Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Car, No Garage

As I promised on Twitter, here is my account of the adventure sistergirl and I had last night.

I left for Atlanta at around 5 o' clock, planning to pick up my sister at tech and get to Little Five a little after 6. Now, Atlanta isn't the hardest city to drive in, but it certainly isn't one of the easiest. First, we don't have shoulders; second, people don't signal when they want to changed lanes or turn; and, third, even our roads have NO IDEA where they are going. These points all factor in to the first part of our adventure.

I get off at the exit for Tech, which is really two exits squished together (Exit 252: You know what I am talking about). It is a very difficult exit. I stay to the left, putting my signal on and waiting for the adjoining road to clear to I can cross the street and get to Tech. Unfortunately, my turn signal (and the approaching SUV on the adjoining road) must not have been clear enough for the driver behind me, because she decides that I am not making that turn, and therefore she must pass me on the RIGHT to make that turn herself.

Fortunately, after the SUV passed, no other cars were coming, and an accident was avoided, but if I thought this was to be the least of my car troubles, I was sadly mistaken.

I turned up my radio, having lowered it when I reached the very difficult exit, and continue to rock out to MmmBop. I navigated Schmendrick (that's my car's name) through the Tech campus without too much trouble (and avoided racking up points for Death Race). Finally, I pulled up in front of studio and wait for my sister. We are on our way to Hanson-y goodness.

"Hey, Holly...you're car is smoking."


Clouds of white steam billowed from the trunk of my car. We were minutes (Minutes!) away from Little Five Points and our vaguely feminine yet dashingly handsome destination. But I was not worried: I have seen this before. Like MacGueyver, I cranked up the heat, rolled down the windows, put on my hazards and slowed the vehicle to 35 miles per hour. The five minute drive may have taken us fifteen, but there was NO way I was missing my boys.

We got to the playhouse and managed to get the last parking spot behind the theatre. It was partially taken by a pile of rugs (seriously), and it may not have been a legitimate space at this point, but it had a number and, with my $6, I claimed it mine.

Sistergirl and I took a peek at the line outside the playhouse, and seeing it wasn't too bad, I popped the hood to take a look at the car. It looked like I had run low on coolant, and I prayed that was the only issue.

"You know what," I said, "We can deal with this later. The car is too hot to do anything, and I am not missing this show."

The sistergirl agreed, and we jumped in line.

The concert was a blast. Everybody Else and The Veronicas opened, and they were great too, but, man, when Hanson walked out on stage... They put on a fantastic live show. Those boys are talented.

The concert finally ended at midnight, and sistergirl and I headed back to the car to see what we can do. Now, alone, each of us can do our thing, and we are quite good at figuring things out. But together? We are two parts of the three stooges.

I don't know what was wrong with us, but first neither of us can pop the cap to the container for the coolant. Once we solve that, I tell her to grab the flashlight and take a look to see if the tank is leaking.

The flashlight power cord won't unwind. We stand there, in heels and makeup, trying to get this stupid flashlight to unwind. Finally, I say screw it and use the light from the streetlamp. The tank looks fine.

(Meanwhile, another automotive drama is unfurling in the van next to us as a group of five borderline sketchy boys try to figure out how to get the boot off the wheel of the van. Finally, someone who worked at the lot grabbed the key and freed their vehicle.)

We decide that I will drop my sister off and take the car 50 minutes north so my dad can take a look. I crank up the heat, roll down the windows and take off at an astounding 50 mph.

I do have to say, that drive was the most relaxing highway drive I have ever had. (Aside from the nervous glances at the left side of my hood).

The fifty minute drive took me an hour and a half, but I made it home safely and crawled into bed at 2 in the morning.

I am not sure what we're going to do with my car now. I start work at my part-time tonight, and I'll need to drive into Atlanta. Worst-case-scenario, my sister will have to come pick me up and I will live on her couch for the week until my car is fixed.

I guess we'll see.

What is your weirdest car catastrophe?

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