When I put the key in the ignition, it made this sort of tttltltltlltltltltltllt sound, and then--nothing.
So I walked Gus to school, and I walked back home and tried again to start the car. Ttttllltltltltlltltllt. Ttttltllttltltltltlltltl. Ttttlltltlltltltlltlt.
I set out walking to work (my office is only a few miles from home), hoping to run into one of my vehicularly equipped friends along the way. Sure enough, not two minutes into my trek, my friend Graham drove up and offered me a ride.
This is the part in the story where I blithely praise the universe for sending me a friend in my hour of need, while blithely ignoring the fact that the universe could have saved itself the trouble and started the fucking car for me in the first place. Tllltltltlltltlttl.
When I got to work, I immediately googled "tlltltltlltlltltlltlt" and "car won't start" and developed a short list of problems it might be.
A) It's a dead battery.
B) It's the alternator.
C) Your friends who buy new cars are smarter and prettier than you.
Larry was convinced it was the battery, so we decided to wait and deal with it on Saturday morning.
And that is when I had my epiphany. I got up at 6:00 for a training run. Snow was falling, the air was crisp. And as I was driving out to Fleet Feet, where my marathon training team meets, I had this moment of clarity. A vision, if you will. Preceded by a flashing light.
More specifically, the flashing light of the minivan's gas gauge.
Which had been on empty all week.
And I was all ... ohhhhhhhhhh.
I texted Larry:
I was right. Larry filled that puppy up with gas, and it was as good as new. Or as good as used, with a dent in the rear and a broken door handle. Which is good enough for me.
But gosh it's fun to be stupid!!
Think of all the pleasant surprises that responsible, intelligent people don't get to enjoy. When they think it's the alternator, it probably is. When they think they need a new battery, they probably do.
What a sad life that would be.