Steamed

Ever had “one of those days”? I’m wondering if yours was anything like mine.

Well, my “day” started last night. Patricia and I were on our way home from a great meal at Carrabba’s when we stopped to fill the car with gas. I got out to pump. While standing there, I saw something I wasn’t sure about.

There’s steam coming out of our car.

The car next to us just started up so I didn’t know if it was our car or theirs. I continued pumping. A moment later I looked back up at the front of the car.

There’s steam coming out of our car.

A car had just gone by so I didn’t know if it was our car or theirs. I continued pumping. A moment later I looked back up at the front of the car.

There’s steam coming out of our car.

This time I couldn’t blame it on another car. Patricia got out and said:

There’s steam coming out of our car.

There was also antifreeze “dripping heavily” out from under the hood. This can’t be good. I finished pumping. Someone walked up to us and said:

There’s steam coming out of your car.

My denial is now over. We pop the hood and he says, “Yup, your radiator is busted.” In one way I was relieved that was steam and not smoke…and at a gas station nonetheless! So we got on home hoping it wouldn’t overheat.

This morning I got up at 7 and took the car in to have it checked out. At each red light I’d see the steam again and pray for green (truth be told, I was praying for both the light to be green and that the repair wouldn’t take much green). So I pulled up to the service station and what does the first guy say to me?

There’s steam coming out of your car.

I replied, “That’s why I’m here”. Another guy walks by. Can you guess what he said?

There’s steam coming out of your car.

Though I had spent 6 of the last 10 hours sleeping, I was beginning to get tired of that phrase.

It took them about 75 minutes to determine that the radiator was busted. It’s funny how knowledge does very little until it’s in the minds of those with the hands to do something about it. Until then, the knowledge isn’t that useful.

Patricia comes to pick me up and go back home. Time to cut the grass (one of the joys of living in Orlando…you get to cut the grass year-round). While trimming behind the a/c unit, a black snake comes flying out! Once I returned to the earth I realized it was just a 2 foot black snake no thicker than my pinky. But he looked dead. I must have killed him with my trusty weed whacker. I kept going and when I walked back by…the snake was gone! He wasn’t dead and now he was hiding in the grass again…and mad! I then thought, “Isn’t this how many horror movies start?”

I started cutting the crass with the mower and when I got back to that spot, I saw him. He was so mad he was ready to take on the nose of my lawn mower. I felt pretty safe on the other side so I just checked him out. I lifted the mower to show the blade to him so he’d move away. Instead the joker jumped straight up in the air three times! It was freaky. He moved and I backed away, finishing the section of grass.

The phone rang after lunch and the car was ready. Oh! Did I tell you this was the third time we’d taken that car in this year? We’ve now put about $1400 of work into it. First the door handles broke off (which lead to a fun discussion). Then it was some maintenance. Now a new radiator.

There’s no steam coming out of our car.

But somewhere lurking in the newly fresh cut grass is a snake. Slithering. Probably has a scar above his eye (you know, for dramatic effect). Stalking. Planning. Plotting. Jumping into the air. Waiting for a bare foot to walk by.

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  • The car part reminds me of a day at Clemson a few years ago. I was almost to the parking lot on campus when I realize there was a big trail of white steam behind my car. From my rearview mirror, it looked a lot like when a race car’s engine blows up.

    Once parked, I realized it was gushing antifreeze. Later in the day I limped it over to Tigertown Towing. Aside from the fact that I showed them the leaking tube, they insisted it was an engine gasket, and that I would have to go to another shop to have my engine worked on.

    To make a long story short (too late) I rarely had a good experience with auto shops near Clemson, especially Tigertown Auto who twice misdiagnosed my problems when I was able to tell them at the start what the problem was.

    Fortunately, I’ve never had any snakes try to attack me. Although I think I did catch some garter snakes one day during mating season. They didn’t even notice the lawnmower.

  • I’m really freaked out about the snake. i hate those suckers.

    which Carabbas did you go to? Were you up in my neck of the woods? Did I ever tell you about the time I hit my head on my glass of water at Carabbas? They still remember me.