Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The day I took my very life into my hands

So I'm at work yesterday, walking back to my desk, when one of the guys I work with comes up to me.

Him: You can't drive home today.
Me: What are you talking about?
Him: I came up from the parking lot to tell you. You can't drive home.
Me: What are you TALKING about? (The wheels start turning.) Wait a second ... did they TOW me??? (I parked in a lot I'm technically not supposed to park in. Technically.)
Him: What? No. But you're leaking gas. At first I thought it was antifreeze, but I got down and looked under your car and it totally smells like gas.
Me: You got down on the ground to look under my car?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Awww! That was nice of you.
Him: OK, but seriously, you really shouldn't drive it. Do you want a ride home?
Me: Wait. Just wait a second. I REALLY can't drive home?
Him: Do you want your car to blow up?
Me: Very funny.
Him: I'm not kidding.
Me: My car is not gonna BLOW UP. (Pause.) Is it?
Him: If some gas catches on the tailpipe, it could start a fire or explode.
Me: Nuh-uh!
Him: Uh-huh.
Me: So what am I supposed to DO?
Him: Get it towed.
Me: You've got to be kidding me. I have to TOW it?
Him: If you don't want to die.

Goody! I thank my car-loving friend for saving my life, send him on his merry way and go downstairs to inspect the situation myself. Yes, there is gas. And it reeks. I get in my car and turn on the engine to see how much gas is left, since I'd just barely filled it up. It's still on full ... so it can't be THAT bad, right? I call my dad to ask him if I really can't drive it just a couple little miles to the shop.

Him: Good question. (Pause.) So when are you going to get a new car?
Me: OK, can we focus here for a second?
Him: I've been telling you for months to get a new car.
Me: Really? I hadn't noticed.
Him: You're just going to have to keep getting stuff fixed if you don't ...
Me: OK, FOCUS! Can I drive or not?
Him: I'd get it towed if I were you.
Me: Fine. I'll call you back.

I call the insurance company and tell them the deal. The guy's like, OK, I'll send out a tow truck ... but you have to do something first. I'm like, do WHAT? And he goes, "You have to call the fire department and have them come out and make sure it's safe to move your car and THEN we'll call the tow truck."

At this point I'm seriously like, you have got to be kidding me. There are people that need to be saved from burning buildings and cats that need to be saved from trees and you want the fire department to come out to my little office parking lot to say, yeah, all right, move your car? And THEN, after they leave, I have to wait an hour or 10 for the tow truck to get there?

At this point I make an executive decision: Go inside, finish up my work and then drive oh-so-slowly down the back roads to the first shop I see. Inside, I tell someone else what's going on.

Him: The fire department? That's ridiculous. You'll be fine driving it. (Pause.) You're not recording this conversation, right?
Me: You mean so you don't get sued if my car goes up in flames on the way home?
Him: Exactly.
Me: Uh, no.
Him: Good. (Pause.) Hope you don't die.
Me: Yeah, thanks. Really.

I drive up the road, shooting paranoid glances in my rearview mirror every 10 feet, and pull up to the shop that's pretty close to work. The guy is a total jerk and won't look at it. I'm like, FINE, BE THAT WAY, and drive a few miles more to my usual shop, all while thinking that jerkboy will feel SO BAD if my car turns into a fireball on the way.

Thankfully, I arrive unscathed. I love the boys at my shop. They're so nice to me and never take advantage of me for being a dumb girl and they always look at my car right that second. So they jack up the car and ... yeah. Apparently your friend Swish might have put a little too much gas in the tank when she filled it up. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow so they can look at it again just to make sure, but that was their prognosis.

At least I'm alive. And not still waiting for a tow truck.


At 3:13 AM, Blogger Jules said...

OH MAN, I can totally relate! I don't know how many issues you're having/you've had with your car, but let me just tell you to do yourself a favor and upgrade!!!! I drove an '88 (YES, an EIGHTY-EIGHT) Integra around for about 6 years too long, by the time I finally got my slightly used Civic, I practically rebuilt the Integra. The last thing to go would have been the freaking engine!

Once I finally bit the bullet and upgraded, it was a total lifestyle change... I could drive other places besides back & forth to work! I could actually BREATHE while driving instead of holding my breath, hoping it wasn't going to die on me. Really, it was the best purchase I ever made, and the only thing I regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

I'm glad your car didn't catch fire... you're such a badass to have driven it anyway!
House of Jules

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Mary Ann (Moanna) said...

I'm trying to imagine what you'd have had to post if you'd called the fire department.

And I vote with Jules for the upgrade. You deserve it! Plus, it might save your life. Think of all the places/times that you will avoid having a break-down.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger THopgood said...

I definitely think you should have called the firedepartment. They send out hot men you know. I call them every opportunity I get! =)

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Midwest Gent said...

I have never heard of someone calling the fire department to check out anything on their car unless it was on fire. Funny story nonetheless...

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Steph said...

Yikes I would have been totally freaked out, glad it is nothing too serious

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

I'm glad I didn't see you on the news last night. "Local Girl's car explodes when she drove it even after her car guy friend told her to have it towed."

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

Did you have a plan if you saw flames shooting out of your car or were you hoping Tom Cruise would save you? Seeing that he has super powers you never know.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

Okay one more thing- you had a chance to call cute fire department boys with a valid reason and chat them up and you didn't?

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Glad you didn't blow up, Swishy.

Good Lord, can you imagine the firedept coming, the tow truck and all because you put too much gas in?

