I didn’t do it

Believe it or not, there are other things I want to write about here than my own wonderful self, but I have had. A. Day. And not a good one.

Well, it started out okay, even though Saturday is my long day where I work a 12-hour shift from the crack of dawn (before, actually, as the sun now rises after 6 AM) to dusk, or 6 PM, whichever comes first. But as it’s just me sitting in the office signing trucks in and out and doing data entry, and in the downtimes surfing the internet and drinking coffee, I don’t mind all that much. Besides, it doesn’t matter what time of day I have to wake up, I hate waking up. So I might as well be awake early as late, it makes no difference, I’ve always been this way.

Anyway, the work day went find. Oh, we’ve had some Irene weather — even though I’m up behind the Blue Ridge we’re still getting some outlying rain and wind effect. But I was fine.

Anyway, this morning I had noticed my car making a little squealing noise for a while after it started up, a noise that went away after a while. I thought there was dirt on a belt or maybe some oil — my car is old and beat up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it had a bit of a leak somewhere or other. I got to work with no incident. But, when I went to leave… the squeal started up again, and then abruptly stopped. I wasn’t sure but I think I heard a noise of some sort, like a soft “clunk.” But it wasn’t until I was halfway across the bridge to the highway entrance that I saw that the battery light had come on.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my battery light came on, then my engine light, and then when I was halfway home in the middle of nowhere, I saw that the temperature gauge had shot all the way up past the red mark. What.

Did I mention I work in Harrisonburg, which is 25 miles from Staunton? And there isn’t all that much between here and there, just some small towns and a rest stop. Also, it was raining and blowing like a serious hurricane rain band had come through, mountains or no mountains. So I kept going. I made it as far as Verona before I realized that white smoke or steam was pouring from under the hood. Fortunately Verona is the next small town up from Staunton just a few miles away, so I pulled into a combination Wendy’s/Shell station and my friend came and got me. The car is at the Wendy’s/Shell station. And I am home drinking wine.

I mean what. First an earthquake, then a hurricane, then my car goes *pop*. Okay, the first two things aren’t really anything to do with me but I also think I’m coming down with a virus — I have had an annoying post-nasal drip and cough for weeks now, I thought it was hay fever, but this morning I woke up feeling kind of sore-throaty — and it’s also that time that all ladies will know what I mean when I say “it’s that time.” Gah. I need more wine. I think there is some plum wine in the fridge…

10 thoughts on “I didn’t do it

  1. Mitchell

    The serpentine belt broke. That belt connects the engine to the other systems under the hood that need power. The battery light came on because the alternator no longer worked. The engine light came on because other stuff that needs to work to keep the engine working properly no longer had power, like the coolant system. Your engine overheated because it wasn’t being cooled anymore. Hopefully you pulled over before anything major was damaged. If you’re lucky all you need is a new belt and that’s cheap. If you’re not lucky – well…
    Good luck!

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      Uh oh. Your name makes me think of the Mystery Science Theater episode Mitchell, with Joe Don Baker. If only the intertube connection wasn’t so crappy today I’d be off to Youtube…

    2. McGehee

      I had a pulley come off my truck one day as I was driving along — a free-turning pulley whose sole purpose was to keep the serp properly strung through all the other pulleys that actually had a mechanical purpose. I got less than half a mile before the engine quit.

      The belt was still intact, if a bit worn. And after the repair a high-pitched noise I’d been accustomed to with this truck since I’d had it, was gone — which explained what the noise had been.

  2. Mitchell

    Here ya go: “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InHgWFrQRbI&feature=player_embedded#!”>Mitchell

    Yeah, the name brand is not strong. I hoped Mitch Daniels would get in the race. President Mitch would definitely raise our name-cred.

  3. Lynn

    Under the circumstances I think you are totally justified in thinking that the earthquake and the hurricane were both all about you. In fact, if you weren’t in Virginia to attract the hurricane it might have hit the Gulf coast instead and we here in Oklahoma would have gotten the rain we need.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      Yeah, but then you might have gotten not just rain, but torrential thunderstorms with tornadoes. And then the zombie apocalypse would start. Consider yourself lucky that I and my black cloud are on this side of the mountains.

    2. McGehee

      Yeah, but then you might have gotten not just rain, but torrential thunderstorms with tornadoes.

      People in the Plains have a word for that kind of weather: Normal.

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