Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lubrication and Lamentation: a Lack and a Boatload, Respectively.

Before you get to reading this particular post, I'll let you know now that it is not an assignment post nor is it a requirement post. It's just a regular old post.

So, as Krista was concered (and as far as giving Prof. Quilan my reason), this post will be about my delightful little somewhat-somehow self-inflicted adventure last Thursday. As Waker knows, I foresaw "issues" with my car. I really do think that some force in the world listens to me when I say such things; you ever see those cars at the side of the road with their hazard lights flashing? Someone looking helplessly at the vehicle, maybe? Yeah, well, for the second time in my adult life, that person was none other than hapless, helpless little ol' Lacey Lee - I spent the bulk of Thursday evening/late late evening stuck on Route 80 West.

The first time, which I'll make short news of, was actually on the NJ Turnpike, south-bound. A van full of nice fellows helped me move my car from the fast lane to the shoulder. Much obliged, guys. People on 80 are not so yeilding. I was driving along my merry little way at about 5:30pm when I heard the most terrific death rattle you'd ever want to hear. It involved a delicious grinding and a huge metallic clang. The car jerked over to the left (I almost sideswiped some poor car) and fishtailed a little before I finally got it to shrudder over to the shoulder.

I leapt out of my car and stared at it for a while. The passenger-side front wheel was all bent out of shape and there was a loooot of smoke coming from under the hood. Luckily, after some initial texting about the incident, my phone went dead. It has a great habit of listing three bars worth of power, and then spontaneously crapping out. So, I'd only said in my texts that I had been in an accident and that my car was dead. No one knew where I was on 80, not even a ballpark.

So I stood there, staring at my car. I thought about why it was I didn't have a newer car, bemoaned my existence and its existence, and thought more about why oh why I couldn't have been born rich or, at the very least, financially stable. Then I realized I was actually pretty cold and should probably get back into the car before something flew off somebody else's vehicle and then, folks, I wouldn't just be missing one class, I'd be missing them all.

By that time, the smoke had died down substantially and I bet to myself that I was out of the bulk of the being-burned-alive sort of danger. I got into the car and started thinking about what to do next. Have you ever been in a situation like that? It sucks. Don't do it. (As though anyone has a choice.) So I sat there, thinking and chain-smoking, watching the stars come out.

I'll be nice and fast forward this a bit. My wonderful and logical partner in life, Steven, decided to drive down 80 in hopes of seeing my car. I really think if he hadn't done that, I would either still be sitting there or I would probably still be walking to the next exit. Okay, maybe not still walking... Or waiting. I'm not that stupid. Anyway, he saw my dinky little car and picked me up; he's a AAA member so he called and had my car towed to the mechanic.

Do you ever wonder about the importance of oil in a car? Do yourself a favor. Don't even ask. Just keep it full of that wonderful oil and more importantly, make sure it's the right kind. Know your car. Know what it needs. In about the end of August, or the beginning of September, I had gotten an oil change at LUBE EXPRESS. They told me they'd put in synthetic oil and it should last me for about 7,000 miles. I think the mileage to change was 178,000 and change. I was currently driving at 172,000 and change. What had happened waaaaas they put not the more viscous oil that an older car needs but instead a thinner oil intended for a newer car. It blew out every single gasket in the engine, cracked the oil pan, broke some pin or another (the mechanic went into details but I haven't much mind for such things, that's all Steven), there was oil in the exhaust system and gas in the oil system and end result: blown out engine, ruined suspension on both the front and the back because of the extra stress on the car and the ruined wheel courtesy of a thrown front tire rod. Yeah, I could have died. But I didn't. I'll just pay out the ying yang for the repairs (Which are still being done! Nearly a week, and still not done! Glorious! Oh god, the labor costs.) because I can't afford NJ full coverage insurance for a financed vehicle.

The moral of the story (and we don't even need the Wheel of Morality on this one, guys) is:

Don't go to Lube Express.


Oh, and check your oil.

I will at this time impart on you, if you wish to read, a small list of the morals from the Wheel of Morality:

-People in glass houses should get dressed with the lights out.
-Brush your teeth after every meal. [This moral brought to you by the American Dental Association]
-Do not back up. Severe tire damage.
-Don't eat with your mouth full.
-Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy but socially dead.
-If at first you don't succeed, blame it on your parents.
-If you can't say something funny you're probably at the Ice Capades.
-Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
-Never ask what hot dogs are made of.
-Possums have pouches like kangaroos.
-The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. (Except for in New Jersey, where what's blowing in the wind smells funny.)
-Vote early, and vote often.
-You can teach an old dog new tricks, but you can't teach Madonna to act.