Becky Says...

April 2005

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The Further Adventures of Katie the Car - April 15

Let's just say I'm glad I decided to go to the bathroom before I left to come home from work. Oh, and that last year I was given a prepaid cell phone. Those two things took the edge off a really bad evening!

Last night when I was coming home from work I noticed that Katie the car's "service engine soon" light was on a little too long. The same thing was happening today, so I called the garage---a sibling of the one I regularly use, since my regular one doesn't have the right computer to diagnose the problem that makes the light come on---and asked if they could take a look. They could, so I dropped the car off and went on to work.

Then the car fun began in earnest. The mechanic called to tell me his computer and mine weren't able to communicate. He suggested that I would probably have to go to the dealership. Which of course I didn't have time to do today. He told me it would probably be okay to drive the car at least as far as to work and then home, so late in the afternoon I got a ride over to get it.

I needed to take my paycheck to the bank, so I did that on my way back to the office. On the way to the bank, the service engine light was on, and the car was driving rough. But as I got to the bank's parking lot, Katie settled down and quit behaving like a tantrum-ridden toddler. The car was also happy to go back to the office, even though we were dealing with rush-hour traffic.

I had stopped for gasoline on Wednesday, at the place I usually go. They have recently changed brands, and when I mentioned that at the law firm, two things were said. One, don't use that gasoline again, because it messed up someone else's car, and two, get some gas treatment in the car as soon as possible. Both those suggestions were of the definitely couldn't hurt variety. The gas treatment I could get on the way home. So I stopped to do just that.

And when I pulled into the parking lot of the store to buy the treatment, Katie the car decided to stall. I think she was overtired by this point, and needed a time out. So I got the treatment, and put it in the tank. After she had rested a few minutes, I tried starting her again. The stalling continued, every time I took my foot off the accelerator. This was happening while I was still in the store parking lot.

That's where the cell phone came into play. I decided it would be truly stupid to risk getting the car going just long enough to stall in traffic, so I called AAA. It took them longer to get to me than they had originally thought, but they called back to make sure I was safe, to apologize for the delay, and to give me a revised estimated arrival time.

By this point I had started writing down things to include in this entry. And had started thinking it would be nice to get home to post this entry. When the AAA truck arrived, the driver and I discussed options in terms of taking the car to a garage, but since it was past closing time on a Friday, and I needed more information about such things as the need for the dealership, I decided that it would be best to get Katie and me home.

I know I'll likely have to pay to have the car towed to wherever I decide to take it for the work, but even the cell phone couldn't solve the problem of closed businesses. I'm hoping to avoid having to go to the dealership, mainly for distance reasons, but if I have to, I have to.

One of the first things on my agenda with respect to this is to gather information. I will be doing a little of that gathering with the help of a computer. My laptop computer, not the one in the car.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky