13 December 2008

Chestnuts Roasting Near An Open Car Fire

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Today has not been a good day.

The plan was easy. I would drive over to the Dapoppins estate and watch all of our kids. All eight of the kids would have wild fun. The Dapoppinses would go on a long-overdue date, and Mr Coffee would be left by his lonesome at our apartment to paint, play the bass, read, and scratch as he saw fit.

No. Not today.

I got a few miles down the road and my van, aka "The Anti-Christ", started clunking and jerking like I was learning how to drive a standard again. This is a bad sign when The Anti-Christ is an automatic. I pulled off the road and find that it won't engage in any gear.

I called Dapoppins and her kids turned on her in a Spanish Inquisition Because Mom's On The Phone kind of way. She was completely unable to hear, let alone understand my dire plea. I offered to watch the kids if she would pick me up. She still couldn't hear me and I hung up. Just FYI, in her defense, she would have picked me up, had she been able to hear.

I called Mr Coffee but only after cursing the day we bought the van and beating the engine with a tire iron. I felt better and tried to look cheerful for the kids sake.

Mr Coffee picked us up in his two-seater truck full of work tools in the back. 

I found it interesting that with my 21 years of driving, Mr Coffee found it necessary to jump in the driver's seat and try to make the van go. I'm not mad or think him condescending however, I do think this is a man thing. Woman can't make it work? Man can do it.

Could you ever picture a woman being told by a man that his vehicle is broken down? She would think it's broken down. Now, if a woman tells a man her car is broken down, he will open the hood, and try to restart or drive it, regardless of his mechanical prowess. I do not get this.

As it goes, Mr Coffee miraculously managed to get The Anti-Christ to drive, but only forward in neutral.. Of course, I'm the Woman who did not think of this particular gear because Woman drive around in neutral only during road trips to the moon while smoking a hookah pipe and drinking decaf coffee.

Being stuck on the side of the road put all child-sized kidneys into full production and suddenly each one of them is merely one sneeze away from peeing their pants. Starbucks was just across the field, so us girls wouldn't have to worry about finding a place to pee on our feet....get privacy.

By the time we hit Starbucks bathroom doors, my face was numb and the kids were nearly icicles. It was then I remembered I have zero cash on me and no way to get coffee or drinks for the kids. One of the managers gave us free drinks, more likely owing to her recognizing me as the Black Coffee Free Refill lady.

My BIL came to the rescue and picked up the kids while Mr Coffee drove The Anti-Christ home, in neutral. My BIL was very gracious and I was very thankful the kids didn't have to walk.

Since Mr Coffee took on the risk of driving the Anti-Christ, I was assigned to drive the work truck. I managed to pull the ball off the gear shift twice and nearly killed myself trying to see through the reams of paper and ketchup packets all over the dash. I'm fairly OCD about keeping my dash devoid of papers or junk. It's a huge pet peeve, but Mr Coffee evidently keeps his file cabinet there along with receipts from 1985.

If you can envision a truck with slits for driving. The odoriferous wafting odor of old Mexican food and dust. A driver's seat with blown out springs. Add rear view mirror ornaments: a few phone/ipod charging cords, hanging flashlights, a small pup tent, and a small farm animal on the rear view mirror and you, too can recreate my moment of claustrophobic driving.

I was quickly reminded of how much I prefer a standard over an automatic. And hey, it drives in all the right gears and isn't a freezing walk home.

The day did not improve which included an over-flowing toilet in the master bedroom. Of which, my rare expletive completely described what I would be cleaning up off the floor thanks to my daughter who miraculously evacuates everything south of her esophagus about once a week.

If you are wondering why I have any sense of humor left, you can blame it on the 14 oz tub of caramel left over from Thanksgiving, a Hornsby's hard apple cider, and the charred bonfire in my driveway that may or may not resemble The Anti-Christ.

~Bee did not think this was her best day EVER.
Listening to nothing. I couldn't see the radio.


Adriana said...

Sorry about this crappy day. The good thing is it's over! Thank God right. Lets hope for a better one tomorrow. A much better one. Thank god for the carmel!

Foo said...

Sorry to hear about your wheels. As the Big Three wonder why the gub'mint doesn't want to bail them out and the UAW can't understand why so many people knock American labor, perhaps they should ponder one simple fact.

People want a vehicle that just goes when you need it to.

“I'm not mad or think him condescending however, I do think this is a man thing.”

I wasn't there, and I don't know How Thing Work between you and Mssr. Java, but sometimes a guy just needs to be sure before calling the tow truck. Fex, just a couple weeks ago, Turtle calls me at work, all upset because her car won't start. She thinks it might be the starter or the battery, but because it's turning and not grinding (but just not starting), I suspect neither. It could still be an electrical problem, but nothing I can do anything about from work. [cutting to chase] When I get home from work, I get in the car, turn the key, and take a run at it. The car is reluctant but with a small bit of finesse on the accelerator, it finally catches and belches a cloud of blue smoke.

And doesn't require being towed to the dealership for some large sum of money.

None of which means I'm dismissive of my bride's ability to drive or to know when there's a problem with the car. Just me needing to exhaust all attempts before calling in the highly-paid professionals.

Maybe it's like that with Mr. Coffee?

Skerrib said...

What a fantastically horrendous day. The topper had to be the toilet. Might I recommend laughing like a crazy woman until you cry...and cry...and cry. Takes care of both.

Dapoppins said...

Once I managed to stuff gags and hot tie my brood....I would have come and got you! Gawd...I feel so bad that I didn't hear, or even give you a chance, to cry your plea!

I am a butt head

And yet, you still watched my kids.

The Anti-Christ Van picked you because you are a Saint! Only you can defeat the machinations of the Evil ONE!

Dapoppins said...

caramel? Did you say caramel?

Mrs4444 said...

Well on the bright side, it sure is pretty in here.... :)

McBunni said...

How do you drive a car in neutral?

brooke said...

How the crap do you drive a car in neutral? Wow, I wonder why you didn't think of that. That section made me laugh out loud. Hope your day got better!

Heather said...

I am sorry you had such a rough day, snort, giggle, cough, smirk. Urm, sorry. Only you could take such a day and turn it into a hilarious story.

Suzy-Q said...

Wow sounds like a gobhole phenomenon to me.

I am still wondering how Mr Coffee drove a car in neutral.

rcarlino said...

Sorry, to hear about your awful day.

And yes, like several others here, I too am wondering how you drive a vehcile in neutral. I mean, it will freely roll in neutral, but how exactly did Mr Coffee power it? Did he do the Fred Flintstone thing with his feet???

SheaLuna said...

OMG, I almost peed myself! Made my day of spilling an entire gallon of coffee down myself and ripping a hole in my favourite sweater seem positively perfect. Hope this week is MUCH better.

Jaina said...

Oh goodness, that sounds like a nightmare. I'm glad you got home safe and sound.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Babe what a nightmare. I have nothing else to say as I'm feeling a little traumatized.

holly said...

i had a similar experience with my crapavan. it would not go in anything but neutral. the dude said 'the rod is gone'. i said 'oh, a rod?'

'no, THE rod'

so let me get this straight. huge car, millions of pieces. just one rod? yeah that makes sense. wish i had a spare.


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