Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hot Hot Heat


I had a great time with the rabbi last night. We talked about spirituality for a good 2 hours. I got some new things to read, and then I saw the film, which was great. I left his house in a great, thoughtful mood. I was listening to classical music on the drive home because I knew it would occupy my speedy brain, but relax me enough to let the thoughts about my book flow.

On the way home I picked up some vegetable rolls for dinner, and when I started my car outside the restaurant it sounded really weird. It was a sound I had heard before, and usually it goes away in a couple minutes, so I didn't worry about it. Figured there was a leaf stuck in a pipe or something. Well. No leaf.

When I got home, great mood continuing, ready to munch on some veggie rolls and think and read, I turned the car off. Only it wouldn't turn off. I took the key out of the ignition, and it was still making a sound like I was just turning the key to turn it on. It sounded ugly. So I put the key back in and turned it back on. Sounded better. So I tried the experiment again, and even after I took the key a second time the car was still trying to start. I had no idea what to do, so I turned it back on, took my housekey off the keychain and went inside to call AAA.

It takes forever to get an operator on the phone (forever in the terms of a person who is really freaked out about strange car behavior, so probably like 2 minutes) and then go through the whole process of contact information, explaining the problem, etc. About 4 minutes into my conversation with the operator, I turn toward the window to look at my car. There is smoke everywhere.


I ran out there to see what was going on, and (like an idiot, actually, because this was very dangerous), I opened the door, got in and turned the car off. Disgusting-smelling smoke poured out from under the hood, and filled the interior of the car. I ran coughing back to the phone and finished giving my information so AAA would send someone out to help me... I didn't know what they would do besides tow the car, but maybe shed some light on what the hell just happened.

I sat down, stinking of poisonous smoke, in the living room and ate my vegetable rolls in a daze while I waited for the guy to get there. I have no recollection of tasting them, or of fumbling with my chopsticks, just the waiting. I may have watched some Seinfeld.

Anyway so the guy shows up, and the car won't even turn on so he can get it in gear and get it out of there. Though he does confirm that there was a FIRE under the hood. Bah. So there's nothing that can be done that night. I'm still in pretty good spirits because really it was sort of funny. I mean I know it sucks for your car to be on fire and all, but still.
So now it's two days later and the car is in the shop, waiting for a determination as to whether it is totaled or not. I can't decide whether I would rather pay $2,000 + to get the car repaired or just have it totaled - not that I have any control over the outcome. Either way, it seems unlikely the insurance company is going to pay for it, because they will not cover a fire that was caused by mechanical failure. Awesome. Somehow my mood is starting to suffer, just a little.

I'm looking at cars, though, and considering leasing. It would be nice to have a new car every couple years, and not have to worry about this crap. I have to say that my Corolla was very dependable. This was the first major problem I had with it. So I guess it decided to go all out and make a scene. Some problem with being beige or something. I wouldn't like being beige either, but I don't know if I would light myself on fire over it.

But I'm pissed because the night before all this happened, I did my taxes and found that I am getting about $3,000 back. I was so excited because that could be like a little savings for my book on top of the other saving I am doing. And then voila! up in smoke. So we'll see what happens.


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