Kick Me When I’m Down
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005, 01:27 AM
An interesting thing happened to me last night. I went to take my Fiancé home for the night, as is my usual way of ending out evening together. However, as I turned the key in the ignition of my car, the engine would not turn over. As I am the son of a blue color factory worker, and the only boy in the house to take care of my Mother’s car when things went wrong as a kid, I recognized the problem immediately. My battery did not have enough power to start my car.
So I put my Fiancé to bed, in my bed, and made a nice nest for myself on the couch. I was up at five o’clock this morning, waiting for my Land Lady to go to work. I intercepted her during her morning routine, and she was more than happy to give me a jump-start. My car started beautifully, and I drove it around a bit as I looked for the nearest auto parts store. After ten minuets of driving, I felt sure my car would start again. Having not found an auto parts store, I went back into the house and got on the Internet.
At nine o’clock I went to the nearest AutoZone. Located next door to a Pep Boys, and across the street from a Kragin, this was the perfect place for me to start my journey of charging/replacing my battery. After visiting all three stores the news was not as good as I had hoped. Apparently, this being the rain season, a lot of people have been getting new batteries this last week. My Mercury Tracer, just happened to take a very common battery, and was usually in stock. However all three stores were all out of the low-end battery, which could fit into my current budget of nothing. I had to settle for the $75, high end, extra cranking amps, premium battery. This was the only one that any of the three stores had.
So, after bleeding my lifeblood onto the counter, the sales clerk gave me a new battery. I changed it out right there in the parking lot, and gave them my old battery in order to avoid the $8 core charge (stupid tree huggers). My car started up perfectly the first time, and even ran smoother than it had in a month or so as it idled. After reading the car’s owner’s manual, that is the first sign that a battery is going bad. There wasn’t enough power for the computer to consistently manage the fuel injection, so it idled very badly. Now it purrs.
So, after working very hard last week judging speech and debate, I got to spend all of my hard earned money on my car! Great! Well, at least there is another debate this weekend that I can judge. After this next weekend, I don’t care how irresponsible it is, I’m taking my Fiancé and I to see a movie after we get paid for the tournament this weekend. But, on the bright side, at least I had the money to replace the battery. I could be stuck, with a dead car, and no way of getting any money at all. I am grateful for that. Even if I did get a kick in the groin over this one, at least I’m still standing.