Zombie Battery

This is a Zombie Post, originally posted January 2006.  To find out more about Zombie Posts, please visit Cate at Real Life with Kids.

Yep. I've gone all the way from geek straight past nerd and dork and all the way down to complete and utter idiot.

I'll start from the beginning. As some of you know, I've been using Chandler's truck this past week. Because I let him borrow my car for a long roadtrip he had to make. And his vehicle needed some work done and he didn't feel comfortable driving it that far. Also, he drives an SUV, I have a little bitty Hyundai Accent so, gas mileage, yay.

So I've been driving what I am now calling the GOPMobile (because of all the Bush/Cheney type bumper stickers all over the...um...bumper. Oh, and let's not forget the March for Life sign in the backseat) and I feel like I need to apologize to everyone I pass for the raging conservatism. "It's not me, really, I swear!"

And, even setting that aside, I REALLY don't like this truck, Sam I am. It's just.....it's counter-intuitive. None of the controls are where they should be or operate like they should or NUTTIN'. I drove home from his place last Monday NIGHT with my lights OFF.  Probably because it took me so long to figure out how to adjust the seat so my short little legs could reach the pedals and then I was struggling with trying to locate the parking brake release that I just got so flustered and forgot about something so NON-ESSENTIAL as lights. Shut up.

(Oh wait, he was just corrected me. I didn't drive home with my lights off after all. Apparently the lights go on automatically. Huh. Who knew?)

So yeah, every single time I get in or out of the vehicle I actually have to THINK and go through the whole mental checklist, remembering where things are and what I need to do to safely shut down the vehicle. It's a chore, yo.

So yesterday, I go into work around 3pm. And it was a bit rainy. So I had my lights on.


Y'all know what happened, right?

Sho'nuff, I leave the building around 7pm, go to start the GOPMobile and...nothing. Battery's dead, baby. Battery's dead.

LUCKILY!! Lola and I had planned on meeting for dinner so she was right around the corner. So first, I called her to come pick me up. Then I called Chandler and got his voice mail. I started rambling because see, I had not yet figured out that I had left the lights on, it didn't even occur to me that this might have happened because I would never do something that dumb, oh no, not I, so I wanted to ask him whether the battery was old and weak or something because I just had no idea WHY WHY WHY this could have happened but as I was rambling to his voice mail the light (HA!) dawned and I checked and sure enough I realized that I had left the lights on so my tone changed from bitching him out (no, not really, I don't bitch. Shut up, I DON'T) for leaving me with a weak battery to sheepishly admitting what I had done and since I am NOT a car person, I didn't know that the battery just needed a jump and it would be fine, I thought I had kilt it for good and I told him I would pay for a new battery and then I finally stopped rambling and hung up.

And then I realized that Hey! Just because the battery died didn't mean it was gone for good, right? It could be reanimated or something. Like, a zombie. We could have a whole army of zombie batteries. Or something.

So I called The Ferocious Beast (AKA Ex-Hub#2) because he knows all about the car stuff but he wasn't picking up so I called The Duke because he is another car person and let me tell you, car people are good to know, but he wasn't picking up either and oh woe, oh me, oh my, the uncertainty, but then Lola showed up and reassured me that most likely, once we jumped the battery, everything would be fine.

Huh. And she isn't even a car person.

But first, we had to get dinner. Baja Fresh. Burritos were consumed. Yum.

Chandler called back during the burrito consumption but I kinda blew him off because, burritos!

So we get back to the GOPMobile and Lola has one of those handy dandy  quick jump start kits that has a battery powered generator. Or something.

So we pull that junk out of her trunk and I drag it over under one of the parking lot lights and I scrutinize it to figure out how to work it and I figure it out and I'm all set.

But then I couldn't figure out how to pop the hood of Chandler's truck.

Around this time, we are approched, in the middle of this EMPTY parking lot (remember, I'm still parked at the office) by a man carrying a bag from Baja Fresh, where we had just dined. Why yes, it DID occur to me that he had followed us from there. Anyway, he starts going on about his cousin who's attending University of Maryland and we have no idea what he's going on about but finally Lola says, "Can you just get to the point?" as she gestures to our two vehicles but he continues talking and still not making any sense but eventually we THINK he's trying to get directions to his cousin's school and we don't know whether he was referring to UMBC or College Park and it DOESN'T MATTER because neither one was particularly close to where we were and even though I know EXACTLY how to get to UMBC (since I live maybe two minutes from there) I wasn't about to spend any longer with creepy stalker guy than necessary, especially not since we had IMPORTANT stuff to do, GOSH.

