Sharyn’s Adventures in Automotive Maintainance

The Festy of Doom in it's younger days

The Festy of Doom in it's younger days

Some time ago, my car needed oil. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d had it serviced, but it took the whole 4 liters of oil, so it must have been a while. A few months later, I decided that I should do the oil again. So in went the four liters and I mistakenly assumed that would be the end of that.

On my way to work the next day, I was stopped at traffic lights and I noticed that some inconsiderate jerk had a car with a bad exhaust system. There was heaps of smoke and a really horrible smell. I couldn’t believe that someone could let their car get that bad and gave myself a mental pat on the back for being so wonderful at maintaining my car.

At last the lights changed and I took off, prepared to get well ahead of the awful smell. Unfortunately, as soon as I took off, I couldn’t see a thing for the thick dark smoke. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed that the smoke was all behind me as well. Or, to be totally honest, there was nothing visible anywhere except for the clouds of smoke coming from MY CAR! As I shrivelled in embarassment, I spotted a service station across the road. Pulling in, I noticed that the smoking hadn’t stopped with the car, there were still clouds of toxic fumes spewing from underneath the bonnet.

Now this was all happening at about 6am, which is pretty much the start of peak hour here, so there was a whole heap of people around to witness my shame. Unfortunately, none of them were the helpful kind, so I decided to call the local Automobile Association thinking they’d help me just because they’re nice.

I had to wait about half an hour until someone arrived at work so they could look up the phone number for me. That done, I called, expecting to have to pay a small fee as I wasn’t a member. Well, let me tell you, when you’re over a barrel, you get to pay big time, they made me join at an outrageous price.

Now joining wasn’t a quick and easy process, it took about 20 mins – all done using my mobile phone! Then, once that was done, they transferred me to the Road Service department, where I was placed on hold for a good 10 mins before being told it would take about 30-60 mins for someone to help.

Eventually, the repair man came. He laughed. He made rude comments about my automotive maintainance skills. Then rather more helpfully, he called a tow truck. Yep, I’d done a good job of this…

There was oil everywhere under the bonnet. It was in the air filter thing, it was on the engine, it was dripping all over the ground. Which of course, made the repair guy go inform the service station guy. He comes over to my car with a huge bin labeled TOXIC SPILL KIT. Wow!! I’m thinking that I might just make the news at this point. Fortunately, all he wanted to do was sprinkle kitty litter to soak up the oil slick surrounding my poor little car.

The tow truck arrived shortly after. The driver jumped out, looked me up and down, and exclaimed: “You don’t look blonde!” Then he proceeded to take me & the car to a mechanic, all the while making jokes about my little misadventure. To cut a long story short I left the car with the mechanic & the towie, seeming to feel they were embarking on a career as comedians. Face flaming, I promised to come back that afternoon, and I caught the train to work.

You’d think at this point, things couldn’t get worse wouldn’t you? Well, walking from the station to work, I went to cross a very busy four lane road in the city, (well, actually it was where the local red light district ends and the city starts) and my elastic waisted skirt caught on a bit of wire. As I was pretty much running due to being nearly two hours late to work – the skirt almost stayed at the lights while I crossed. Fortunately, it tore instead and I made it to work with almost a tiny bit of dignity left.

When I went to pick the car up, the mechanic was really nice, explained what he’d done and that there would still be an oil smell for a little while, and then left my car outside the workshop while I went to pay. Getting back into the car after paying, I could hear that lovely, sweet mechanic telling others about “this dumb chick who put an extra 4 liters of oil in her car!.” Ooohh the shame, the shame…

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