It all started earlier during the week, when I noticed that the Jeep took an extra second or two to start in the mornings. I thought it was just the temperature changes. Then, on my way to class on Thursday morning, I noticed that the Jeep would not accelerate past 10-12 mph, even if I pressed the gas pedal as far down as it would go. Not that I tried that or anything. Then, after tutoring Thursday afternoon, I hopped in the Jeep to return to my apartment. And the Jeep wouldn’t start. It made a slight clicking noise (similar to the sound you hear when your turn signal is on), the lights on the dashboard turned on, my windshield wipers worked and the clock and radio worked. I would also like to note that I turned on the windshield wipers because it was pouring (so badly that the campus later lost wireless service because of flooding). I sat in the Jeep for two hours while Alan called roadside assistance and I explained everything to my mom. I went to Public Safety to ask if they could help me jump start my vehicle. They refused, citing liability as the reason (seriously, I promise I wouldn’t have sued if the Jeep fried). I called and texted as many friends as possible (even a random recruiter whom I’d only ever met once), but people were either working, did not have jumper cables, were not in the area or did not answer their phones. Finally, Alan called and told me that the dealership was going to send a rental and a tow truck after class on Friday, so I decided to walk back to the apartment.
By this time, the rain had caused flooding, and in some areas the water was up to my ankles. My umbrella broke in the wind, my laptop got wet, a small container of lotion opened and spilled in my backpack and my favorite pair of flats was ruined. My roommate’s first words when I walked into the apartment? “You’re really wet!” No way!
Later during the evening, the owner of the Jeep dealership where the Jeep had been purchased called. He told me to try to have someone jump start it, because it was a really long drive to send a mechanic. Seriously? Thanks. So, I told him that I would, not mentioning the fact that I spent an hour trying to call people.
On Friday morning, the owner of the dealership called again to ask if I was able to find anyone to help me jump start the vehicle. I said no, but that I would continue to try to find someone. Fortunately, Alan had made a phone call, and two guys arrived to jump start the Jeep after class. The first was on his cell phone when he arrived, so I barely got a wave hello out of him, and then he didn’t bother asking for my key, but rather made the gesture of turning a key in the ignition. He never showed up with a rental, so I don’t know what would have happened had the Jeep not started. I probably would have cried.
He was able to jump start it (with something which, according to the Internet, is a jump-start pack) in a matter of seconds, told me not to turn it off when I stopped by the apartment to pick up my things and was kind enough to wait for me to get on the road before he left. It was at this point when I noticed that the gas needle was almost in the red. There was a WaWa about a block away, but I didn’t want to turn off the Jeep, so I decided to try for Ft. Indiantown Gap.
About four miles from Ft. Indiantown Gap, my dashboard read “0 miles to empty.” I don’t think I’ve ever prayed quite so hard in my life. Fortunately, I made it to the gas station and added enough to get me home.
Things were going well until I started to enter town (so close!). That’s when the owner of the Jeep dealership called to ask if everything was okay, because they were waiting for me at the dealership (45 minutes from my current location) with a new battery. Wow. Thanks for telling me when we spoke on the phone earlier. I mentioned that Alan had said I was supposed to take the vehicle to the dealership on Monday, but he said that I should come right away. At this point, the needle was almost in the red again, but I was so beyond caring that I hoped the Jeep would run out of gas and I would have to walk home.
Everything was going fine, until I reached town and my gas light came on again. Then several of the roads were closed due to flooding, and it just so happened that my GPS didn’t know how to detour. I called Alan, who fortunately was able to give me directions to the dealership. Unfortunately, the last turn I needed was closed — I could even see the dealership less than 300 yards away. I decided to ignore the warning and took the closed road, anyway.
When I entered the shop, a man asked me how he could help. I began to explain the situation when he said, “Oh, yes, I know. They told me all about this. I figured you’d get here at five of four — you didn’t even make that.”
“I was told I had until 4:30,” I replied.
“I figured they didn’t tell you — the techs leave at 4. Oh well.” So, the man took the receipt I had been given by the guys who jump started the Jeep, and I spent the next half hour or so waiting for a new battery to be installed.
While I was signing the paperwork, the man mentioned, “I don’t know if you’ve checked your sticker lately, but you’re way overdue for an oil change. I highlighted it so you can have that done.” Thanks. Because I can’t read and obviously need the note highlighted.
After that ordeal, I thought everything would be fine. Except for the fact that the GPS couldn’t find the mall (I had been hoping to meet Alan at the recruiting office there, because he was out of town for training), so I used the mountains and my gizzard to navigate and called Alan to verify that I was indeed driving in the right direction — since I’d only ever driven through the town twice in my life.
I arrived at the mall, parked, turned off my almost-dead phone and promptly fell asleep. Unfortunately, between the time I fell asleep and woke up, Alan had arrived, so there was about half an hour during which I was sleeping and could have been with Alan, which further annoyed me. In the end, we met up and went to dinner, and then saw Red Riding Hood.