August 17, 2016

Just another straw on my camel's back

I returned from a quick trip to Kalamazoo late yesterday afternoon. The customer visit went well. It was good to be traveling again.

The wife wanted me to make fried chicken for dinner. She need a couple of things from Target, so while I started supper she went to do whatever it was she needed to accomplish. I made some iced tea. I sliced up som tomatoes from the garden. I peeled and put potatoes on to boil for the mashed spuds. I dredged the chicken and let it sit to get a good coating.

The wife called to say she was leaving Target. I dropped the chicken into the hot oil in the skillet. The store is about ten minutes from the house and by he time she got home I should be getting ready to make pan gravy. She called back. Her car won't start. The battery was completely dead.

I took the skillet off the burner, turned off the potatoes and pulled on my shoes. The keys to my car were gone. The wife had them in her purse. We have gone from " oh crud" to " ah crap".  Luckily, my SIL was available to drive me to the Target.. We tried jumping be battery, but it would not turn the engine over. We have moved to "shit" status.

SIL brings us home. I grab some tools. We go to the parts store and drop $140 that I don't  have on a new battery and head back to the dead Ford Escape. I am not a mechanical genius, but I can change a battery in about ten minutes. I losen the battery with no trouble. The red terminal comes right off. The black side won't budge. I send the wife home for better wrenches than he piece o'crap adjustable wrench I was using. I get the nut lose finally, but the clamp still won't come off the terminal.

Did I mention it was raining? It is getting dark. I pry. I twist. I curse a little. I pried and twisted more. I cursed a lot. I called AutoZone to see if there was something special about the negative terminal on a Ford Escape that I couldn't see. They suggested I pry and twist until the clamp breaks free. Duh.

It is 9:20. I've spent more than two hours trying to do a ten minute job. I'm tired. I'm hungry, it's dark. I need a bigger screwdriver and maybe a hammer to try and pry the clamp apart. The store says they won't have the car towed if we leave it over night.

We grabbed a fast food burger. I came home and threw away the oil-soaked chicken. I threw out the potatoes. I put the clean dinner plates away and washed up the pans. The whole supper went straight to the garbage.

I'm up early. I'm waiting for sunup so I can head down to try again. I wonder if I will have hubcaps or window glass in my car when I get there. I hope a new day finds the clamp magically unfused by corrosion and that I finally break it free this morning.  I sure don't want to pay to have a car towed over a stupid battery terminal.

On the scale of problems this is small, but why can't things ever be easy?


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I hate to say it, but this is why we have AAA.

Joe said...

We are such idiots, we both forgot we had roadside assistance as part of he xyended warranty.m

Joe said...

After I spent another hour getting the stupid clamp design free

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Sorry about your fried chicken, by the way.

Joe said...

I recreated that supper last night -- fried chicken, gravy, mashed spuds, sliced tomatoes, corn, and biscuits.

Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005