. Still there. Did I leave my lights on? A door open? Shouldn't matter. It's a Cadillac. They're smart enough to overcome stuff like that. It's a mystery. So...what did I do with my dead Cadillac at an almost-empty rail station at 1:something in the morning? Nothing. I locked the doors, walked back to the VW, and drove away. I did look at the Caddy as I roared past.

Here in the aftermath, I have vain hopes that I was somehow temporarily pulled into an alternate dimension or something. A dimension in which my car is dead. The beauty of this temporary visit is its fleeting nature. Tomorrow, my car will be fine. Right? Probably not. What will I do? I'm not sure sure, because the simple truth of the matter is that I've already got a list of things to do tomorrow, and "Muck around with a dead battery." is NOT on it. This, my friends, is TOO MUCH. I REPEAT. TOO MUCH. THE BAD PATCH NEEDS TO END HERE. IMMEDIATELY AND POST-HASTE. TOO MUCH.

Thank you very much. Deep Breath. Be calm.

Know what I'm Sayin'??
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