So we dismiss him and we go back to trying to figure out how to raise the hood on this cursed vehicle and we're not getting anywhere because where the hood release SHOULD be is instead the parking brake release and WHO THE FUCK designed this vehicle anyway and at that point I call Chandler again but he doesn't pick up (as it turns out, he was on the phone with his mom who was diagnosing him with appendicitis. Heh, she sounds like MY mom) so I babble a bit more about HOW ON EARTH DO I OPEN THIS FREAKING HOOD!?!?! and then I hang up and JUST as Debbie and I finally figure it out he calls back but I tell him again all is well and he tells me all about his about to burst appendix and then pleads with me to NOT attach the postive charger to the negative terminal (or something like that) and I have to tell him I am not COMPLETELY incompetent when it comes to car stuff, despite what it may seem, I HAVE jump started a car before and I've changed my own flat tires too.

So then we get off the phone and I turn with puzzlement back to the engine because.....oh dear, because I couldn't figure out where the battery was.


I see what I THINK is the battery but I can't figure out where to hook up the charger. I see a little rubber thing which I surmise must cover the ummm...place where I would hook up the charger. I have no idea what those little thingys are called so from here on out they shall be referred to as nubs.

What? You have a better made up name? Well, lemme hear it then. Otherwise, shut up.

Right. So yeah, I pry off the little rubber thing but there are no nubs underneath. Just...um....places to put fluid.

Well, THIS can't be the battery, I say to Lola. Because I know I've checked my fluids and stuff and I've never ever heard of battery fluid.

Lola says, I'm pretty sure this is the battery, look, it's all boxy like a battery. And it's got the red and black, just like the charger.

Well, yeah, okay, I see that. Matter of fact, I saw that when I was talking to Chandler and reassuring him that I knew what I was doing. And then I look a little closer and I realize, yeah, it's the battery. I think the printing that said, "....blah blah blah battery blah blah blah..." was a tip off.

But still. If that's the battery, where are the nubs?

I poke around a bit more and then I call Chandler back. Poor guy. I'm sure by this point he was worried I was going to blow up his truck or something (to be honest, that fear had crossed my mind as well).

Finally, I find what I'm looking for and I let him go and I hook up the positive charger to the positive nub and then look around for a good place to attach the negative side. Which involved a bit of a balancing act because this quick start kit is nice and handy and all but the cables are really kind of short. But I figure it out and I switch it on and I tell Lola, "If I start twitching, call 911" and I get in the car and crank the engine and nothing happens so I get out of the car and Lola says something about how she thinks maybe I didn't turn the charger on all the way because isn't it supposed to make noise so I go to disconnect everything to make sure there was no juice flowing anywhere before I start messing with the charger again and as I go to disconnect the negative side there are sparks.


And then, the underhood light comes on. So Lola and I look at each other and I ask whether she has her cell phone handy to call 911 because I am SO sure I'm about to fry and she says, "Yeah. Well, it's in the car" so I hand her mine and tell her I'm going back to crank the engine and to step back.

So she does and I do and the car starts and all is well and no one fried, not even the car and that is the end of my story and I am ever so happy to have my own car back now.

Plus BONUS!  I acquired a gas can. Because Chandler? Ran out of gas.


Anonymous said...
October 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM

That was a fun read - somehow, I knew you were going to disconnect the leads w/ the charger still on, kind of like a horror movie where the hot chick is about to open the door w/ the killer and you think, "NOOOO! DON'T DO IT!!!!"

Also, I love anyone who says SHO'NUFF!

Just Plain Tired said...
October 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

This was just the type of read I love to see. Man, I could kick myself in the ass for not finding your blog until now. Thank you for commenting at my spewage, which allowed me to wander over here.

FallDown Girl said...
October 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Thank you both!!! And, JPT - don't kick yourself TOO hard....I've only been writing here for a few weeks *grin*

Elizabeth said...
November 1, 2010 at 8:34 AM

LOL!! Best story ever. You're SUCH a girl...

And I always just called those "nubs" the jumper thingies. I guess I'm a girl too, ha!

Elizabeth said...
November 1, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Do you know what I was just thinking?? You've been here (online) through every one of my pregnancies. Crazy how fast time flies!

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