Hey boys and girls, today’s tutorial lesson is how to look like a complete moron. Cause you know, it’s just not enough to feel like one, you really have to look and act the part too.
At the end of last week, I leave my office building to get in my car to drive home. I was a bit apprehensive because the “Check Engine” light came on during my drive into work. So I am scrutinizing the dashboard, as I’m pulling out of my parking spot. Pretty quickly, I notice that another light is blinking. It’s the coolant light, but I didn’t know that at the time.
I pull back into the spot I just pulled out of, and grab the owner’s manual. I discover what the light is for and realize why I didn’t know what it was. It’s because I’ve never seen that warning light come on before…ever! Per the manual, a blinking coolant light means that the coolant level is low. Now, I know that the coolant system in my car is a sealed system. You usually don’t have to check it that often, and you have to be careful about what you do add. Can’t just go throwing anything in there!
Ok, so here’s the kicker. I grab my purse (even though I already know what I am going to find), check my phone…no charge. Great. This is a problem for several reasons. One, I need to talk to my husband, or as I like to call him, my “Mechanic”. That man has solved problems on this 15-year-old car that I didn’t think were possible. So I can’t call him, unless I go back in the building. Which brings me to problem two. The door to my building is locked at like 4:45 pm. You can get out, but you can’t get back in without a key. I don’t have a key. I also don’t have a cell phone at this point nor do I have a lock pick set or a glass cutter. Getting back in is going to be tricky.
When I was leaving, two of my colleagues were also leaving, but I knew they were just running out and coming back. I decided the best thing to do was wait by the door. That way it was just a matter of which would happen first. Either my coworkers would come back or someone else would come out. I probably stood there for about 20 minutes, but it felt like an hour. Feeling stupid actually makes time pass slower. I think it’s one of the laws of physics.
So, I get back in the building, and back to my desk. I call my house, but no one picks up. Hubby is not home. Okayyyy. Next problem is that his cell number is on my phone, the same phone that has no charge. I don’t have it memorized. Why? I like to believe it’s because that real estate is occupied with important trivia details about music and movies. If you’ve read my blog before, you know this about me. If not, well, you know now!
How am I gonna get his cell number? I finally remember that he includes an electronic business card on his emails. I start checking to see if I can find one that I haven’t deleted yet. No luck. Then I start checking the “Sent” folder to see if maybe, hopefully, possibly, I responded to an email that still had the card embedded. Eureka! Found it!
Ok, you would hope (or at least I would) that I called my husband and he told me what to do or somehow helped me with the situation. No. I called his cell, he answers the call, but never says “Hello”. I can hear him talking to someone, but not to me. I start yelling “ED? HELLO? ED?” He doesn’t hear me, so he hangs up. I call back…I get voicemail. That is just terrific. I leave a message asking him to call me at work right away. Then I wait about half an hour. No call.
At this point, I am almost alone in the building. This is not good. Lucky for me, my boss was still there. She had been on a call. I ask her if she wouldn’t mind taking me to the nearby gas station to pick up some antifreeze. “No problem” she says along with “Are you sure that the car will be ok with just that?” The implication being, I still might not be able to drive it. It was really a good question. Who knows? I had to give it a shot.
The gas station is right down the road. I walk in and seek out the automotive section. Of course, it’s right by the door. They offer, if I take the time to count all of their antifreeze options, three. Three! I mentioned previously that I know there is a certain kind you are supposed to use in my car. But do you think I brought the manual with me? Ohhhhh Noooooo! All I could remember is 50/50. That left just one choice. I guess we have our winner!
We get back to the office building, I open the hood of the car. I look at what appears to be the overflow coolant tank. I had looked at it before. There was barely any fluid in it, and what was there was very, very dark. I hadn’t noticed that part before. I also don’t think I have ever added coolant to this car before. I have a “Mechanic”, remember? Now don’t get me wrong. I was taught as soon as I got my driver’s license how to check the fluids in a car. My car when I was sixteen ate power steering fluid. I can add fluids to a car. The problem is that now I am questioning where to put the antifreeze, because the stuff left in the overflow tank does not resemble coolant. It looked more like oil.
I grab the owner’s manual again to look at the “Under the Hood” diagram. It was not exactly, how should I put it? Helpful. My boss is standing there looking at me, probably wondering what the hell I’m doing. I’m sure she is ready to go home. Finally, I just decide to put the coolant where I think it is supposed to go. Here goes nothing!
I hop back in the car, turn on the engine. Yippeee! No lights. Other than the check engine light. I drop the hood, get back in the car. Time to go! My boss has graciously agreed to follow me most of the way home, which she did. I got home no problem. Temperature on the engine was normal. I think I am in good shape. That was pretty presumptive of me.
After I turn off the engine, I notice that there is a fair amount of steam coming out from under the hood. What the f! I grab the lever to pop the hood. Nothing. The latch won’t release. What is that about!?! Then I start to panic. Did I remember to put the cap back on the overflow tank? I can’t remember now. I HATE not being able to remember if you did something you meant to do. And I have no idea why the hood won’t open. I’m feeling pretty nervous that my “Mechanic” is not gonna like this.
So my husband gets home. He is in the door about five seconds when he says, “Is there something wrong with the car? There’s a huge puddle underneath it!” I explain about the coolant light blinking and putting antifreeze in-
“What kind of antifreeze did you put in?” Did I tell you or what? I again explained that there was only one option at the gas station, so that is what I used-
“You can’t put that stuff in there! Why didn’t you call me!!!!” Um, I did. Like four times. You hung up on me.
“You didn’t leave a message.” Yeeeesss, I did.
He checks his phone and says, ”What phone were you calling from?” My work phone.
“That’s not what this says.” I don’t care what it says, I called from work.
“Well, I don’t answer strange numbers” Might want to rethink that policy, buddy.
“Why didn’t you use your cell?” Ummmmmm-
“It’s not charged, is it.” no.
Needless to say, everyone ended up feeling like a moron after this conversation. But hey, we all make mistakes! And if we hadn’t, you wouldn’t know how to look like a moron! Or maybe you would. We all have our stories.
I know Dad, I need a new car 🙂