The Hellhole

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday morning, Fate woke up bright and early, feeling perky. Sipping her chai latte, she checked her "to-do" list.

"Ah-HA!" exclaimed Fate. "I see that Helly has arranged to take Monday and Tuesday off of work! That sly minx must be trying to take another mini-break! You'd think she'd have learned her lesson...this year, every single time she's tried to take a mini-break, I've arranged for something to break, die or otherwise require expensive repairs."

"Well, not every time," observed Fate's cat, Mister Dinkums. [I am certain that Fate is female - she's quite the bitch, you know - and further, that she is the sort who would have a cat named Mister Dinkums.] "There was that one time back in April that she escaped to Las Vegas while your back was turned."

"I paid her back for that one, though!" chortled Fate. "Remember that $5,000.00 repair bill I had waiting for her when she returned?!? That was fun. Anyway, I see that she's been checking various resort prices and availability, but hasn't made reservations. That must mean she's waiting to discuss options with Alan. I still have time!"

"Where will you strike this time?" asked Mister Dinkums.

"Hmmm...that's an interesting question," replied Fate. "That sassy redhead seeks to outsmart me! So far today she has refrained from using any electronics, doing any laundry or household chores, touching any of the computers, or leaving the house. I see what she's trying to do: she thinks that if she doesn't use anything, nothing will have an opportunity to break and she can go on her silly little vacation. All she's doing is reading a paperback book - there's not much I can do to a $7 paperback, and if I destroy her reading lamp, she won't care. She only paid $125 for the pair on clearance and they have no sentimental value. Hey, I know! Where's her husband?"

"Alan?" said Mister Dinkums. "Alan is fifty miles away at Kennesaw State, taking his class in advanced technical writing. He doesn't have his Macbook there, though - just a pad and pen. Still, it's a blue ink pen - we could ruin his shirt! Let's ruin his shirt!"

"No, no - too easy." Fate demurred. "He probably won't even care; he has seven more shirts exactly like that one - same colour and everything. Let's wait until he gets home, and Helly has talked to him about their options for a mini-break, and they're all excited about getting some R&R! Then we'll strike!"

Alan got home from class safely, and I showed him the results of my research. We tabled the discussion of our destination in order to make a run to Sam's Club for various supplies and to grab some dinner while we were out. His car, which had run just fine with zero problems and no cause for alarm, refused to crank, budge, turn over or move an inch when we tried to leave for errands. Fate got me! That bitch!

We've hooked up my battery charger to see if that helps, but I don't think it's the battery. Normally, my experience as Assistant Shade-Tree Mechanic in my dad's shop would lead me to think the alternator or the starter is a more likely culprit, but neither of those are expensive enough to actually be the problem - we're talking about ME, after all.

On a brighter, happier note, however, this means that I have a WINNAH!!! of the Official Hellhole Dead Pool Contest! Kevin P. of Austin, Texas correctly guessed that the next disaster to befall The Hellhole would be Alan's car! Normally at this point I'd announce Kevin's prize, but I'm waiting on some suggestions from his wife, Lisa. I'll update later and let you know what Kev won, but in the meantime, just know that he is THE WINNAH!!!


  • Oh boo, I wanted to win! Not that I necessarily wanted tragedies to befall your electronics . . .

    Perhaps Fate is in a good mood and it won't cost a bundle. One can hope.

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 1:16 PM  

  • I wish you HAD won, girlfriend! No offense to Kev, but a cellphone would be much cheaper and easier replaced. The tow truck just left with the little blue Saturn. I was sad. I love the little blue Saturn.

    I mean, I'd love it more if it was the little blue Porsche, but I do love the little blue Saturn.

    By Blogger Helly, at 2:00 PM  

  • I demand a recount!!!

    Go check the bulb in the basement!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:18 PM  

  • Alas, dear Will, we do not even have a basement. :-)

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:53 PM  

  • According to Saturn, the verdict is: The battery!!! Which I find hard to believe, having had many batteries go out in various cars, and this acted nothing like a dead battery. Even the multimeter showed it as 12V, and all the accessories worked with no degradation. But, they are the mechanics, and I'm not.

    Oh, and for the record, I have nine shirts in the same grey color, not seven. That is how I roll...

    By Blogger Alan, at 4:47 PM  

  • Hey guys, Kevin here -- I feel so victorious! But sorry to hear about the car prob. As possible explanations as to why the battery could simultaneously crap out/act normal, I submit :
    1.) It's that time of year, southern heat is a killa
    2.) Batteries can pass the voltmeter test, and yet fail under a load:
    3.) Was it the original battery? Manufacturers seem to have perfected a battery lifespan of roughly five years before they shuffle off this mortal coil.
    p.s- we have an old Rover with a bad voltage regulator - it can get as high as 16 volts, very exciting, but you have to love the Brit electrics :)

    By Blogger L&K, at 3:35 PM  

  • I don't think it was the original battery - probably the first replacement? But he did say it was 4 or 5 years old, so your theory makes sense. Congratulations!!!

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:12 PM  

  • Dang, Helly - I hope fate is setting you up to win the lottery or something & trying to even things out w/some rotten luck first. What a bitch.


    By Blogger Topcat, at 7:54 AM  

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