Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Broken Window Means 7 Minutes of Bad Luck

For those who don't know us personally (and for some that do), my wife and I have a broke car (grammatical error intended).  I'm not going to point any fingers, but the car was working FINE when it was MY car. (That was not to imply in any way, form or fashion that my wife had anything to do with the breaking of said car.  And any interpretation of my words into thoughts of that sort are extremely misguided and in some cases just plain WRONG!)  But now that it is my WIFE'S car... it's broken (see above parenthetical (I actually used that word in a sentence!) side note).  I'm just sayin'.

Apparently, the driver's side window had been having problems before.  And on a particular day last week (horrible week for things breaking in our house) while attempting to roll (can you still call it that or is there something else) up the power window, it made a crackling noise, a loud popping sound then... nothing.  (Now, I wasn't in the car so I'm just relaying the information I got.)  Basically, it BROKE!

I called our normal mechanic and they were unable to see the sick vehicle for 6 days.  We are pretty loyal to these guys because there has NEVER been a moment where we felt like we were being cheated about anything.  So 6 days is a while but they are worth waiting for.  But this decision created a few problems.

1. Temperature - Where we currently reside is (apparently) firmly situated between earth and the mouth of hell. It's not quite as hot as GA, AL or MS but if you were driving from Northern to the Southern USA, somewhere along the Tennessee border you would probably think to yourself, "This would be a good place to put a mouth to hell."  And you'd be right!  I think the actual opening is a Memphis Tourist Attraction (mainly used by scared straight programs and awesome BBQ restaurants (for the FREE heat)).  The heat index here was over 100 each of the 6 days.  The main reason this is a problem is because we have 2 small children and no air conditioner.  I mean, the AC works... but the car would still be over 80 degrees (Fahrenheit for the picky) inside with the window stuck in the prone position.  And that's not good for the little ones or the chocolates I keep for myself when the kids start acting like kids.  (It calms me, OK.)  For those who are worried about the kids in this situation, don't be.  We worked out a system so that whomever had the kids, had MY car.  More on this one later...

2. Security - Having your window down in a parking lot (or at home) is like an open invitation to well... window shop.  As bad is this one sounds, it's really not that much of an issue.  If anyone tried to take anything from our vehicle the joke would be on them.  That is unless their true intent was to steal a bunch of receipts, Goldfish (the snack, not the actual fish), preschool artwork, potato chips that have been on the floor for a few months, happy meal toys, old socks, a couple of "missing" sippy cups (containing MILK) and various and sundry (a redundant expression) items that I'm sure NOW don't resemble the various and sundry items they were when they were originally placed in the car.  So to a would be thief... Let me know what you think of the picture of the "A is for Apple" coloring picture with the crayons scribbled ALL outside of the lines.  (That pic is actually mine.  It's not one of my finer moments.  Come to think of it... I'm gonna need that back. I might have prematurely signed and dated the artwork.)

3. Weather - This is a completely different problem than the temperature.  Looking on the weather report we saw that there was a potential for rain EVERY SINGLE day from the time the window broke to the time we were to take the car to the mechanic.  With 1 day left out of the 6, this particular issued proved to be our (my) undoing.

My wife took my (window working) car this morning.  I'm guessing because of the potential for rain.  I'm not sure but that's what happened.  So we fast-forward to the time I go to work in the afternoons.

On the way to work I was trying to talk to my mother on my wireless.  She could barely hear me because (duh) the window was all the way down and it was sounding like I was driving through a wind tunnel.  I had tried to pull the window up (by hand) before but every few bumps the window would drop down about an inch and a half.  So I gave up on it.  But as I'm talking to my mother, I see dark clouds ahead.  I only live about 12 miles from work so I was hoping I would get there before the rain.

...I didn't.

Though non-texting cellphone use while driving is not illegal in TN, non-texting cellphone use while driving in a downpour, holding up a window up with the free hand just might be.  Especially when you consider that I would have had one hand on the wheel, one hand on the phone and one hand holding up the window.  (Even elementary math says that doesn't add up.)  So, I let my mother go just as the rain started to come down.  I'm sure I hung up on her while she was talking.  (I'll pay for that one later.) I didn't even tell her I loved her at the end of the call.  (I'll REALLY pay for that one later.)  But these were desperate times and they called for desperate measures.

At first it wasn't raining that bad.  So I decided to play it cool and just drive with the wipers on and my window down.  No big deal.  My 4-year old even decided to let me know it was raining.  (She's so thoughtful.)  Then it started to rain a little harder.  I'm still trying to play it cool.  But at this point it's raining hard enough that I went from playing it cool to looking like the only idiot driving down the street in the pouring rain with his window down.  But the fact is I wasn't the only idiot driving this way.  There was another person driving down the street the same way. (It was raining hard enough at this point that I couldn't see if the person driving was a man or a woman.)  This goes out to the person in the red Jeep Cherokee...  Though others might judge us, WE know the truth.  I dont think you are in idiot.  I completely empathize with you.  Those others judging us just don't understand.  Even though we ride through the valley of the shadow of clouds, we will fear no rain, for He is with us.

And, just as I was feeling a certain kinship with the unknown person in the red Jeep Cherokee I was snapped back into reality.  My 4-year old says, "Daddy, I'm getting wet!" I tell her, "I know." She tell me, "Let the window up!" I tell her, "I can't."  She tells me again that she's getting wet. Thus the vicious cycle of words starts over again.

I only drove 7 minutes like this but it felt like 7 hours.  I had yelling.  I was wet.  The broken window was very slippery so trying to hold it up just made me look like a bigger idiot that just letting it stay down.  I'm glad other people had their windows up because they would have really thought I was a bad father if they could hear my 4-year old yelling that she was getting wet and her father looking like he's ignoring her trying to act cool.  Luckily, there was a movie playing so my 20-month old didn't join in all of the fun going on around her.  And just when I was wondering what else could possibly go wrong with this crazy scenario, I heard the noise that my wife told me she heard one time when she turned the wheel of the car.  So I did what any respectable husband would do in the this case.  I ignored it.  After all... It's not my car anymore.

For my previous blog post click here: Crime Doesn't Pay (But will occasionally leave the tip)

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