the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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And Just When I Thought My Week Would Only Suck...

So on top of being stressed out about the huge project I've been working on that might or might not launch this week, which kept me in the office until 9:30 PM on Friday night, and Liz being gone for the week for her class, and being ignored by the cats, this week has decided to kick me squarely in the metaphorical nuts by bestowing upon me that greatest of joys, car trouble.

I had the typical "gee it looks like my battery is about to die" experience this morning as I fought with a recalcitrant starter, pumping the gas in an attempt to coax the engine into turning over just enough to get running. After some perseverance, determination, and swearing, it coughed to life, the dashboard computer displaying the cheerfully ominous message, "ALTERNATOR WORKSHOP!" Right. Fine. The engine's running, I thought, take it over to the dealership while I can--it's probably just the battery or the alternator flaking out. I figured I would have to sit around for awhile, but that it could at least get dealt with.

But of course, once I got the car into the shop, it started acting just fine. Started without complaint. And of course there is no record of the alert, so they don't know what's wrong with it. So they're keeping it, to play with it tomorrow when it's a cold start. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be an issue -- my intrepid and caring wife would have given me a lift in to work, and, had I behaved myself, would have even given me a ride back to the shop to retrieve it again. But, she's not here, so now I'm screwed and have to put up with the dealership-supplied rental; no one seemed terribly interested in just giving me a ride home so that I could use Liz's car.

Now, I was fine with that concept, and I know a rental car is never going to live up to what I've come to take for granted in my Jetta, but:

  1. It steers like a cow.
  2. The gas and brakes are incredibly touchy.
  3. It has huge bug corpses smashed inexplicably onto the mirrors (I would have thought they'd be on the leading edges of the vehicle).
  4. The cup holder came with the previous driver's empty styrofoam coffee cup and trash.
  5. The driver's seat apparently doesn't lean back at all.
  6. I can't place the smell, but I don't like it.
  7. The gas tank was almost dry; what they described as "an eighth of a tank" was in actuality "hovering imperceptibly above empty," and I consider myself lucky that I was able to even get the damn thing to a gas station.

And just to make my week complete, my left eye has developed the nagging, intermittent twitch that means I need more sleep and less stress before I get all "Hulk smash!" on stuff.

Sigh. It's all temporary, right?

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