Friday, March 7, 2008

The Serpentine's Bite

Well, $60 something in lost wages plus $60 in car parts equals . . . erg. Math is bad.

I started to work at my normal time this morning, got as far as the bottom of my driveway and my serpentine belt fell off. I shouldn't complain. As it is, I was close enough to muscle the car back up the hill. If it had waited a few more miles I could have easily wound up stranded in the middle of nowhere.

The first thing I had to do was call in, which is something I hate. Funny thing, though. Today my manager didn't seem to give a damn. That worries me a little. I suspect it has nothing do with me, though. The rumor mill says that he's in for some serious trouble over something that I'm not involved with, so maybe he was just curt over the phone because I interrupted him in the middle of getting fired or something.

Anyway, with that taken care of I still had the little problem of getting my car fixed. I called around and finally caught two of my nephews just as they got off work. They drove out, looked it over, made "tut tut" sounds (you know? The ones that mean "this is going to cost you a lot more than you thought it would") and then started taking my car apart. It wasn't the belt: The belt wasn't that bad, although as long as we have it off we'd ought to go ahead and replace it now. What was bad was the tensioner pulley, a little thingie way down at the bottom of the engine. Taking it off involved removing the antifreeze overflow thingie (thingie is a technical term), pulling the right front tire, using six different wrenches from above and below, complaining about front-wheel-drive cars, and swearing a lot.

Once the bad part was off we had to go into Clinton to get a new one. The boys thought it was really funny watching me try to hoist myself into Joe's enormous truck. They actually called me old! I'm only three years older than Joe is! I wasn't having trouble because I'm "old"!

I was having trouble because I'm short.

Anyway, by the time we had the new part it was too dark to put it on, so Mark's coming out in the morning to do it so I can go to work and find out if anybody missed me while I was gone.

If they didn't, I might have to cry. If they did, I'll just wait and cry come next payday.


Lynnette Labelle said...

This is great stuff, Loretta. Keep it up!

M. G. Tarquini said...


You HAVE to take this...this...all this on the road.

Loretta Ross said...

I can't. My car broke down. :'(

I am having serious bad car mojo! We got the car fixed yesterday and then I got a ticket on my way to work! NEVER got a ticket before. I'm, like, the world's most careful driver. But about four years ago my front license plate got stolen and the cop I reported it to told me I didn't really need one, so not to worry as long as there was one on the back.

He was wrong.

A state trooper pulled me over because of the missing tag and then gave me a ticket because I'd let my insurance lapse.

*sob* It's my own fault and I know I can get it taken care of but I'm scared it's going to cost a ton. And I've had co-workers who I KNOW don't think twice about driving drunk gasp and say, in a horrified voice, "Oh, I would NEVER do that! I ALWAYS keep my insurance paid up!"