When last we met, I was wailing at the car gods and railing at the homework gods and generally knee deep in a pity party that was attended by several Why Me’s and more than one It’s Not Fair’s.
after a good night of after a mostly decent night of sleep, I woke up and had coffee in my gorilla mug and decided to get my car fixed.
I went out and tried to see if it would even start so that I could get to the salon.
I came in and promptly called the guy that a friend/client recommended last night. I explained it all.
The car wouldn’t start. The battery is new. It’s not holding a charge. All signs point to either a computer glitch or alternator and could I possibly bring the car in for him to check it today.
He totally blew me off and told me to go get a new battery.
Fine. Asshole. I will call someone else.
I called the place that Darci told me about. But they couldn’t look at it until tomorrow.
Pffffft. At least they were nicer.
Audra and I had been texting back and forth like fiends. She’s so good with this stuff. One of her dreams long ago was to own a chain of mechanic/car repair shops for women, run by women. It’s still a dynomite idea. I would go to that business.
On her suggestion, I took the car to O’Reilly’s Autoparts and just had them run some diagnostics on it. This is a free service and there’s a store just up from the salon and my house. I went up there and the nice man with the limp and the cane, Calvin, came from behind the desk* and helped me. The initial diagnostics were fine. No error codes being thrown. I thought that was it, but after more prodding from Audra, I went back in and asked if that checked the battery and alternator too. No, that’s another thing, so let’s go do that.
The battery was charging at way below normal. The alternator threw up some funky number percentages that spelled “GET IT REPLACED”
So. Then my question is: How do I do that?
Well, Calvin said, “Let’s look and see what we have in stock. If we do, I can order you one and you can buy it here and take it to a shop for installation.”
We did. He did. Perfect.
So. Then my question was: Where should I go?
Calvin directed me to a little shop up the street. This is an interesting part of the world. It’s an old neighborhood and this street is lined with business and shops that alternate between being open and being boarded up. Theres just so much old, run down dead stuff that you never notice anything living. But lo and behold, right across from the Family Dollar…there’s the shop.
I pull in and speak to a fellow and explain my plight. We make a date for 1pm when I will return with the refurbished alternator and he will put it into my car. His fee is exactly on the money as to what I’d been told it should be so as not to get ripped off. I asked for his name and number so I could call him and verify after I went and bought the part.
“Bear. Muh names Bear.”
He’s in my phone that way now.
Oh this is just looking better and better! I go home, and begin to get organized to start reading. I have to finish a novel tonight. Have to. I also decided to make a pot of soup. I bought a new cookbook on vacation and have been inspired. I also needed to update my iPhone with the new operating system. These are the things I did instead of cracking open my novel.
It’s time to take my car! I drive up and get the new/refurbished part and pay for that. Cal was just as nice as he could be.
I took it to Bear, and also asked if he would just double and triple check the hoses and belts and connections and would he fill my washer fluid up and this coolant would he put that in there too…I’ll just wait. I’ve got two hours and I can just sit here and read.
It was a dirty ole garage. That’s fine. It was a very pleasant day outside and this was totally doable.
The garage waiting area was not empty, however. A grizzled man wielding a fly swatter sat in the corner as if it were court and he were the king. I sat next to him. We talked about my car and what was going to happen to it while I was there. The talk eventually turned to the rank smell that was happening outside.
“Did you smell that when you came in?” he said.
“I did. I did smell it. That’s some pretty stinky trash.” I said.
“Oh that’s not trash. That’s flesh.”
“FLESH?”-gag. herk. verp.
“Flesh. But it’s an animal. Probably back over yonder behind that house over there. Something’s rotting. I can tell the difference between human flesh and animal flesh. I used to work for a wrecker service.”
It was at this point that I pulled out my iPhone and began texting Lynn for a ride.
The King of Smells proceeded to tell me several stories of his experience with smelling human flesh. Apparently there’s a sweetness to it that one will never forget. Also, there’s a sweetness to the smell of dope.
You know. When people smoke the dope.
Yes. Yes sir, I have smelled that before.
Yes. It is a clingy smell.
“I live up there on 104th and such and such and you know, the (racial adjective redacted)’s will walk by and I can smell it. Yes. Those (racial adjective redacted)’s will be up at that quick stop and I can tell if they’ve been smoking dope.”
It was at this point that I made the judgement call to NOT read Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the garage. I just slipped it back into my little bag and waited for my ride.
Here I am.
My car is fixed. In a day. High Fives For Everyone!
Soup is on the stove.
Michael is coming over tonight to eat and watch Sons of Anarchy and scream at the tv with me.
I am going to get through Uncle Tom’s Cabin and tab my section for tomorrow’s class if it kills me.
On the bright side, if that does happen, I’m sure that Bear’s friend will be able to sniff me out before the cats eat my remains.
So. There’s that.
*when I filled out the customer service survey for the auto parts store one of the questions was “did someone come from behind the desk to help you”-I filled it out as well as phoned the manager of the store. Good customer service is a rare commodity and should be rewarded.