This morning it was flat dead again. Siamang came over in the afternoon to jump me so I could get it somewhere to have a new battery installed. The entire crawl through rush hour was an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, if you'd call driving with the radio and lights off (yes, I'm one of those people who turns the headlights on around 3pmish, bite me.) with please don't stall please don't stall running through your head like a mantra a thrill ride. (The stuff of rollercoasters!!)
Sears automotive told me it would be about an hour and a half due to a couple of others awaiting batteries already. I was feet away from a mall, but really not in that mood, so I called my mom to see if she could grab me for the wait. No such luck, her car happened to be recieving service tonight as well. Ok, I may be totally out of it and I may be a physical wreck, but if anyone I know is skilled at meandering aimlessly alone in a mall, it's me. It's like I put points in Aimless Meandering. (Har.) Ingestion of a coladic beverage and a sale at Waldenbooks seemed to help imensely. I picked up the Shadowdale/Tantras/Waterdeep trilogy and put it back down three times before I said FUCKIT and bought them, a wee stuffed Peter Rabbit, and another Pratchet book. I wasn't going to buy them, but every once in a while I remember that I've bought about 8 times as many gaming books as I own, always relenting them to others under the ideal that "I can always buy them again later.." Well fuckit it's later and I bought them. Somehow this segued into a Bath and Body Works binge, which is pretty unusual. B&BW is the kind of place I windowshop for great lengths but always decide I don't really need anything, and leave empty-handed. I can't even remember the last time I bought anything there that wasn't on clearance. Well, fuck that noise, right? Not exactly. It was actually the Burt's Bees that did me in. The front of the store was decked out in Bee-stuffs which softened my attitude towards the store overall, resulting in many fortuitous grabs.
After deciding I never need to buy jeans anywhere besides Express ever again, I noticed the time of car delivery was drawing nigh. Killed a wee bit more time, edging ever-closer to the Sears, and arrived just in time only to discover not only was my car not done yet, but none of the cars ahead of me were done yet either, because "We don't have anyone doing batteries right now". As I stood around watching the cashiers wonder aloud to each other how to solve this dilema with the least shouting possible (not that I was remotely shouty, but as I'd entered they had just gotten done being shouted into the floor by someone else), one of them suddenly seemed to "realize" he was certified to do batteries and the chicka who seemed in charge said he should do mine first, since I was there. (Not shouting probably helped..)
So whee, the battery got installed in 30 minutes or less and I drove home on a cloud of happy-driving-carness! Not exactly. Checking the car took forever. The guy who was working on it, who I will refer to from this point on as Fat Man in Little Coat (Not because he was fat, because he wasn't. Not because he wore a little coat, because he didn't. But to anyone who's ever seen Chris Farley doing FMiLC, he embodied the spirit of it precisely. Or, as precisely as you can embody it without being fat or.. you get the point.), was a bumbling fucking fool. If anything, he filled me with the feeling that I could not only do his job, but do it entirely without training, because he sure seemed to be. He wandered back and forth a lot. He sweated a lot. He asked me questions like "What make and model is this car?" while we were both standing in front of it, and he was holding the work order. He asked me how many cylinders it had while his face was under the hood. And he took no less than 2 full hours to install the battery. But that's not all. About halfway through the checking procedure, he said he suspected it might be the alternator. Before all this thinking it was the battery, I had already figured that if it was something expensivey (like.. more than $200), I wouldn't bother getting it fixed due to the sad fact that this car is dying not unlike a leper. Parts falling here and there, scabs everywhere. And only a few more months until inspection runs out, when it will be irrevokably dead. Another car isn't too far away in my future, so why waste a couple hundred I could just spend on the new one. But what was I saying? Oh yes. FMiLC suspected the alternator, but needed to test more. I stood around with my fingers crossed and hope in my heart. At last, he took the battery out and went in the back for a new one. I sidled closer and asked, "So it isn't the alternator after all?" Silly assumption, that. He told me he wouldn't know until he got the new one in to test it again. So more working, more sweating, more pacing, and more staring. At the end of it all he says it's definitely the alternator, but my battery was bad too. Sure thing, fucko. Now there's a new battery not just for testing but installed so I've paid for a spanky new battery and it's not fixed at all. We set up a play date for tomorrow, for the alternator. As I'm going to leave, I notice the battery light's on, despite a fully charged battery being in place, and in theory, nothing else changed from the way things were before. He insists it must have been on before. I say no, it wasn't. But I have been waiting for 4 hours at this point, and just want to escape FMiLCs dungeon and pass out on my
At last I'm home, luckily parked across from the garage again (because fuck-all if I'm going back to Sears to have some shmoo fuck my car up some more.), and I bring my things inside. Bags from the mall, soda, and the battery charger Fat Man in Little Coat forgot in my back seat.