My grandpa is that guy. You know the one with all the cars? And I don't mean the garage full of pretentious cars that have random letter/number combinations instead of words from foreign languages as names. I mean the guy with 7 cars in the driveway of which 1.5 are in working condition. And it's not that he's the guy who uses a second-hand love-seat as a deck chair, it's just that he has no luck with cars. Like...none. It's kind of a family joke. And it applies to all forms of transportation, too. When we go to the lake, the boat will work fine until Grandpa starts driving. I think I may have unwittingly, and certainly unwillingly, inherited a small portion of the auto-deficiency gene.
Two cases in point:
#1 - It's December 2009 (at least I think it was December...could have been November...regardless), I've just been on a date to the Symphony, and am walking back to my car with my date. It's roughly 4 degrees outside. We get to my car, settle in, and...it won't start. WHAT?! *sigh* After some trial and error I figure out that there is a leak in the fuel line (I'm assuming here, all I really know is that when I turned the key, fuel ended up on the ground). So, I call my friend who was at the symphony with us, but drove separately with yet another friend (long story), and friend #2 has AAA. AAA informs me that they can't send a tow truck until the fire department has been out to secure the area and declare it safe. *really?* Phone call #2 is to the SLFD. By this time my feet are icicles because I'm wearing my dress shoes (symphony) instead of something more weather-appropriate like Sorrel boots. So we wait. After a period of time we hear sirens. I think, "No...can't be." But yes, it can - and was. The fire truck came speeding around the corner - lights flashing, sirens blaring - to rescue us from spilled fuel. *slow clap* The ladies were understandably delighted by the arrival of Salt Lake's finest, and I was just relieved to get the situation resolved - which it was. Once the tow truck left, the four of us piled into friend #1's car and headed to Denny's to bemusedly drink some hot chocolate and wonder at the whole situation. (Incidentally the repairs only cost me about $70, for which I was EXTREMELY relieved)
#2 - It's yesterday. I've just gotten out of my acting class and am headed down my usual route home. I arrive at a blockade and discover that the one and only road south is inaccessible. There are no helpful signs declaring "Detour". Luckily I had my map app and found an alternate route, albeit a long alternate route home. After scooting around the backwoods of Beverly Hills (yes, they do exist), and passing 2 deer and 3 coyotes I was finally back on track. I got to the bottom of the hill to discover my route blocked yet again! And again, there were no detour signs...at least not immediately. I ran into some once I'd already figured out where to go. With my second roadblock vanquished I sailed on secure in the knowledge that the rest of my ride would be uneventful. But fate had different plans. Phin decides that tonight of all nights will be an excellent time to stop working. And that's exactly what happened. He just stopped. There was gas, there was oil, there was prayer. But Phin was not to be persuaded. So, it's 12:30 AM, I'm stuck on the side of the road and it's about 45 degrees outside. I realize that, comparatively speaking, 45 degrees is not that cold, but when one is used to temperatures in the 70's, 45 is cold. AND when you're riding on a scooter in 45 degrees, it's really cold. My Sorrel boots are currently in Salt Lake. I didn't think I'd ever consider my boat shoes as inappropriate footwear in LA, but last night, they were. Fear not, however, luck was on my side in 3 particulars: 1 - when I purchased Phin I also got a 2-year warranty with road-side assistance, so I called up the powers that be and a tow truck was immediately dispatched. (It took half an hour to get there, which I don't understand since it was 12:30 in the morning, but I'm not in charge of the world yet, so I had to wait). 2 - My route home from class passed through essentially no dangerous areas of town, so I sat on the side of the road in a relatively safe residential area just up the street from the mall. 3 - I had a book with me. Jorge arrived, but not without passing by me once or twice first, and I finally got home about 1:30, whereupon I immediately made myself a LARGE mug of hot chocolate and stood in front of the heating vent to defrost.
And so you see? My grandpa is the reason I keep a steady supply of hot chocolate on hand and will from now on and forever carry heavy boots with me everywhere I go.
Ok, that's not going to happen, but I might stock both of my vehicles with a pair of thick socks...