Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Truck

I got in my car this morning to go to work. When I turned the key in the ignition, instead of the nice low throaty growl of the V8, I got "click, click, click, click, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" and all the lights flashing on the dashboard. I called my husband at work & described the sound to him & he thought it might be the starter, but of course he wouldn't be able to tell until he looked at it.

I live an hour away from where I work, so calling a coworker to come get me wasn't an option, and my husband works an hour away in the opposite direction, so there was no point in his coming home either. So that left the motorcycle and the truck as transportation for my daily commute.

The motorcycle really wasn't a viable solution because 1) it was raining, and 2) I haven't ridden enough recently to be comfortable riding it to work through all the traffic I encounter. So that left the truck.

When I say truck, I mean TRUCK. The Truck is a full-sized Chevy 3500 long-bed with dual rear axles. It's also getting a little crappy, but it sits parked most of the time and we mainly use it to haul stuff, so it's sufficient for its purposes. The battery tends to drain if you leave it sitting for a while, but my husband, handy man that he is, has installed a knife switch so it's easy to disconnect the battery.

I don't mind driving The Truck at all, even though I have to drive with a pillow behind my back because the back of the bench seat won't adjust straight up enough for me to see over the steering wheel, and even though the AC doesn't work and it was 80 today so I had to drive with the windows half open. Driving large vehicles doesn't bother me. A few years ago my daily driver was a Ford Expedition, and when we used to off-road a lot, I drove the Ford F350 dually quad-cab we had at the time towing a 32 foot gooseneck trailer, with 2 lifted Jeeps on it, through Washington, D.C. traffic. The key to driving large vehicles is learning to use your side view mirrors A LOT and remembering you're driving a large vehicle when making turns, changing lanes and stopping. No, I don't mind driving The Truck at all, but parking The Truck at my office today was a royal pain in my ass.

I have an assigned parking space in an underground parking deck. The Truck would fit into the deck, but it wouldn't fit into my parking space because it's too long, and it's a dually. There is some on street parking by permit, so when I got to work I went and got a permit to park on the street for the day. Except there was no where to park that would accommodate The Truck. There was half a block of empty street right in front of my building, but that's reserved for certain personages, of which I am definitely not one, even though none of them were actually there. There was another empty half a block on one side of another street, so I parked there, got all my stuff out, disconnected the battery, (because the last thing I needed was to come out at the end of the day and find The Truck wouldn't start) and was walking toward my office building when one of the parking guys came out to tell me I couldn't park on THAT side of that street. I threw my stuff back in The Truck, reconnected the battery, and began the search for somewhere to park The Truck. A few trips around the block yielded nothing, but finally, after 20 minutes or so the gods smiled and someone who either had a large vehicle, or was one of those people who feels the need to leave 5 feet between the cars front and back, must have left while I was circling, and I found a space. I should have known better than to leave at lunchtime, but I did, and repeated the circling process when I returned, and finally located enough room to once again park The Truck.

All in all, not a big deal and really just a minor inconvenience in my day, but I got home tonight and my husband told me my car just had a dead battery, and I felt a little stupid for not realizing that it was something I could have taken care of this morning.


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