Friday, December 05, 2008

Two ducks, sitting in the night

I puttered over to my parents' house, where Lindi met me with a complete change of clothes and Mum provided dinner. Afterwards, we cleverly decided that L should follow me home, and lo! --another poop-out, right in the middle of NE 39th and Division. This time, instead of being stranded in a desolate parking lot, we huddled wedged between cars whizzing by us on all sides. Without even a flicker from my electrical system, I would have been a sitting black duck waiting to be clobbered had it not been for Lindi's flashers parked behind me. Unlike the dispatcher's earlier prediction of a long response time, this time a speedy response was promised due to our perilous situation. Not. While waiting, we had time for the police to come and push us into a gas station, and to compile lists of essential car safety equipment neither of us had, such as flares and flashlights and blinking triangles.

When the tow truck finally came, we sent it off to a mechanic in our own neighborhood recommended by Jessica. My old mechanic is too far away, which has always been a pain, and I've been in the process of localizing all my needs. As my father used to say when you asked for too many things at the dinner table, "Eat something near you."

We followed in Lindi's car, dropped the key into the shop's mail slot with an introductory note, and drove home to a late bed time. It would be several days before the mechanic had time to look at it.


At 5:12 PM, Blogger Dale said...

It's funny how all this sort of time -- which every car owner spends -- doesn't usually get factored into their assesment of how much time they save by zipping about in a car.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Yeh, Dale, no kidding. Breakdowns aside, it's endless maintenance regardless. Even, as I pointed out a few posts ago, if you hardly ever drive the darn thing. Another factor that doesn't get counted is the amount of wide circling around necessary just to get one block over because (in Portland and a lot of other cities) there are so many one-way streets that you can never go directly anywhere. And then if you add up all the time spent idling in traffic jams and compare it to the bits of extra time it takes to get somewhere on a bike...... who comes out ahead? And of course no one ever thinks to factor in the time that car-butts need to spend exercising if they want to avoid getting car-butt. Whereas, if you're on a bike, your exercise is done by the time you get there. Some math-headed person needs to do a big study on this. A lot of car-addicted people would be very surprised.


Post a Comment

<< Home