Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It COULD Have Been A Bad Thing

Last week was Spring Break. Glorious, rejuvenating Spring Break. Even though the weather was cool and a little rainy, delightful Spring Break. Because, you know, Spring Break.

It started with a spider lowering itself from the vicinity of the passenger side visor while my daughter and I were driving home from a volleyball tournament, and while we screamed a lot (A LOT), the spider ended up dead and we didn't, and that was a good thing. 

Tuesday morning, Emma and I (mostly I) loaded the car for our trip to Nashville to stay with my Person, Terri, and her daughter (another good thing). We stopped to fill up with gas and get drinks for the road (not a good thing, as Emma threw back a Mountain Dew Code Red and TALKEDNONSTOP the entire trip). 

Because my car has a teeny little habit of burning oil when it is first started (think exits and entrances by the Wicked Witch of the West), I thought it best to check the oil before we hit the road, since we had just taken a 250 mile round trip for the volleyball tournament. When I opened the hood, however, I immediately noticed the absence of the cap that goes on the thingy the oil goes in. Hmmm. I knew my husband had put oil in the car before our trip to the tournament, so he apparently didn't put the cap back on afterwards ("It was dark when I did it" was his later excuse). The oil level was fine, though, so I shut the hood and we took off, with me figuring I'd pick up a cap when we got to Nashville.

Our trip was uneventful. We sang to the radio. We talked (one of us talking way more than the other one). We arrived in Nashville and Terri and I went out to hear an old friend sing, and that's the last thought I gave to the cap that goes on the oil thingy.  After a couple of days of driving around to my favorite restaurants and shopping and shizz like that (many good things), I finally remembered the cap on Thursday and stopped at O'Reilly Auto Parts Store. Here's how it went down:

Me: You know that thingy where you put the oil?
Counter Guy: Yes.
Me: You know that cap that goes on it?
Counter Guy: Yes
Me: I need one of those. Mine's gone.

The very nice counter guy said he didn't have one in the store, but he could have one there in a couple of hours. 

Me: No problem. I've been driving without it since Friday.
Counter Guy: 
Me: What?
Counter Guy: You've been driving a week like that?!
Me: I drove from Joplin to here. Is that bad?
Counter Guy: 

There was an exchange of wild-eyed looks between my counter guy and the OTHER counter guy.

Other Counter Guy: Uhhh, your engine could be ruined.
Counter Guy: The oil will spray out without the cap.
Me:
Counter Guy: I think I'd better check your oil.

He followed me outside and raised the hood. 

Counter Guy (incredulously): There's no oil sprayed in here.

He checked the oil.

Counter Guy (even more incredulously): Your oil is fine.
Me (smugly smiling): Whadya know?

Shaking his head, he closed the hood and went back inside.

I returned to the store a few hours later. My cap had been delivered; in fact, I didn't even have to walk up to the counter and ask for it. The counter guy remembered me (imagine that), rang it up ($3.80 plus tax) and said he'd put it on for me (which I resented slightly, because it implied that I was too stupid to put it on correctly, although I never told him that I wasn't the one who lost the cap in the first place. Maybe I should drive back and set the record straight?). 

So, what could have been a bad thing ended up a good thing. Or, if not really a GOOD thing, then a not as bad as it could have been thing. 

And you KNOW those two counter guys will be telling everyone about the dingbat who drove over 500 miles without the cap on her oil thingy and the car didn't self destruct.

I'll be a legend.

That's a good thing.

This post was an entry for Mama Kat's Writing Workshop with the prompt:


Talk about a time you got lucky.

28 comments:

  1. LOL! You showed them WTG.... Glad you had a nice Spring break.

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    1. Thanks! I wish I had a picture of the looks on their faces when I said I had driven 500 miles with no cap on the oil thingy!

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  2. OUF! Thank goodness, little sparrow :D I'm glad the trip went well, and ALWAYS glad you got to see your Person :)

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    1. Being with my Person is the BEST. Not ruining my engine runs a pretty close second :)

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  3. Glad you had a good Spring Break, even if you did almost kill your car ;) Sometimes you take a walk on the wild side without even realizing until afterwards (or at least I do!)

