25 September 2008

The Car Blew Up

Well, sort of. We think it's going to be ok, but it sure wasn't fun last night.

Here's the story:
We get home from school to find that the dog had gotten into something and has some strange swelling on the right side of her face. We walk down to the nearest pet place, which advertises a vet, to get her checked out. Of course, the advertisements mention nothing about the vet only being in on Saturday.

So we walk home and head off to another vet, not knowing exactly where it is. Mind you, this is around 5:30 pm, right during the heart of rush hour. Traffic is ridiculous.

So we drive over to where we think the place is, but we don't see it so we continue up the hill (err..mountain) thinking it must be farther. Traffic is insane, we're stuck at stoplights, it is not pleasant.

We get to the top of the hill (probably a mile or so) and decide that the place must be back down at the bottom near the first turn that we weren't sure of taking. Now we have to head back down the hill, but the city has so many one-way streets that this is a major production. We essentially 'go around the block'--a very large block--right in our own neighborhood.

So we're chugging along (which is normal for the car), about 4 blocks from our apartment when we hear this really loud 'pop.' The car dies and I turn the wheel hoping to coast out of traffic. I can't see a damn thing for steam in front of me (which at the time I wasn't sure was steam or smoke) and I tell Jenna, through the laughter, that the car blew up.

This is when the panic hits me. It's no longer funny. The car is dead, and I don't have any idea who to call or what to do. These 2 nice guys on a motorcycle, though, do know what to do. They point out a hose that looks like it's supposed to go from the water reservoir to the engine. But there are at least 6 inches of hose gone. And the street is flooded beneath the car. The guys tell us that our hose is very common and they can fix it. So they hop on their bike and take off, telling us 'Stay here. We'll be back in 30 minutes.' (all of this 'communication' is occurring with our bad Spanish and one of the dudes' little bit of English) Where are we supposed to go? And how? The car is stuck on the side of the road! We can leave it there with the keys in the ignition, wash our hands of it, but we'd still have to pay for it.

So we wait. And sure enough, the guys come back, put the new hose on, fill the reservoir up with water, and we're good to go. The guys were really nice and helpful. We tried to give them money when they left to get the part, but they wouldn't take it; we could pay them when they got back. We paid them $25 for the part and their help. They almost wouldn't take extra money, but we made them.

We never did make it to the vet. We came home, ordered pizza, and went to bed. And Charlie's face is fine today. Go figure.

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