So, this morning I had some t-shirts to mail and some groceries to pick up. The business at the post office was uneventful, but as I was driving cross-town, I needed to stop at a red light on Kennedy Memorial Drive (locally KMD). I was in the left lane, since I was going to be turning in at the shopping center half a block up the hill.
Except, while I was sitting there, patiently waiting for the light to go green, Binjali the Subaru gave a. . .shudder. . .
. . .and turned itself off.
Nor could I turn it back on.
Now, KMD at Cool is probably The Busiest Intersection in the Greater Waterville Megaplex. There were lots of cars behind me, and more coming up the road.
I hit the hazard lights, grabbed my cell, got out of the car, waved people around and simultaneously called AAA. After I explained what had happened, the customer service person asked me to please move the car over to the side of the road. I told her that the car had stopped running and wouldn’t start again, or else we wouldn’t be having this conversation. She said the tow truck would arrive in 50 minutes. I asked her to put a rush on it, and the arrival time went down to 25 minutes. I told her I’d wait.
Followed the most frightening 15 minutes of my life. People drive up KMD like it’s a speedway, anyhow, but it’s Utterly Amazing how many of them will drive up on a car that is sitting absolutely still at, like, 60 miles an hour until, at the Very Last Possible Second, they slam on their brakes.
Or — even scarier — whip the car into the right hand lane, without even looking to see is there a freaking tractor trailer already in the space they mean to occupy.
I honestly thought I was going to see dozens die in a multi-vehicle wreck.
I also honestly thought that, given the nature of the intersection, I would shortly be seeing a cop, who could help me with traffic — or actually, who could DO the traffic, because nobody was paying attention to me.
No cop ever materialized. The Goddess did, however, send me Tom, a volunteer fireman from Vassalboro, who swung his truck in behind mine at an angle, got out and said, “I’ll just stay here with you ’til your tow comes, if that’s all right?”
I allowed as how it was all right.
For some reason, people who couldn’t see the little green Subaru had No Trouble At All seeing the Big Black Truck.
Just about the time Tom pulled in behind me, an SUV pulled up beside and the tatooed, pierced and henna’d woman behind the wheel asked if I had a flat. I told her that I thought the battery’d quit.
“We can give ‘er a hot shot,” the fellow I assumed was her boyfriend/ husband said from the passenger’s seat. “Get ‘er off to the side of the road, ‘fore you get killed.”
They pulled in ahead of me, and produced a portable battery with cables. Tom and the boyfriend got the hood up, and the driver valiantly tried to make a connection with the badly corroded terminals.
I thanked them, they wished me luck, and drove off. Tom and I chatted until the tow truck arrived, cranked Binjali onto the bed and off we went to Harry Smith’s.
There, the mechanic said, “Well, let’s see if we can find out what the problem is.”
I offered my opinion that the problem was probably the battery, which was wicked corroded.
He kind of nodded, not really listening, brought the hood up, and stood for a longish minute, looking down.
“Well,” he said, “that’s kinda your definition of wicked corroded, right there.”
I explained that I’d been waiting to get a new battery until I got paid, and he nodded again.
“Looks like it’s payday then, don’t it?”
So, bottom line — new battery, new alternator, four hunnert bucks on the credit card, and everything’s good to go.
Steve arrived while the new battery was still charging, and we did the grocery shopping, then came home in time to meet with the plumber and work out with him what needed to be done to various feed lines and plumbing. One of the revelations being that Waterville Custom Kitchens could probably “do us” a vanity and new countertop for the space we have, which is, of course, a non-standard size.
So! After the plumber left us, Steve and I went back to Waterville, consulted with Tim at WCK and got that set up. The bad news there is that it will take about 10 days to get the vanity built.
Across town we went, to the plumber’s facility, where we picked out a faucet set and a new toilet, and confirmed that yes, the crew could and would pick up the vanity from WCK when it was done and bring it out to our house with them.
That done, we picked up my car from Mr. Smith, and came home.
I am now Officially Exhausted, the day is shot, and I would like the bathroom to repair itself, please.
Yeah, that’s gonna happen.
In other news, the auction for the notes from which Mouse and Dragon sprang is on for a scant two days and twenty-one hours. Current bid is $157.50 for these priceless pieces of paper. If you ever wondered what goes on inside a writer’s head when she’s in the midst of creation, this is your chance to find out! Here’s that link again.
Also! All of the “extra” Carousel Tides t-shirts have found homes. Thank you all!