Wednesday, February 4, 2009

two car-related things that made me smile

first: we discovered sunday that the 4-runner was dead to the world. totally dead. it kept making a clicking noise while it was off so we thought the relay was shot...or whatever the hell happens to an electrical system of a car when it dies. rich rides his bike to work on monday; i wait for the tow truck guy. he shows up and decides we are total idiots because it is just a dead battery and the clicking noise is the alarm trying to go off. whoops. so, he charges it enough to get it started and i drive to interstate battery. for those of you not familiar with albuquerque, please note that it can be a VERY scary place in certain parts. like panic-inducing scary. that's basically the kind of place where interstate battery was located. i'm just thinking "please don't stall please don't stall please don't stall" until i pulled into the parking lot.

then the strangest thing happened--a really nice man in a 1940s style gas station attendant jumpsuit waves me into a parking space right in front. at the same time he is doing this, a short, hard-living, probably ex-something addict, mid-40s white guy is walking up to him while telling him something. jumpsuit keeps waving me into the space. i pull in and he makes a sign to pop the hood. shorty is still jabbering away about something. jumpsuit tells me to turn off my engine and starts unhooking my battery. shorty tells me all about this new goo you can put on your battery to keep it from corroding as extensively as my dead one has. i get waved inside; the bill is already written out and is waiting for me to pay. i am seriously perplexed now, as i haven't even opened my mouth yet to anyone except shorty to say "weren't you here before me?" and thank you for the goo advice.

i pay my bill, comment to the cashier that this is perhaps the best customer service i have ever experienced in my life ("yeah, we're like the mcdonald's of batteries!") , and walk outside. new battery is already in place. jumpsuit turns to shorty and says, "that's a nice car your wife has," pointing to the 4-runner. shorty turns, looks at me (and i had actually showered and put on a dress that day, so for a change i looked good), looks back at jumpsuit somewhat incredulously and says, flatly, "she would not be married to me." i thought it was funny. we were the only two white people there, so i guess jumpsuit assumed we were together, since we all look alike...somehow it all led to me getting a near instantaneous new battery.

second: i met al unser, sr. today! he's funny, sarcastic, and his museum is near my house. i spent the day working there and met him, his wife, and their wonderful director, lita. very cool museum--you should totally check it out when you come to town...the unser racing museum.

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