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Sometimes, You Push Your Dead Car Into A Busy Road.

January 8, 2013

I live just north of New York City.

You walk three blocks from my apartment, you’re in The Bronx. But, it’s far enough away to be considered the ‘burbs despite the fact that it’s quicker for me to get to work than it is for the majority of my Brooklyn-dwelling coworkers.

Though I have access to very nice public transit that I use during the week to go to/from work, I also have a car, because a car is a necessity for things like going to the grocery store/yoga/anyplace that isn’t the CVS down the street on weekends.

So I have a car. A 1995 Nissan Maxima.

She’s a tough broad.

Though she has some issues, she’s a reliable car. She has decent gas mileage and typically doesn’t freak out.

And then the battery died.

No big deal, right? Car batteries die. That happens. You jump the car, you get the battery checked out, most likely replace it. Easy-peasy.

Last Saturday morning, I opened the garage door, put my car into neutral, and then planned to push it a little bit out of the garage into the driveway so my roommate—who was in the shower when I decided to do this—could jump start my car.

I started pushing, my car started slowly rolling. And then it was rolling not so slowly.

Somehow, I’d gone temporarily stupid and forgotten that my driveway is a downward slope that leads to the extremely busy four-lane road that I live on.

Yeahhhhhh. My car rolls out into the street. Literally in the MIDDLE of the street, sitting perpendicular to the double yellow lines.

Luckily, no one hit my car. Everyone just went around it, or honked at me, in my yoga pants and sweatshirt with dirty hair in a ponytail, and one person flipped me off. This went on for like ten minutes, as I attempted to push my car from the road back into my driveway.

Ten minutes is an eternity when your dead car is in the middle of the road. Also, cars are REALLY heavy and I’m REALLY tiny and I have enough upper body strength to hold crow pose in yoga  for approximately 1.5 seconds. So while I’m trying to push my car with all my barely-there might, all I’m thinking is, “I hate everyone in this stupid state! If this was the South seventeen people would have stopped as soon as they saw my car rolling into the road to help me push it, and then SOMEONE would have immediately jumped my car and probably changed my oil and detailed the inside and given it a paint job. BUT YOU YANKEES ALL CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL.”

FINALLY, a nice man came to help me push my car back to the driveway. But even with his help it still took a while and we weren’t able to get it all the way in the driveway, so the front of my car was in it, but the back of my car was sticking out into the road. Sure enough, the parking enforcement people were driving around to give people who parked too close to fire hydrants and “on the sidewalk” (ahem, me at that moment because sidewalk is defined as the part of your driveway where people who were on the sidewalk would be walking) so I had to put a sign on my car in hopes that they wouldn’t give me a ticket.

Stop judging my handwriting, I know it’s bad. I still have nightmares about penmanship lessons in elementary school.

They didn’t. Praise God.

So after all of THAT nuttiness, my roommate comes out to jump start my car. We pop the hoods, prop mine open with a golf umbrella (I don’t have the thing that holds the hood up in my car. I guess the person who snapped off my antenna back when I lived in Queens took  that as well.), hook up the jumper cables, and then he starts his car. After a couple minutes, I get behind the wheel to start my car, so so thankful to have all this craziness over with.

I turn the key. Nothing happens.

So I take the key out of the ignition, wait a few seconds, and try again.

Still nothing.

After a couple more tries, I’m all, “Shit, I guess I have to call a tow truck,” and trying to remember how much money I have in my bank account and how close I am to my credit limit, in case I’m wrong about the amount in my checking.  Then my roommate is all, “I have AAA and I think that as long as I call, they’ll come even though it’s your car.” So he calls, and they promise they’ll show up within the hour. They were ten minutes late.

So the AAA guy comes over, hooks up this crazy thing to my battery (I think it was a booster? Is that a thing?) and looks at the crazy thing for a while. Then he tells me to start my car. AND GUESS WHAT!

IT STARTS!

Queue my happy dance.

So then he keeps the crazy thing up to it for a bit and tells me that I just need to have the battery charged, not replaced. So I drive myself down the street to the closest service station, which is, like, three blocks away, and they say they’ll charge my battery and to come back in an hour.

My roommate and I go to a bar and get bar food because I needed a greasy burger after the stress/physical exhaustion from pushing on my car all morning.

After eating, I go back down to the service station. They tell me the battery won’t charge and that it needs to be replaced. So I say, “Yes, yes, whatever you need to do, just make my car work,” and then while he was installing it, I went across the street to CVS to buy deodorant because I was out. Stop judging me.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2013 7:31 AM

    You had quite the adventure! I’m glad it was all solved and that your car works now. I used to live in the Bronx, not too far from Yonkers, actually 🙂

  2. January 8, 2013 12:38 AM

    I love everything about this post. Please write it into a book someday, hahaha.

    • January 8, 2013 1:02 AM

      SOMEDAY! And I’m glad it’s an amusing story now, because at the time, I was soooo not amused. Mostly with myself.

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