Monday, February 20, 2012

This is not happening.

Dashboard gobbledygook from this helpful website.
So I was driving along a remote stretch of highway when my radio blinked this message: OIL CHANGE DUE NEXT SERVICE. And then the oil light came on. And then all these lights seared into my brain. And then I began to have my usual this-vehicle-is-likely-about-to-explode-inner-anxiety-attack.

So like I always do in these situations, I just continued driving.

Before I elaborate further, dear reader, I must say, I don't blame you if you're already pre-judging me but in my defense I will say I've never been one of those typical guys who understands/is fascinated by/falls in love with vehicles (except for the hubcaps, those are cool and remind me of all the matchbox cars I had when I was a kid). I must also inform you that my father was a mechanic and when he discovered my uh, disability aka my complete ineptitude in all matters mechanical, he would just shake his head, shake his head, shake his head and even though I was ten when I discovered how deeply this disappointed him, I still feel that shame hit me in the face like a pail of water every time I'm forced to problem-solve vehicle issues thus the aforementioned inner-anxiety-attack. Plus, if you only knew how many vehicles I wrecked when I was a kid using the just-keep-driving strategy and how many times my father just shook his head, shook his head, shook his head (barely mumbling swear words) then you'd know just how immobilized and irrational a broke-down vehicle situation makes me.

Anyway, now that I've overshared, despite experience teaching me otherwise, I continued with the just-keep-driving strategy while these thoughts bounced around my pea-brain:
  1. This is not happening.
  2. This is not happening.
  3. This is not happening (this was my go-to phrase for vehicle break-downs until I finally started buying vehicles that were manufactured in the current decade and considering I bought this sweet little car just a few months ago this should not be happening).
  4. This is not happening.
  5. I just had the oil changed last week.
  6. Why isn't there smoke coming out of the hood yet?
  7. Did someone forget to put the plug back in the oil pan? But that was a week ago.
  8. This is not happening.
  9. *continues to drive*
  10. Nothing is happening.
  11. Nothing seems to be wrong. DO NOT THINK RATIONALLY.
  12. I'm in the middle of nowhere.
  13. I think there might be bears out in those trees.
  14. And they're laughing at me.
  15. Where are my brothers when I need them? Oh right, they have their own lives, and I'm a grown man.
  16. This is probably not happening.
  17. I should stop and check the oil.
  18. I don't want to.What if the car won't start afterward?
  19. *pulls over near someone's home along the highway* I bet hillbillies live here.
  20. This is just like this.
  21. If I phone my wife will she call me a wiener? *texts wife*
  22. This vehicle is full of oil. WTF?
  23. *waits for the hillbillies to saunter down the road with their pick-axes and dental tools*
  24. *wife texts me that the garage forgot to reset the oil change warning after they changed the oil last week*
  25. *eats everything in my lunch kit as I drive home*


Meg said...

Aren't those warning lights a pain?! Our oil light went off in our new car around 3000 miles, even though the manual says to change the oil every 6000. Then to turn it off, you have to go through 12 steps of turning the ignition to on, off, on, blah, blah, blah. So, does the car really know it needs a change, or is it just programmed to go off every so many miles?

Meg said...

*12 steps to reset the warning light that is.

dbs said...

Pain, yes. We had to do the 12 steps before it would go off.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Nothing scars you like a parent shaking their head, shaking their head, shaking their head. Yes, indeed, it's true.

G said...

in my experience warning lights never relate to anything meaningful...
But I stopped changing my own oil after I once left the cap off and had the black stuff sprayed all over my engine...which then seized (because I ignored the lights & smoke)

Pickleope said...

Completely rational reaction. I see nothing wrong there. There probably WERE bears in the woods laughing their furry rears off.
I do like the idea that your wife would call you a wiener.

Al Penwasser said...

Don't you know the cure to fixing anything mechanically wrong with your car is to pull off to the side of the road, lift the hood, stare intently at your engine while one hand remains on the hood, hope magic "car genies" pop out to help you....
And wait while your wife calls AAA to come put the oil plug back in.

Rubye Jack said...

I particularly like #23. Made me laugh so much I choked. I think it has something to do with where I live in the heart land.

Anonymous said...

I do the same thing. What else am I going to do? It is not like I know anything about cars and I sure as heck am not stopping anywhere where the "Deliverance" theme is echoing in my head. Which is just about everywhere because I'm over dramatic like that.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

Ummm.... I also ignore all those warning lights. I've actually gotten letters from the manufacturer of my minivan that several of those lights malfunction and turn on for no reason due to "broken sensors." So I'm legitimate in my obstinacy.

wendy said...

ha ha ha ha...sorry to laugh, but ha ha ha, that was funny.
Whew, glad it all worked out ok (as I shake my head, and shake my head, and shake my head)
Car troubles are the WORST. I have a HUGE list of car woes over the years.

One time, my car overheated, so I popped the hood. Looked at radiator opening thingy ...warning sign DO NOT OPEN WHEN
I opened it (shaking my head and shaking my head)
and BAM....blew up into my face and arms, threw me right onto the ground.
Burn blisters on my shoulder , scraps on my knee, and minor burns to one side of my face.
I guess they really meant it
That not open when hot thing.

glad the hillbillies didn't get you. Do we have those in Alberta (tee,hee)

Alittlesprite said...

dawww.. you are so cute.. *I know more about cars than you do*.. heheheee

Alittlesprite said...

ps. you can't check oil when the engine is hot.

Paul McCormick said...

You may recall my post about lights on dashboards. Nothing scares me more than the check-engine light. Glad things turned out.

Duffmano said...

I once had the distinct pleasure of breaking down on the Throgs Neck Bridge only to outdo myself the following week by breaking down in the Holland Tunnel.
Sure that a movie staring a weary and overwrought Elizabeth Perkins was being made about the story of my double whammy mechanical failures, I made sure to have an anxiety attack so large that people actually slowed down to help. Completely unheard of in NY

PokerLawyer said...

*big smile*

I'm glad it turned out to be ok. I hope the lunch was delicious!

PtotheB said...

dude - i am so in your tribe.

Michael said...

In the old days, we used to reach behind the dash and take out the warning lights so they wouldn't be a bother anymore.

karensomethingorother said...

my driver's ed teacher TOTALLY HAMMERED us with the what-if-your-oil-light-comes-on scenario. He completely made us all believe the car would blow up soon, so we would have to PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY if it came on. I fear that light.

Antares Cryptos said...

Disgruntled car manufacturers having fun.
Speaking of fun, going on a road trip with you would be hilarious.
"All these lights...". LOL.
Pull over, cool down, call wife.

Vinny C said...

Any mysterious flashing light you can live to tell about is a good one.

Mel said...

Oh the shame of the muttered curse words and head shaking.

Also, 12 step program, jumping off of Meg's comment, is a good idea.

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