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    1. That poor car! If I had known it was dangerous, I would have been a nervous wreck!

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  4. I can attest to the truth of what those counter guys said, except it takes much fewer than 500 miles to ruin the engine. RIP, little Nissan Sentra.

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    1. Aww, poor Nissan Sentra! I love this car! It's a Toyota Avalon, and it appears it loves me, too, since it held its oil where it belonged and didn't spew it anywhere.

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  5. You ARE lucky! And I'm impressed you know any of this stuff. I don't know what half the stuff is when I look under the hood of my car. Who am I kidding? I never look under the hood of my car.

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    1. Obviously, you don't subscribe to the drive-it-until-it-lays-down-and-dies method of car ownership. You learn to figure out where the oil thingy is. I had an old Nova in college that had belonged to my dad that had something wrong with the starter. If the starter didn't, I would open the trunk, get out a ginormous wrench that my dad left there, raise the hood, and give the starter a good whack. Worked every time.

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  6. Glad to hear you had a nice trip to Nashville - isn't it great to hang and visit your person - too funny about your daughter - James and Amelia are the same - the cover to the oily thing - I guess you did get lucky, Glad to hear it all worked out, of course you a legend

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    1. It was a great trip! I wish I had taken more pictures. Those guys will be talking about me for YEARS.

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  7. The first thing I thought of was my blackened oil slicked windshield after driving about a mile without the oil cap that I forgot to put back on....you were lucky! Good for you!!!! Nice!!!!

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    1. The car dealer that changed my oil one time didn't get the oil filter on correctly and I left an oily film on every car (and hitchhiker) from Nashville back to SW Missouri. Arrived at my parents house (I was in my 20s) with NO oil. Didn't damage the car. The hitchhiker, I can assure you, was not happy about his oil shower.

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  8. Or they will speak of the legendary woman in the Superhero car.
    :)

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    1. They're STILL shaking their heads in disbelief.

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  9. You are lucky! And, yes... you will go down in history for that one!

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  10. And the spider is dead.
    I mean this is just an all around win.
    LMAO....
    True story - one spider crawled across my dashboard and I panicked and drove to a gas station. Jumped out and the man was all "Regular or --" "Just kill the f*cking spider dude!" and he did. And I didn't need and gas.
    I'm also a legend there.

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    1. Better the spider than us!
      Not everyone can say they are a legend. Glad I'm in good company!

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  11. I'm so glad that driving around without the cap to your oil thingy didn't do any damage, lol! (that is SO what I would call it too!) Just think, you gave those guys something new to talk about. Talk about a good deed ;)

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    1. Ohhhh, me, too! Happy to give them something to tell customers when they come in that didn't involve me having to buy a new car just to get home!

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  12. Glad you stayed safe! Stopping by from Mama Kat's!

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  13. I had no idea oil caps were so necessary! I'm glad your car was okay...I'll tuck that little nugget of knowledge away in my brain now!

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    1. Me, either! I thought it was just there to keep stuff like dead leaves (and spiders) from falling in. I didn't know it was meant to keep the oil inside! Who knew?!

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  14. Goodness! You were lucky! I drove my mom's 22 year old Jeep Cherokee across the country - home to MS from Reno, NV. The engine oil cap had a faulty seal, and by the time I pulled into a small town in Nebraska, I had managed to lose almost 5 quarts of oil. Thank goodness something told me I should think about checking the oil. That could have been ugly.

    Sounds like you had a great time!

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    1. I did that with a Honda CRX back in about '87. Same drive, only in reverse, from Nashville to SW Mo. The oil filter wasn't installed correctly after an oil change. I had no idea what was wrong, but my car kept over heating, and I would have to stop every hour or so to let it cool off. Found a pay phone and called my dad to tell him I was having problems. The next morning, after I finally got home, he checked the oil and found NONE.

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