Yesterday our minivan patiently waited in a shop in West, TX. West is actually in north-central Texas. Go figure. Anyway, the mechanic figured it out and called my wife with the news. It wasn’t bad. Turns out that the tire we had driven over had only caused cosmetic damage to the underside of the vehicle. The real problem was that a radiator hose had blown. If I understand him correctly he was saying that pulling over to check on the damage from the tire strike actually might have saved us having the hose blow off while traveling at high speed on the Interstate. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
After school I headed home and changed. My wife went out to the garage to take my Accord. Her plan was to get some things from the store, pick up dinner, and, when she came home, the two of us and the kids would drive down to West to pick up the other car. Yet again, God had other plans for us. She immediately returned into the house. “Your car won’t start.” Great… What to do?…
I popped the hood and pretended I knew what I was looking at. One thing I did know was that the two battery terminals (the red and the black) had a great deal of corrosion around them. “Crud,” I thought, literally and figuratively. We tried to jump it with Wilma’s car but there was too much gunk around the ports. So we did the only thing we knew how… We called Bubba! Bubba (not his real name but may as well be) is Wilma’s next door neighbor and our resident car guy. He attempted to guide us through the task of figuring things out. After describing all the stuff around the ends of the battery cables to him, he recommended something odd to us. “Go ahead and pour some Coke over them things,” he said in the most glorious Texas accent ever. My wife and I then had a five minute conversation about whether it had to be actual Coca-Cola or if the bottle of Diet Kroger cola would suffice. “No, honey, he sounded pretty specific. I think he wants Coke.” Either way, the acid in the soda did do a good job breaking up the crud but the car still wouldn’t take a jump.
I got out my tools (I sound so manly saying that but it ain’t that glam) and I proceeded to follow cords and examine screws for a moment before making a valiant and, ultimately successful, effort to remove the battery. Wilma and I drove over to the auto place Bubba had told us about. They were going to test the battery for us. On the way across town Wilma, stopped at a light, turned to me and nodded with a knowing stare. “Should we?” I looked back, nodded, and said “Yes.” She took out her phone and dialed. “Bubba, mm hmm, it’s Wilma…” Wouldn’t you know that the man has a heart of gold and within minutes he was sitting in the back of Wilma’s minivan riding over to the shop with us. He personally described the issue to the guys there in a way I never could have. Turns out the battery was actually dead and that we didn’t need new cables (but I wouldn’t have known that). Do you know what he did next? He offered to come back to our house and install it for us! Pretty cool guy. I have to remember to pick up some lotto scratchers and beer for him. Thank goodness he has simple tastes.
Oh, that other thing… We finally got on the road around 8. We made it to West, picked up the car (and some Czech pastries), and drove home in two separate cars. Made it home by 11:30. What a day. What a night. What an adventure!