Sunday, October 4, 2009


Friday night I managed to rook Sandy, Pam, and Julie into meeting me at La Bamba Mexican Restaurant not too far from my house for dinner. Last week was a long week, and I thought we all could use some girl time. So we met, drank, ate, and were merry. We laughed a lot (as is usual) and then all headed home. I'd had something called "Swamp Water" and while I was OK walking to the car, at one point I'd not been feeling much pain.

Sandy's car wouldn't start. She tried calling several people, none of whom were interested in leaving at 9pm to come help her in a dark parking lot, so (insert hero music here) I came to the rescue. Or something. I pulled out this little rescue kit I had in the back of the van, and pulled out the jumper cables - aka POS fire bringers.

We had to talk a blond chick who was even blonder than Sandy and I into moving her vehicle so I could pull up next to Sandy. Did I mention I'm not in charge of these things? I'm not in charge. I get in. I turn the key. I expect it to work. On occasion I can even add a fluid (although I used to run my Mustang on 1 quart of oil only... habitually). But I'm SO not in charge of these things. Neither is Sandy. Yet there we were, in a parking lot at 9pm with a rescue kit.

So she and I stumbled through the jumper cable hookup - and we thought we had them hooked up right. I was patting myself on the back as I stepped away from her car. "Who's Ya Daddy!" was what I was screaming in my head as I headed over to my van when suddenly a gigantic ball of fire shot past my ear! I saw sparks and Sandy's car alarm started SCREAMING and the lights started flashing. I almost peed myself. I ran over to my car and (amidst prayers of "Please, Lord, don't let me get electrocuted") and yanked one of the wires off of my battery, and it all went quiet.

Sandy and I stood there and just stared at each other. Apparently we'd put them on wrong. I'd just colored my hair earlier, and my first thought was, "That dang ball of fire better not have messed up my hair!" followed closely by, "OMFG, I hope we didn't just kill our cars dead. Are we dead? No, I don't think we're dead, but I'll bet we've fried our cars! Oh {insert expletive here}".

So what do you do when you're not in charge of vehicles and happen to have almost exploded one or two of them? You call my brother, which is probably what I should have done FIRST.

Jeremy (my younger brother by 3-1/2 years) came up there and discerned that the battery was dead, and that we'd blown at least one fuse with our "antics". I think I heard something about "hair brained" but he seemed to be more amused than anything. He put some aluminum foil into the fuse (don't ask me... remember, I'm not in charge of these things) and Sandy and I ran out to Advance Auto to get her a new battery. We were doing all of this in the parking lot, in the dark, with nothing but two screwdrivers, a pair of vice grips, and a sheet of aluminum foil from the restaurant. Jeremy replaced the battery and rigged up the fuse, and off we went. Well, sortof.

We found out in short order that while we could get Sandy cranked she had no acceleration. Because she couldn't get across traffic to the left he took her right - which would mean going up a gigantic hill to get her to my house. Did I mention she had no acceleration? We managed somehow to get her to my Mother's house, and when she stepped out of the car she was practically shaking.

I mean, who wouldn't be? I take her out for dinner and her car won't start, a ball of fire screams out past our heads, and then she can't go more than 5 mph on a street where people drive the Indy 500.

I will say this... it's funny how a gigantic ball of fire whizzing past one's head will induce sobriety in 0.6 seconds.

Somehow we managed to laugh our way through the night, and I got her over to her Mom's where she borrowed a car to get home. Sandy's husband got her up and running yesterday, but he thinks one more fuse needs to be replaced - one he couldn't quite get to under the dash. We're hopeful that replacing that last fuse will make everything OK. So today Sandy, Julie, Kelly and I are going over to Rising Meadow Farm to wander around their Farm Fest. I'm planning to pump Sandy full of lamb-burgers and ice cream in hopes that she'll still be my BFF after the Great Ball of Fire.


Emma Rose said...

Great story! Hope you didn't do any $$$ PERMANENT $$$$ damage :)
Those rescue kits should definitely come with "Blonde" instructions! LOL

Laura Carson said...

Me too! My brother says it sounds like the fuses did their jobs - so unlikely to have any bad damage (like as in the computer and such). I hope.

I took one of those "how blond are you" quizzes on Facebook the other day - came up with 25% blond. I believe it. LOL!

Robin French said...

Dang girl, you do get into some adventures! :-)

Anonymous said...

OMG, I just peed my pants laughing! I always rely on someone else to figure out which thingie goes where when jumping a vehicle. Even if I thought I knew what I was doing I'd probably screw it up! Glad you guys are ok!

Anonymous said...

What a prefect account of our adventure!! We will still be laughing about this 20 years from now. If we can survive screaming cars,fireballs and thinking the car will go backwards down the hill at any moment, we can survive anything. I tell you that is some spicey Mexican food for the car to be spitting out fire!! If that's the best you've got to get rid of me, you'd better try harder, because it didn't work!! But, I did fall in love with your brother. :)


Cindy said...


You are hysterical! Your are the Dave Berry of sheep dogging. I love reading your stories.

Laura Carson said...

Thanks Cindy. I couldn't make stuff like this up if I tried. ;)

Sandy - we're already laughing, right? Then again you haven't been to the dealership yet today.

Carolyn - I know, right? Maybe from here on out I'll make sure to let the experts handle this stuff. Then again... we tried to get help, and were left to our own devices. What's a girl to do?