Thursday, September 18, 2014

this is the most i will ever have to say about a car

Mark Twain said that humor is tragedy plus time.  If that's true, then the events of the last week will be funny in, oh, six months or so.

Let me back up.

The oil in my car was changed on Saturday.  On Sunday, my new oil and I drove to my parents' house, a bridal shower, and back.  On Monday, I drove to and from work, and on Tuesday, I hit the road bright and early for a work meeting two hours away.

I wanted to be at the meeting early, so I left the house at 6:30, when it was still dark and a little bit rainy.  The weather cleared up as soon as I got on the highway, and for the rest of the drive I sang my heart out Carrie Underwood style and marveled over the beauty of both the sun and early morning fog rising over the miles and miles of farms I passed.

The training was actually taking place at a tiny church in a little town along the river, and as I pulled into the parking lot I was shocked at how much foggier it was in town than it had been on the highway.  I attributed the fog to the town being situated right on the river, and I sat in the car and did a quick email check and lip gloss reapplication before I got out.

And then I opened my car door and smelled a terrible burning smell.

That's when I put two and two together, and realized that the fog was actually smoke.

And it was coming from THE HOOD OF MY CAR.

So, I did what I do in questionable mechanical situations, and called Matt.  "Goooooood morning, you've reached Bill Clinton," he said.

(Here is where I should mention that nine out of ten times I call Matt, he answers as either a pizza place or a president.  One time he even sent me flowers at work and signed the card "Love, George Bush.")

"MATT, NO TIME FOR JOKES," I said, "I just got to my meeting, and there is smoke POURING out of my hood, yellowish-brown liquid spilling out of the grill, and it smells like something is burning."

"Uh-oh.  I hope your oil cap is on,"  said Bill Clinton.

My oil cap was not on.

And had not been since Saturday.
I had to go into the meeting so I asked Matt/Bill to text me directions on how to proceed and told him that I'd call him at lunch.  He sent me a list of things to do, and then I called my dad to make sure I was doing the right thing and also get his perspective on the over/under of my car catching on fire when I drove home, because sometimes a girl just needs to hear her dad say, "Laura, if you were going to combust, you would've combusted already."

When the meeting ended, a co-worker and I wiped oil off of the engine and other important looking mechanical parts with some towels that the town tax collector, who lives next to the church, brought over for me when he saw my hood up.

I like you, small town living.

Let me tell you, you know you have found a true friend when she stands in an oil covered parking space with you in her VERY FANCY Christian Louboutin red soled pumps that were a law school graduation present and wipes oil off of your car engine.

And then drives you to the Napa Auto Parts store in the next town so you can buy more oil, and laughs when you buy a funnel so you don't make a mess because HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR CAR?  IT IS ALREADY COVERED IN OIL.  WHAT ARE A FEW MORE DROPS?

When we got back to the parking lot, our administrative assistant, Betty, had called her husband, who works on cars, to drive down to check things out for me. And then his brother-in-law came by the church to see what was happening and I realized I HAD OFFICIALLY BECAME THE TALK OF MARIONSVILLE.

Betty even said, "When you girls went to the store, all the old biddies came out to see what was going on."

I think it was the most excitement Marionsville had seen in weeks.

It was a big relief to have an actual mechanical look at my car, and when I asked him if there was any chance the engine would catch on fire as I drove home, he said, "I think you will be fine.  The oil needs to burn off though, so if you see a little smoke, you're fine.  If you see a lot of smoke, you're on fire."

Words to live by.

I am happy to report that I made it home safe and sound, and my car appears to be none the worse for wear.

And tonight, I can even laugh about it a little bit.

Turns out Mark Twain knew what he was talking about after all.


Emily said...

I would have wet my pants! And then just waited to actually combust. Thank goodness for Marionsville.

Brittany said...

How on earth did he even know it would be the oil cap?! Genius, that Bill Clinton. Also, sounds like you have some pretty cool people in your life to help you out.

Emily said...

Haha aw....Glad things worked out, that you didn't catch on fire, and it was a simple fix. Old biddies, HA. They will be talking about that for weeks.

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

Uh, car issues really suck. Did the oil change place forget to put your oil cap back on? Just glad that it worked out in the end!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

Robin said...

You handled the whole thing better than I would have!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Gahhh! Funny now but definitely not funny during. Nothing worse than being a good distance from home with car issues. I'm glad you got them resolved with no fire!

Baby Sister said...

Oh man, that is not cool. I'm glad you figured it out and got home safe. Here's to that never happening again!!

Kelly Fulkerson said...

I have actually had this happen before and it is so scary!! Glad you were able to identify the problem so quickly.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow you must have been scared we once over filled the oil and nearly ruined the engine