Friday, 12 June 2009

Smart Girl vs. Dumb Car

I am glad to be female, at the moment. As it is, I'm only embarrassed. Had I been male, I would have been mortified.

You see, I killed the battery in my car by leaving the headlights on for five hours while I made pots of coffee for people at Timmy's. Since I work a split-shift, I was supposed to leave the Esso and arrive at the big store about five minutes later. But my car didn't start.

The first clue should have been that the remote key didn't work and I had to unlock it the old fashioned way. At any rate, that didn't tip me off, but I figured it out pretty quickly.

After discovering that neither I nor any of my coworkers happened to have booster cables, the owner of the Esso volunteered to help. The car alarm went off as he tried to hook up the self-boosting-box thing. After I frantically hit a number of random buttons on the remote starter, it shut up.

However, the jump-start thing the man was trying to use was a mini-portable kind of gadget, and apparently my battery nodes are oddly shaped, so it didn't work. At this point in time, a regular customer of Timmy's drove up and asked if we needed a boost. He pulled out some real booster cables and hooked it up to our vehicles. The car alarm went off again. After I frantically hit more random buttons (it was a different key that finally turned it off this time), I grinned sheepishly and tried to start the motor. It didn't even make noise.

After hemming and hawing for a minute, the customer asked if I had depressed the clutch. Oops. I do know that you have to use the clutch to start a standard transmission - I just forgot in an unfamiliar situation. I had the door open and one foot outside and everything. Another sheepish smile. But we tried again, and this time it started. Dumb girl CAN actually drive.

Then the car alarm went off again. It was a different random button that shut it off this time. Maybe it works in a pattern of some sort - first time to shut off the alarm: STOP key. Second time to shut off the alarm: UNLOCK key. Third time to shut off the alarm: LOCK key. Who knows? At any rate, I thanked them both profusely and rushed to the big store, where the car alarm went off again as I stopped the motor. Sigh.

At least I remembered how to open the hood.

“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.” Douglas Adams


Kate said...

Oh Carla!!! Don't worry; I have set my car alarm off many times and I panic every time I do. Great story!!!!

art said...

It is a hassle to leave the lights on and kill the battery. I think most people have done it at least once in their lifetime. At least you were not working in drug alley and it was not late at night. I guess the alarm does not help out much in reducing stress in this situation.

I remember my dad telling me a story about the corvette when they started putting computers in the car. One of his buddies left the lights on and killed the battery. The car's computer got scrambled and made the car go brain dead. The guy had to have the car towed and ended up spending big $$$ to get the computer reset so the car could run. All because of a dead battery because a guy left a light on. I would rather be embarrassed then have to pay a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

As for car alarms, I wonder how much of the time they actually go off because of a thief, most of the time if people hear one they just think "Oh, some poor person had their alarm go off by accident again."