My head wasn’t in the game today. When I parked my car this morning at 8am, having arrived in the city for work, I inadvertently left my headlights on. 12 hours later, upon my return to the car, the battery was as dead as a doornail.
Tried to clutch start it – fail. Tonight was NOT my night. And now I was blocking the main thoroughfare.
I put the hazard lights on, then I got out and proceeded to push. Let me put this into context for you. Everyone has their stuff to deal with so its no big deal in the grand scheme of things – but my particular stuff comes in the form of a health situation that is, at times, debilitating. As it was, I had literally been unable to stand upright all day. Luckily I have a job where I mostly remain seated. On the odd occasion when I got up, I had plenty of walls and tables to hold me up as I got where I needed to go. Anyway… pushing a car unassisted in this state was a BIG ask.
Eventually I got the car to go where I wanted it to go and managed to park it out of anyone else’s way. I went in to the shopping centre and spent money that I couldn’t really spare this week… no, not retail therapy! A car battery. I managed to spill battery acid all over my work clothes, of course. My night was just beginning.
Now gentlemen – I really need to remind you – when you tighten any kind of bolt, you tighten it as far as it reasonably goes without pushing it too far, then you LOOSEN it by a quarter-turn. Doesn’t EVERYONE know that? Whatever tough-guy tightened the bolts that fastened the car battery terminals to the contact points caused me to lose several hours that I just wont get back! Why? I was fighting with the bolts, and the sediment that encrusted them, and I was doing it with an old-school spanner.
No folks – no ratchet for me. I was not at all that well equipped. I sat there struggling with it for ages, making every effort for the spanner not to touch any other metal point on the car whilst working on the positive terminal, so as not to jolt myself to high heaven. EVENTUALLY I got the bolts loose.
As this happened, a couple passed me in their 4WD and offered to put me out of my misery. I was managing just fine, mind you, and I was getting there… but I was getting there SLOWLY. I played “helpless maiden” and let the gentleman help me, most gratefully. He finished off the battery switch and I tested the engine.
THEN I needed to call home and explain why I was 3 hours late for dinner. But now my PHONE decided to die on me. Luckily, my inner Maxwell Smart compels me to carry a spare cell phone for just such an occasion. I pulled off my hoop earring from one ear and used the post (about the thickness of a paperclip) to pop open the SIM compartment of my iPhone, switched the SIM into the spare phone and made the call. Given that I was ravenous and at this point needed protein lest I keel over, I informed Mum I’d grab food on the way.
I did so… with engine grease and battery acid all over my hands. Let me tell you, chicken is NOT meant to be seasoned with that stuff!
In other breaking news – I’m pretty sure I broke a nail.