What a beginning to the weekend this has been! My Friday evening, which is usually peaceful and relaxing, was suddenly full of adventure and intrigue.
I’m having something of a party tomorrow night, and decided to go out for beer after dinner. I jumped in my car and headed to my favorite beer shop. I came out with armloads of Dogfish Head and Yuengling, eager to get back home and put it on ice. I inadvertently made a wise decision: to get all the beer warm.
I got in the car and the engine wouldn’t turn over. I just heard a clicking as the lights dimmed. And then my key wouldn’t come out of the ignition. I Googled the problem on my Blackberry, and based on some quick research, I concluded that the battery was dead. It was amazing to me that one moment, everything was fine, and the next moment, the battery kicked it.
I called my wife, asking her to bring jumper cables. I was tempted to drink a beer in the parking lot as I waited, but two things occurred to me: 1) the beer was warm, and 2) it may pose a legal issue, as open containers of alcohol in public places are frowned upon by the police.
When my wife arrived, I popped the hoods and began to work. I was horrified at the amount of corrosion on my battery terminals. It was like a cake decorator had gotten into the engine and coated my battery with multi-colored icing. But it smelled like rotten eggs, and smoked as I tried to jump the car.
In the middle of all this, a white van full of young hip dudes rolled up beside us. I was adjusting the jumper cables, and they rolled down their windows and told me about these sweet stereo systems they had in the back of the van, and that they were selling them off for cheap. They were very giggly.
“No way,” I said.
They sat there and insisted that I look at the speakers.
“I’m kinda busy here,” I said. “I’m trying to get my car jumped.”
They proceeded to make fun of me and cuss me out. Then they drove away. All I can say is that if your job is to drive around on a Friday night, scamming people and acting retarded, then you’re a pansy loser. How much do you make for giving up your evenings? Minimum wage? Maybe ten bucks an hour? Run along, kids. I’m going to relax while you work.
So I called the police after getting the license plate number. They transferred me to the State Police, who proceeded to be very rude with me, saying that they get calls about these people all the time, and that they are perfectly within their rights to sell their stuff.
You have to be kidding me! So, it’s perfectly fine to drive around with a load of cheap junk and sell them to suckers by telling them that you’re overstocked and just want to “unload” the speakers for cheap to make a quick buck since the boss screwed up. That’s perfectly legal, and has the blessing of the cops!
My guess is that the cops are getting paid off by these guys. That’s the only reasonable explanation for this.
So, I got the car started up — finally — and rolled over to Advance Auto, which was just across the street. These are the words of the man who changed my battery when he saw the obscene amount of corrosion on my battery: “Holy shit.”
He had never seen a battery that bad. I felt bad that he had to work so hard to clean up the mess and replace a lot of parts that had been eaten away; but at the same time I felt pretty cool that I brought them the worst-looking battery they’d ever seen.
Now it’s over and done with. I thwarted the white van speaker scam retards once again (this makes my 4th encounter — read about my first 3 here) and conquered the frightening situation of my car not starting.
And the weekend is just barely beginning. I’m a bit frightened now to think about what the party has in store for me tomorrow.