Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Devil and Mike Jones

This is my car.

Looks innocuous enough, doesn't it? It's an inexpensive little four-door sedan that I traded in my marvelous but old and expensive-to-fix Volvo for so that I could get great gas mileage and not worry about breaking down too much.

I bought it used (a year old) three years ago.

I admit it. I haven't done ANYTHING to this car since I got it except put new tires on it (almost immediately) and change the oil regularly at 5,000 miles between changes.

So when it started hesitating when I needed to pull out of a side street or a driveway, I babied it along and promised a tune up in the very near future. When the brakes started doing that metal on metal squeal first thing in the morning, I promised it that we would get a brake job next week.

This past Monday, I got one of those Ad Max magazines in the mail and was flipping through it idly when I came across an ad for Mike's Garage. The students are back and he's trying to drum up some business with welcome-back-student-specials. One of them was perfect for me - a maintenance service package that included a tune-up, air filter, pvc valve and filter, transmission fluid, cooling system drain and refill, brake adjustment and repack (there is a free brake check), electrical system analysis, oil change and lube, injection system cleaning, tire rotation and AC check. Perfect! I made plans to take my little red car to see Mike and finally get it a little lovin' time this week.

Yesterday, I went out to my car to go home and it wouldn't start. REALLY wouldn't start. No click, no wuh, wuh, wuh. No nothing. I opened my hood to make sure everything was still connected and discovered that one of the battery terminals was covered in neon green corrosion. Apparently they didn't clean my terminals during my last oil change (they're supposed to). One of our engineers, John, is a fairly handy car guy (he's had to be - he's driven a lot of old cars), so he got his portable battery and jumped me. As soon as he removed the cables, it died. We tried it again, but the car wouldn't stay going. Alternator issues are suspected. Darling Man came and picked me up and we left the car behind.

Today, I called Mike and told him I'd been planning to bring my car in because it needed some love, but now it needs more than that. I briefly described the problem and told him I'd clean out the car before the tow truck arrived.

So I grabbed a box and headed outside to my lame little car. Since there was no power going to anything, I unlocked it with my key and began filling my box. I reached around and unlocked the back doors and began emptying the back seat... when the radio came on.

And the keys were in my pocket. My car doesn't do anything unless the key is in the ignition.

I went back around to the front seat. The little electronic security ignition light wasn't flashing, so I tapped the hazard light button and the radio went off, but the ignition light started flashing again. Then it occurred to me that there was a CD I wanted, so I hit the eject button to get it out. It light stopped flashing and the radio came on, but no CD came out. So I touched eject again. Nothing. I put my key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing - and the radio died. Took it out and the radio turned on again.

When I was a teenager, I couldn't get into a GM product. For this very reason. Everytime I did, something went haywire with the electrics. The lights would dim, the wipers would switch on, the radio would die. One car had windows that opened and shut of their own accord. I guess I had a magnetic personality. So I never had a GM (except that damned Firebird and I left that piece of crap with my ex) and always stuck to Fords, which always behaved beautifully - until today.

So I'm waiting for the tow truck to arrive (the guy's lost) and I really need to go pick up ZBoy, so I call the driver and he says "leave the keys under the mat. We'll get it." Well, the mats in my car are a hassle to lift (they have little things that hold them down), so I put my key in the center console instead. I got out of the car, closed the door. And looked out towards the driveway for the tow truck again. Then I thought to myself, "I'm sure I tried the door locks when I was goofing around with the car. I'd better get the key out and leave it under the wipers or something instead." As soon as I had finished this thought, the doors locked themselves.

My only key was now locked inside my possessed car.

I called the tow guy back again, explained the situation (Sheeeeee-it! I never hud of nothin' lak thayat befo! Doan worry lil lady, I git cher caa to thu grage.).

I guess he did, because when I called Mike later, he said it was there. I told him what had happened and he laughed. He'll call me in the morning after he's had a chance to check it out.

In the meantime, I'm thinking that my car finally has a name. Beelzebub.


Annie said...

Oh my! That is eerie!
Hope the repairs aren't horribly expensive... I'm trying ot think positive...

Kuin said...

lol...what a day ! what a story.

noelle said...

that's the craziest thing i've heard. Now i can't wait to hear what's wrong with it. Car problems are the worst, they leave you feeling so vulnerable (and broke, sigh). Good luck.

kitten said...

Bless your heart! I think your car is kin to my van. LOL! Here's to a quick and not expensive recovery.

nikki said...

Can you wear a watch? My mother -in-law has the same wonky electronics issue and can't wear a watch because her body makes the times change. It's weird.

Sayre said...

I haven't heard from Mike at the garage yet so I don't know how much my car's little tantrum is going to cost.

And no, I can't wear a watch. Well.. I do wear watches, but they don't last long. I wore a Timex Ironman for a while - that was the longest lasting watch before it went haywire. Now I wear a watch/stopwatch around my neck. It's been a month. There's an "H" on it now, which means nothing to me. It might be the beginning of the end.

Me said...

hee hee LOL.
Sorry that was funny. I like the Beelzebub :)

Pamela said...

You better anoint it with oil..... heh heh.