Took a half-day to pull Courtney out of school for a counseling appointment we both had to get our Concerta prescriptions refilled as the only time we could get was mid-afternoon. Figured on using the time after the appointment to head back up to Court’s school to speak with her Language Arts teacher about the reading assignment from hell she’s struggling with and which I don’t understand either.
Naturally this ends up being the day my car decides to start having problems. Roughly half-way home I noticed the engine seemed to be running at a higher RPM than normal and about the time it kicked down to normal was about the time it started running rough and the little idiot light that reads SERVICE ENGINE SOON started flashing on and off in that alarming way that little idiot lights always do. Just like in those bad science fiction movies where the hero always says “Oh shit” and then starts flipping switches frantically in a vain attempt to look like he has a chance of accomplishing something even though no vehicle ever invented could be fixed by flipping a couple of switches on a console. I didn’t have any switches to flip frantically. Except possibly the turn signals and that seemed kind of pointless.
Managed to limp the car off the freeway and into a convenience store parking lot where, as luck would have it, the pay-phone didn’t work. So I hoofed it 2 or 3 miles (not sure which, but it took the better part of an hour) to another convenience store that had a working pay phone where I could call Anne and ask her to come get me. While waiting, I contemplated the irony of how inconvenient the convenience stores in the area suddenly seemed to be. This was more walking in one day than I’ve done in years and boy did my body let me know about it in a major way. No, I don’t have a cell phone currently. We both had cell phones for awhile, but we hardly ever used them and the expense didn’t seem to make it worth keeping them around.
Anne picked me up before the local police investigated why I was sitting on the ground next to a pay-phone in the parking lot of a really seedy convenience store doing my best “Al The Wino” impression with a bottle of Diet Pepsi. Managed to get Court and myself to our appointment on time, though the teacher I had intended to grill on Court’s assignment was, of course, not at work today.
Came home and got a hold of the insurance company’s road-side assistance person to get the car towed to our local repair shop that we’ve not been to in 2 years or so because we had relatively new cars. In an interesting coincidence the friendly manager guy behind the counter by the name of Paul was the same guy who helped us tons of times before back when we made visiting the repair shop a sort of hobby. Paul, it turns out, hasn’t been at the store in almost 2 years himself as he’s been starting up new franchise locations in two other cities and was only at our location for the past couple of days to fill in for the regular manager who is in training. All you conspiracy-minded people who ascribe any coincidence to either a government plot of the intervention of super natural forces can now have a field day sending me email.
Personally, I’m hoping it bodes well for my chances in the lottery drawing tonight. I told Paul that if the good fortune of him being at the shop on the very day that my newer car died translated into my winning the lotto that I’d come by and buy him a cup of coffee. So that’s my day in a nutshell, even if it is one of the longer posts I’ve made in awhile. Wish me luck, I have no idea how I’m going to pay for whatever repairs come up. Unless that lotto thing comes through for me.
Which, considering the phone call I just received, I could really use. One of the spark plug wires has burned through. Replacing plugs and the wires along with a needed oil change and air filter (I’m past due on both) is going to eat $400 out of my next paycheck. That’s not counting the other couple of things I should really take care of right now maintenance-wise, but can’t afford to right now (that would’ve been over $600 to take care of everything). Hmmm. Maybe I should reconsider a Save Les webpage..