A certain Anonymous fatherly figure of mine frequently inquires, "How's your car working?"
Lately the answer has been, "Not well."
A week ago Saturday Jason came home with a huge bolt in the front passenger side tire. When we tried to put on the spare, we discovered that we don't actually have a jack. Fortunately, some kind neighbors were willing to loan us theirs.
Monday morning I brought the tire into Walmart, fearing that it might have to be replaced. Much to our delight, they were able to patch it instead, saving us the cost of a new tire.
I meant to return to jack immediately, but forgot, which turned out to be really good thing because we blew out our rear tire completely while driving by the same Walmart on Wednesday. So much for not having to purchase a new tire! Worse yet, the tire blew while we were driving Jason to the airport, causing him to miss his flight. Oh, the trials of life!
True to form, unfortunate events always seem to come in threes. I swung by Walmart yet once more on Saturday morning following a morning jog. When I went to get back into the mini-van, the side door wouldn't open and was beeping. When I turned on the ignition, it was dead. I immediately went to phone Jason and discovered that my cell phone was dead too.
Pulling out the jumper cables, I flagged down a truck, but we couldn't get the van to start at all. Desperate, I went inside and found a payphone to try and get ahold of Jason. No luck. At a loss as to what to do, I called our emergency roadside service through Geico (since we've already used our AAA service twice recently) and asked them to send a tow truck. Immediately after, I managed to connect with Jason. He thought the problem really sounded like the battery, and recommended that I just buy one at Walmart instead of having the car towed.
And so, canceling the tow truck, I went down to the repair center (where I am now known as a regular customer.) The same man who removed the bolt kindly offered to drive his truck over and try once more to jump the car before putting in a new battery. He hooked her up, I turned on the ignition--nothing. Rechecked the connections--nothing. Then he asked if the car was in park. It wasn't.
Naturally, the mini-van then started up like a charm. Never even needed a jump. Oh, the depths of my shame! I was so embarrassed that I immediately went home and wrote "Dufus" on my forehead. At least I was smart enough to use washable marker, and no, I am not idiotic enough to post the photo here.
Lessons learned: put the car in park, always keep your phone charged, and stay far away from Walmart!