Still Learning, after all these years

It’s just amazing how many new things still exist for me to learn. Like, for instance, if I accidentally punch the button to turn on the map-reading light in my car while I’m punching buttons to close the little air vents in the back, and then let the car sit for two or three days, the battery will be dead as a doornail when I go out to start it again. I learned that little factoid just last night, or at least I realized last night that my car wasn’t going anywhere until something drastic was done. It was so dead it didn’t even click when I turned the key. Since it was late Sunday when I discovered this, with me all dressed up to go out to meet friends, there wasn’t much I could do except call the friends with my regrets, get undressed, and wait until automotive repair places opened today.

Triple-A is so great. It may be the most bang-for-the-buck thing that exists. Friendly woman took my address, and thirty minutes later a huge tow-truck lumbered down my street. I had already called my trusty auto mechanics, so I only had to greet the tow-truck driver and hand him off my car keys. But while I expected him to load my car on his truck, all he had to do was open the hood, see that the battery was almost brand new, and attach a charger to it. Then with everything running, he quickly located the guilty little map-reading light and turned it off. He was kind. He said it could have happened to anybody. That those dome lights don’t go off when you turn off the engine, so I wouldn’t have noticed an extra one was on the last time turned off the car.

He left my car running, told me to turn it off in an hour when the battery had had plenty of time to charge, and drove his big truck away. When I called my auto mechanics to tell them my car wouldn’t be coming to them after all, they congratulated me as if my running battery was a personal accomplishment. It’s funny how little things like that can make your day. Here I’d been expecting a frustrating experience getting my car repaired, and instead I got friendly, helpful people and an easily-fixed problem. Plus I learned to watch which buttons I punch.

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