We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.

A Series of Unfortunate Automotive Events

I'm not back on the highway for two exits, and my car's going be-fuckingzerk. My RPMs are jumping up and then dropping like a stone. First I've got power, then I don't – oh fuck this. I know there's a Pep Boys right along here, so I bail out off the highway, revving my engine to get myself into the parking lot of a little place marked “Ernie's Car Parts”. Since the only thing that's changed in my car in the last two hours is my battery, I'm thinkin' – “Shit. The machine at Wal Mart came up with the wrong one.” So I go in, explain to the guys, and all of a sudden, I've got four guys looking at my car.

They begin questioning me, & wow, how glad am I that I ask the whys & hows whenever my car gets fixed. Yes, my engine is good, nope, the transmission is fine but it's an electrical tranny & I just changed the battery…I was able to show them where my fuses were (you might think they're all in the panel on the drivers' side, but there's actually often a second section near the engine – fun but true) and I was congratulated when they were looking for tools & I brought out my toolbox from the back of the car, although I was told that I needed to get a smaller kit with metric tools, since that's what my car was made with. ::shrug:: good to know.

The thing of it is…in terms of personality -- I realized about ten minutes in that somehow, I'd walked into an episode of American Chopper. I had the gruff older guy whose name I never did learn – we shall call him GrOg – Gruff Older Guy. He was accompanied by his son Chris, who I guess wanted to work on “either airplanes or rollercoasters, I don't know yet”. Okay, Chris, but I think GrOg's gonna kill you before you do that if you don't learn which tool is which from the MASSIVE tool box that you just pulled out of the back of your white Suburban. It seems GrOg & Chris were waiting for a part for Chris' car to be delivered, hence the reason they were just…hanging out at the parts store on a Saturday afternoon, and actually had nothing better to do than try & fix my car. They were joined by Nick, who maybe they met before this…I was never clear on that. Anyway, the three of them quickly gave me a quick lesson in what I didn't know about my car, including how to tell a bad fuse & a couple other things. They borrowed a ohmmeter from the store & no no, I had bought the right battery & installed it correctly, although, they did agree I needed the new terminals, so hey – go me for the preventative maintenance spot.

It would seem that the problem was fuel. My car would start, catch, & just not hold. ::sigh:: fuck Fuel pump! Except….maybe not. Because the click of my fuel pump attempting to build pressure could be heard if I turned the key but didn't actually start the car, which left…the filter.

Now, I had changed up my oil & my filters about six months ago. (yes before I get e-mails, I've changed my oil since then – this is just when I did the filters) I'd felt kind of bad about the fuel filter 'cause the last time I had it changed was after I drove cross country & got corn fuel in Nebraska that slowed me down in Colorado. It'd been about two years, and that's just not good, so one day I swung into one of the many JiffyLube/EZ Lube stations all over LA & spent half an hour there while they took care of that.

Or at least, I'd paid them to take care of that. Turns out – not so much. Yeah, my fuel filter was BLACK. To the point where GrOg remarked, “You know, that actually looks like it might be the original, it's so clogged.” Thanks GrOg – I doubt it, since the car is almost seven years old, but really, that makes me feel way better. Totally. The point being, the filter, which is by usage standards ancient, especially when added in with how much I drive on a normal basis, was so clogged that gas simply couldn't get through at all, & that's why my car wouldn't make with the motion towards home. Home, where I dearly, dearly longed to be.

Mind you, while all of this is going on, Zoey is still in the car, the back of which has everything else that I bought at Wal Mart. Please remember that as we continue.

and continue we did....