August 2017

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Bobby of got-a-perfect-score-on-his-Outdoor-Emergency-Care test has been, not surprisingly, drafted into becoming an instructor with Ski Patrol. As a result, he has been teaching parts of classes at the most recent Outdoor Emergency Care class on Friday nights. We grab a snack on the way home, he goes to class, and when class is over, we meet somewhere in Westminster for a very late dinner. Since his class is an hour south in Rockville, he takes the Yaris, and I drive the truck to meet him.

Over the winter, we had some problems with the battery in the truck. It was supposedly "new," but who knows if it actually was. Used car dealers and all that. Since the weather warmed, we haven't had any problems.

Bobby is also working to establish a nano-reef tank. It is right next to the couch where I sit and work on the the computer. On Friday nights, I take up my post and put my phone on the aquarium stand so that it's on hand when he calls, and I don't have to worry about it sliding off the arm of the couch.

Last night, he called, and I got up to get ready because I was still in gym clothes, and I left my phone on the aquarium stand. I started down the hill toward Westminster, and the gas light came on in the truck. I hadn't even realized it was so low or I would have stopped after the gym. So I turned into town instead of toward Westminster when I got to the bottom of the hill to stop at the Sheetz in town. It is overpriced and the parking lot is weird and someone was busted for having a brothel out back when we first moved here, but hey, when you're desperate, it's better than walking a few miles for a gas can. And I figured it would only make me five minutes late for meeting Bobby.

I have never put gas in the truck before and couldn't find the release for the gas door, so I had to look it up in the owner's manual. (Only to discover that there is no release!) So I had the interior lights on, plus my headlights, while sitting at the pump doing this. Then I put in 10 gallons of gas, which took a few minutes. You might see where this is going.

I got back in the truck and went to start it. clickclickclickclickclick ... NOTHING. I may have then said a few four-letter words of Anglo-Saxon origin. I thought, well maybe because the gas had been so low, it needed fuel in the lines, so I pumped the pedal a few times and tried again. Nothing. The thought never crossed my mind about the battery because I couldn't imagine that the few minutes I'd had the lights on while reading the manual could have drained it.

So I went in my purse and guess what? No phone because, of course, the phone was still on the aquarium stand at home.

By this time, Bobby was probably arriving in Westminster. All I could think about was him worrying over me. I wouldn't show, he'd call, and I wouldn't answer my phone. Eventually, he'd go home, and I wouldn't be there either. He'd never think to look at Sheetz because we use that gas station maybe three times a year.

At this point, my options started to look like a decision tree, and I was down amid the leaf rot at the roots. I could see two options: 1) I could maybe find someone in the gas station who would loan me their phone, or maybe the gas station would let me use their phone, or maybe they even still had one of those dinosaurs of communication, a pay phone, on premises. Or 2) I could run the mile or so uphill back home and maybe get there when Bobby did.

The first seemed the better option. Only I don't have Bobby's cell number memorized. Brilliant thought: I'll call my parents! Even if they don't answer, I'll leave a message, and maybe they'll get it and be able to contact Bobby!

Except that my parents are in Vegas right now.

So I started to riffle through first the glove compartment, then my wallet, looking for anything with a phone number on it. I found insurance information and an old prescription from one of Bobby's injuries. Both had our address but no phone number. I started on old service receipts, hoping they had maybe recorded a contact number. Meanwhile, I'd started some honest-to-goodness Positive Self Talk about the possibility of running home. "Dawn, you can do it. You're strong and in good shape. It's all uphill, and yes, that will be a bitch, but this is why you go to the gym!" (It's not, but you're allowed some little white lies during Positive Self Talk.) "Yes, you are wearing slip-on Toms shoes, and your feet will get torn up, but your feet get torn up regularly on account of being shaped oddly anyway, so that's nothing new, and you'll be fine; it won't hurt while you're doing it! They'll be mostly healed in time for Ocean City next weekend!" I was worrying very hard about Bobby worrying about me. I didn't even dare look at my watch to see how late I was.

And then a guy walked up and asked if I needed help starting the truck. Cue tempered relief. The problem wasn't solved yet but maybe ...

He told me to try to start the truck again. He said it sounded like the battery or the starter. I'm glad he knew! I started hoping for battery; that we could solve here. He said he'd try to jump-start it and see if that worked, so he drove his truck over (of course he drove a truck! white knights in Carroll County always drive trucks!) and we had a good laugh over the series of unfortunate events that had placed me in this predicament.

And the jump-start worked.

I thanked him about a dozen times, and he said, "No problem. If it was me, I'd hope someone would do the same." Remind me of this when I'm rolling my eyes at my fellow county citizens.

I well exceeded the speed limit driving home, and as I ran into the house and picked up my phone from the aquarium stand, it rang in my hand as Bobby called me for the umpteenth time. He had just left, fearing I'd broken down on the road and knowing me well enough to know that I'd probably forgotten my phone.

Moral of the story: He picked me up and we had an even later dinner than usual. And we're getting a new battery for the truck.
Cut for political talk! )
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I'm done my articles for the day, and it's still three hours before I can expect Bobby home from swords practice, so before I get back to eviscerating my to-do list, dangit, this question appealed to me (probably because I've been talking so much about Manchester in my other posts), so I'm going to answer it. Officially. For the first time. *scary eyes*

Manchester )

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