Oh, For Crying Out Loud

Madre was here for a Mother’s Day celebration which involved attending the Sounds game to consume hot chicken. Not to watch baseball, mind you, but to eat some hot chicken.

An aside. When Woney and I were returning from Ireland via the Dublin airport, we met some strangers from Minnesota who were perusing an Irish-published travel magazine and found an article on Nashville’s latest phenomenon, hot chicken.  When they discovered that I hailed from Nashville, they invited themselves to my house so that they could try hot chicken for themselves. I had no idea what they were talking about. That’s just like me to go halfway across the world to discover what my city is known for.  Anyway, hot chicken is just chicken coated in a batter than contains hot sauce and fried in oil, either pepper or regular.  Some places will drizzle more hot sauce-type stuff over it and some will not.  All of it should come with a pickle.  I imagine that hot chicken, complete with pickle, has been a menu staple in numerous soul food-type kitchens in numerous cities for numerous decades yet some genius in Nashville coined the phrase, and waalah! We are famous.

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From The Row, because I don’t have a picture from The Sounds

Also an aside, Madre prefers the Sounds’ version of hot chicken over say, The Row or Party Fowl, and I prefer the tight bums of baseball players over, say, the less tight bums of men at McDonald’s, so the Sounds game it was!

Once Madre and I commenced celebrating we hauled all our stuff into her truck so that we didn’t miss a minute together of our party, and only after we got done did I haul all my stuff back into my own car. When we finally parted ways we hollered all of our “I love yous” and “arrivedercis” back and forth through our respective windows and then I drove off into the sunset.  The point I’m trying to make here is that I didn’t spend much time in my car and when I did, I used a lot of that time to yell out the window to Madre.  The other point I’d like to make is that all that yelling didn’t let me fully hear what was going on with my engine when I tried to start it so later, on Tuesday, when my car croaked at the Greenway it was a total surprise.  Daisy and I had been walking and since we don’t often holler “I love you” or “arrivederci” out our respective windows as we leave the Greenway, when my motor went rowh-rowh-rowhhhhh, tick-tick-tick, I noticed.  And then when it made this sound –> *crickets*, I really noticed.  Frick.

“Do you want to try to jump start it?” Daisy asked.

I knew it was the alternator because I was due for a new alternator as it’s been almost a whole year since my last one croaked. “No,” I replied. “I’ll have it towed over to Austin’s (plug for 5th Gear Automotive) and get him to replace the filth flarn alternator. Again.”

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“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Totally sure. I know this sound.  I have, against my strident and strong will, become a mechanic you know.  This is just going to require some planning.  Frick.”

Daisy drove me to dinner and then home and then I made all my ride/tow plans with Pee-Tah and Katniss and Austin (another plug for 5th Gear Automotive) and a tow truck driver named Brad.

When I called Pee-Tah, he queried, “Do you want to try to jump it, just in case? I can meet you over there.”

“No, it’s the alternator,” I sighed. “All that money that I saved for my cookie doctor cell burning procedure is going to be spent on my new used alternator and I’m annoyed. Plus I took off my bra and I’m in pajamas.  So, no, thanks.”

The next afternoon when I met tow truck driver Brad at my car on the Greenway, he backed his big flatbed up to me and said, “Have you tried to jump it?”

“Nope,” I replied. “I have it scheduled for an alternator replacement tomorrow morning.  That’s what is wrong with it.”

“Okay,” he said, and then hooked up my battery to his jumper machine and my engine started right up.

“Alternator’s fine,” he hollered over the engine. “Runs great!  You still want a tow?”

Well, shit.

As it turns out, I am not yet certified as a mechanic and as it turns out I only needed a new battery. Still pisses me off, though, because that battery was only two years old. Things just don’t work like they used to anymore.  Also, as it turns out my favorite people over at Advanced Auto Parts (not a plug for Advanced Auto Parts) went way up on their battery prices and no longer rush out to your vehicle to replace said batteries. (Currently reevaluating my system for determining favorite people.)

“There’s going to be a thirty minute wait,” the clerk said. “There’re only two of us here right now and we can’t leave the store like this.”

“Tis fine,” I said. “I already waited two hours for Brad the tow truck driver so what’s another thirty minutes?  I’m just going to drape myself on your curb out here until someone can help me because despite the numerous times I’ve had this battery replaced, I still don’t know how to do it myself.” Mechanic, my arse.

I draped myself and watched people for about three minutes until a customer who had been in the store walked out and offered to change my battery for me (plug coming! This is called foreshadowing!).  “It won’t take but a few minutes,” he said.  “I’d be happy to do it,” he said.

*Dun, dun, dunnn (foreshadowing music)* Y’all, I would like to introduce you to Brandon, my new favorite person. Ta da!  

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It didn’t take me a moment’s hesitation to yelp my yes to Brandon’s offer of help and he responded in kind. He was already waiting at my car with his tools at the ready before I made it outside with my big ass battery.  It took him approximately seven minutes to change that thing out and in that time he reassured me that I really do have a good car.  He explained why that big bolt is in front of the battery and why I need to make sure it’s tightened.  He also explained that he has a mobile auto repair business (FORESHADOWING COMPLETE: Plug for Brandon’s auto repair business!) and I squealed over the good fortune of me and all my non-mechanic friends who now have the number of a great guy who will rescue us when needed (and, I feel like I should say, when he is available).  Then he carried my grungy old battery into the store for me so I wouldn’t get dirty.  Sigh.  It was just so great.

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I meet the best people, don’t I? Don’t know shit from shinola about cars, nor can I successfully change a battery by myself, but I sure do have the nicest people in my life.  I’m so lucky.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Felix
    May 19, 2016 @ 10:09:48

    My dearest, Jimmie. You have male friends that know how to change a battery. all you had to do was dial my number. I would have come to rescue you, and change your battery.

    Reply

    • Love, Jimmie
      May 19, 2016 @ 11:57:04

      Oh, I know! It was during the workday and Advanced was supposed to do it because I paid them an arm and a leg for that stupid battery. But I know I can always count on you. 🙂 You are one of the best people on my list!

      Reply

  2. Felix
    May 19, 2016 @ 12:30:43

    AWE. THANK YOU. I mean, after all, you and Madre rescued me that day I was on my way to move that stuff for you and hit that curb and blew out my truck tire.

    Reply

  3. Lesley Peacock
    May 19, 2016 @ 15:20:44

    That is a fine bit of marketing outreach, Brandon. Hang around near an Advanced Auto Parts, offer your services for free, drop a card and hope for repeat business. Genius.

    Reply

  4. craftycritter
    May 19, 2016 @ 17:54:08

    Did anyone actually check the voltage output of the alternator? When the alternator starts having issues, power is then pulled from the battery which then causes the battery to die. I found all this out the same way you found out you need a new battery.

    And FYI, the auto stores can usually check the voltage for free.

    Reply

  5. Anne
    May 20, 2016 @ 09:53:47

    You are such a good story teller! I believe almost everything you write. XO

    Reply

  6. Martie
    May 20, 2016 @ 22:03:34

    I think Coach was the first to ask if it was the battery….pretty sure…

    Reply

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