Sounds like it might be time for a new car anyway....

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Vanessa said...

Ok, that's kinda scary! Hopefully it was just a little too much gas and everything is fine, because really? Cars are expensive! Buying a new one isn't just a snap your fingers and do it type proposition.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Yikes, I didn't realize you could fill up your tank to far. I'm glad you made it out alive...;)

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Angela Williams Duea said...

I'm so glad you didn't go up in a flaming fireball! Sounds like you made the right decision.

I used to have a car with a massive oil leak. It smoked all the time right from the engine - and then one day the engine caught fire.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Melek said...

aren't old cars fun? i drove a '78 Toyota Corolla (this was in 87) for 5 or 6 years till it just literally stopped going. i waited every day for it to just fall into a heap in the middle of the road.

you know, they have those auto shut off things on gas pump handles, so you don't overfill. just sayin....

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Bina said...

I LOVE this conversation. Parts of those sound like something my daugther would say to me! And, HELLO, if you can use a push mower, a rider mower, a tiller, a leaf blower, etc., after you ACCIDENTALLY fill it up WAY to full and gas runs all over the freaking place, including the driveway and IN TO the motor (not that this has EVER happened to me) and you start it and use it right away, and it doesn't blow up, why can't you do it with a car? I mean, they run on gas, right? So how can gas be bad? And also, HOW do you fill a tank TOO full with gas? I mean, sometimes, ONCE IN A WHILE the handles don't work that is supposed to prevent that from happening, and gas shoots out of the opening. (Not that that has EVER happened to me).

At 3:47 PM, Blogger mylhibug said...

My '89 Cadillac Fleetwood is leaking Gas, but I still drive it. You see, I am one of them there dumb guys that doesn't know any better.

Still haven't blown up though *knocking on wood.

I am in the process of upgrading to a '93 LeBaron Convertable, since I absolutely refuse to ever have a car payment again. Which means unless I can save my money (I can't), or I win the lottery (I haven't) there won't be brand new car in my driveway.

I can't believe that you passed up an opportunity to have the fire department come out though. Just think of the possibilities...

At 4:06 PM, Blogger TTQ said...

That totally sounds like me, I would have driven it too. My husband and my mother both are dying for me to get a new car, but hard to do when it runs like a champ and all I do is add gas. It's paid for. Though they have me paranoid about it blowing up and I can't get out 'cause the handle is broken.. Freakin Florida sun bakes plastic. Then when you touch it crumbles into your hand.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Andie said...

I did that once. it was a pita.

I'm glad you're ok!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Eesh, what a fun day. I'm with those who would have taken the opportunity to call the FD though! Yummy!

So where exactly does one find a garage such as this? I'm still looking for one, and I probably need one sooner rather than later with a '97 Explorer.... I know once it gets hot again my car won't start again after I've driven it more than 15-20 minutes and I turn it off.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger JenKneeBee said...

I'm glad you made it back home okay! Sounds like quite the adventure.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

You know. I've been in that car. I love you to death you know, but you need a new car. Mr. Manic even MADE HER GET HER TIRES ROTATED FOLKS! Because "your friend Swish" also likes to drive on the worn tire rims until they're about to explode.


Swishy, be careful or else your obit is gonna say something about cars in it. And I don't want that.

Nor do your blog friends!

ANd good thing I didn't know you were driving it after the gas leakage. I would have laid into you big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Ree said...

ahahahahahahahahaha. You filled your tank too full?!?

Oh bsbe. That is so something that I would do.

Glad you didn't blow up.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Jenster said...

WHEW!! I couldn't wait to get to the end of this post to see if you blew up or not!! Glad you didn't because you have pretty hair and it wouldn't look so great singed.

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I'll bet D.S. cut your gas line.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Frannie Farmer said...

Ok, you are CRAZY. But I would have driven it too.
I had to check the date of your post twice though 'cause I was totally thinking you were going to say it was an April Fools joke from your co-worker.

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post really freaks me out. Before I had my kids I use to drive my old Ford Escort, with a gas leak for months, before we finally fixed it. I had no clue it. could explode. Now this gives me chills! I am glad your safe, and I do hope you get a new car. It is time. You need to be safe.

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Beth said...

only you Swishy Girl....only you....

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

Is this the same car that was giving you so much trouble when I was out there last year? I hate to side with your Dad, but he might have a point...especially if you're at the shop so much that the guys there all say, "Hey! It's Swishy!" and give you VIP treatment like Norm from cheers! When they start stocking your favorite snacks in the vending machine, you know it's time to get a new car :)

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Katie said...

hahaha, moral of the story, just don't listen to guys talk about cars! sheesh, they're fanatics! glad you didn't blow up! :)

At 11:24 PM, Blogger Donna said...

Do you really believe that your car could have blown up? We need to send that one to myth busters or one of those stupid check on things like that and blow cars up shows.
Now with that said, you overfilled the tank? HUH? How does that happen? Those stupid, I mean great enviroment saving flexitubes over the gas nozzle seems to make them shut off so early I am impressed we get more than half a tank!?! I remember when I gould fill the tank until it literally overflowed! I miss those days, maybe I could have blown up then too and never knew it. Thanks for the safety lesson, I will be sure to drive my car when a guy from work tells me not to (good thing I work with all women).

At 9:36 PM, Blogger My boys are Army Brats said...

That was a great story! I'm glad you didn't go through the trouble of the fire department and tow truck just to find that out! But you sure are brave driving a car that might blow up!


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