Saturday, June 25, 2011

Proof That I Will Never Be A Mechanic.

Last night was beautiful.  Perfect temperature.  I was minding my own business with my windows down, hoping to catch a breeze, while driving home somewhere near a quarter to one this morning.

I had just left my friend's house and I have to drive on a brief stretch of highway that is mostly bridge to get to the freeway in order to go to my house.  As soon as I got on this bridge/highway, my car started to make a weird noise.  Something like a scraping or ripping sound.

I will be the first to admit that I have no idea how cars work.  But I'm not too bad at figuring stuff out.  And I typically manage to keep calm in an emergency situation (unless there's vomit, but that's another story completely).  So I calmly made the decision that I was afraid to drive and needed to know what the sound was.

I pulled over onto the practically nonexistant shoulder on the bridge, put my emergency flashers on, and got out with my flashlight to assess the situation.

In a dress.

I'm just glad I wasn't wearing heels.

I know my front tires are getting a little worn, so I checked all around them first.  Nothing.  Back tires.  Nothing.  I tried to avoid the broken glass and got down on my knees to check underneath.  Nothing unusual.

What the fuck?

There's not even something caught in my door that could be making the noise.

Maybe I imagined it.  (I love that my brain always comes up with this answer.  Like I'm actually going to imagine a noise like that.  Silly brain.  Imaginations are for kids.)

I get back in my car and wait for any potential traffic to be clear of me, turn off my flashers and get back on the highway.

25 mp/h, no sound.  40 mp/h, sound.  Definitely did not make that up.

So I pulled over and put my flashers on again, called my brother (who was apparently already sleeping) a couple times, watched a cop car drive by, then gave up and got out with my flashlight again.  Still nothing that I could see.

I decided I couldn't just sit there on the side of a bridge forever.  I needed to be somewhere safe, or at least somewhere the drunk drivers would be less likely to plow into my unnmoving vehicle.

There aren't exactly a lot of options in that area of the highway, though.  And I can't drive over the massive island to backtrack to the exit I just left without a monster truck.  So I went the closest place I can think of.  I merged onto the freeway with my flashers still going and drive no more than 30 mp/h until I reach the first exit and pull into the first parking lot.

Which just happens to be Denny's.

Yay.  More drunk people.

Drunk stupid people.

I finally gave up and called my mom, who had to get out of bed in order to come get me.  I felt like a teenager again.  Probably because the first time I locked my keys in my car I was at that same Denny's.

I got out with my flashlight again and checked my engine to see if anything visible could be making the noise.  Like a mouse or a scarf or something.

This was when I realized once again the level of stupidity by which I am constantly surrounded.

I was standing at the front of the parking space, peering under the hood of my car with a flashlight.  A car started to pass my space, then backed up and just sat there.  Waiting.

I had to physically walk to their car and tell them I was not leaving before they would move on.

Stupid fucking hillbillies.  I wasn't even in my car!

Eventually my mom came and drove my car while I followed in hers.  It took 45 minutes to make what is usually a ten minute drive.

I realized that the sound was coming from the plastic protector bullshit that goes under my car.  It has been slowly trying to escape from my vehicle for the last two years.  Every time momentum would start to get built up, air would get caught under the plastic piece and it would start to jump up and down, scraping on the pavement on every "down."

My favorite part is that I can't just take the plastic off because there are a bunch of other interconnected pieces.  I have to put it back on and wait for it to fall off again.  Presumably in traffic because it's just a dick like that.

Now I'm afraid to drive my car anywhere because I don't want to have the same thing happen again.

This is just bullshit.


  1. My friend's car has had the scrape guard hanging off the bottom for about two years, now. Every time she pulls out of a driveway it scrapes and makes me cringe. If you go to a body shop or Midas or something, they can put it up on a lift and take the guard back up with stronger materials. And at least you didn't have something horribly wrong with your engine or anything super expensive.

  2. The scrape guard in the front came off completely last semester on my way to class. (It was great. I had to borrow a screwdriver to take it off from Robert, of all people.) Mine doesn't scrape when I leave the Palo Cedro Holiday market anymore. Yeah, I was really worried. My dad got it back on. We might have to put screws on it. I'm lucky I have men in my family who are mechanically inclined. I just couldn't reach my brother and my dad was at work.

  3. Ew. I'm not at all comfortable with the problems of cars. Maybe that's why I don't drive. You're a brave lady! Was it the Denny's tucked in next to a gas stations and a motel?

    You actually went up to the hillbillies? What if they grabbed you and took you with them to be their live in 'purty lady'? I would like more elaboration on that part of your story..

  4. Yes, it was. Such classy people there... I'm not, either, which is why I was trying to contact men. I had to purchase oil today and I was incredibly proud of myself after doing so. I'm pretty sure I got the right kind and everything.

    I did. It didn't really even occur to me that it was a possibility. They were just sitting there watching me and I wanted them to go away. I mean, if necessary, I could have used my flashlight to help solidify my hand in order to punch them. I also have strong legs am sort of bendy, which was super helpful when I used to wrestle with my dad. I had my cell phone in my bra, so if they stuffed me in the trunk, I could have called 911 and my mom, presumably before I got motion sick from not being able to look at the road. But they seemed more retarded than potentially harmful. Then again, I guess so did those guys in Deliverance...