I spent a lot of time in the parking lot at the Harley dealership. My son's karate dojo is next door, see. So a couple of times a week I spend forty-five minutes reading behind the wheel of my car while bikes come roaring in or out. Once in a while I photograph them, because they're so attractive all lined up like that.
Tonight my little karate dude got back into the car. I put the key into the ignition, and then things went bad. The car flickered to life and then died again. Silence. No dashboard lights. It was nighttime, and I was due to pick up my other child immediately. In the next town over.
Now, I am deeply embarrassed by my automotive ignorance. I could do your taxes or roast your turkey. I could write you a spreadsheet, iron your tuxedo shirt and identify most of the trees in your yard.
But I can't even change a tire, people. It's that bad.
I went into the Harley dealership, which is a giant showroom. There was one guy sitting behind the desk. "Hi," I said. "I'm a complete idiot." Okay, I'm paraphrasing here. But that's an approximation of the explanation I gave him.
"Sounds like a dead battery," he said. Then he turned around and picked up a jump pack which was sitting, like, eighteen inches from his body. "Which car is yours?"
I pointed. And then I proceeded to fail at finding the lever which opens the hood! He found it in about two seconds after I gave up. (And, honestly, I couldn't see what he did. So I STILL DON'T KNOW.)
He attached the cord thingies to thingies in my car. That took about eight seconds. "Try it now," he said.
The car purred to life at the first touch of the ignition.
"THANK YOU!" I squealed. "Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!"
"No trouble," he said, unclipping the dohickies and beating a fast path back to his desk. "Get that checked out, though. You probably have a dead cell."
I nodded, pretending that I knew what that was. Then I thanked him again and drove away.