Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Only in the south.

As we were leaving the house to go to the YMCA for a repeat of yesterday's awesome discovery that the pool is way more fun if the water slide gets involved, Bill noticed a fresh puddle of liquid under his car.

"Fuck," he said under his breath. I could tell he was immediately consumed by thoughts of expensive repair bills and carpooling to work. He looked over at my car and saw a second puddle, much fainter but in the same general size and shape, underneath. "Son-of-a...Is that where I parked yesterday?"

I didn't answer him and avoided looking up as I buckled Liam into his car seat. It felt like that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphy is helping The Dad change a tire on the side of the road and something terrible happens and Ralphy says the F word and all hell breaks loose. I don't know who I felt like, Ralphy or The Dad. And, actually, that scene totally doesn't make sense at all for the situation. But that's what it felt like. Bad.

(Maybe it's like this for everyone who doesn't know a thing about cars but owns one anyway?)

I quietly got into the front seat and watched Bill in the rear view mirror. He knelt down to run a finger along the wet pavement then rubbed his pointer finger and thumb together before taking a nice long whiff. He got into the car and wiped his fingers on a tissue.

"I don't know what that is. It doesn't smell like anything but it's sticky," he said.

"Oh yeah? Huh." What was I supposed to say? I almost went with, Maybe it's just water? because that seemed harmless enough but then I thought, What if a water leak is like a really bad thing for a car to have? So I didn't say anything at all. I just sang along with Miss Courtney Jaye in the car and went down the water slide as many times as I could before the pool closed.

Once we got home I busied myself making dinner while Bill went outside to see if he could figure out what was wrong with his car. (I call it a car but it's really a Dodge Durango. Does that matter? If it was a truck I'd say truck but calling it SUV just seems weird. See? That is how little I know about cars.)

Bill used to be in the same boat as me when it came to fixing things. We were like the blind leading the blind (if the blinds solution to a tricky DIY situation was to ignore it and watch TV). But somewhere along the line (I believe it was Fall of 2002), he totally stepped up to the plate. The first thing he fixed was the garbage disposal in our old house. He just hopped online, found a few differnt tutorials and figured it out. I was beyond impressed (from my warm spot in front of the TV, of course). Since then, with more than a little help from our awesome friends, he's fixed lots of things. Including cars.

But still. A puddle that big couldn't be good. And it had been leaking for two days. Driving all the way to and from work with that much liquid not in the car would only have made things worse. And the timing sucked. If ever we had a pile of money set aside just in case something needed to be fixed, that pile was no where to be found.

A few moments later Bill came into the kitchen and said, "Well. Good news, bad news." I turned around to face him and noticed he was holding several gallon sized jugs half full of brownish liquid. Oh no.

"Is that oil?" I asked not knowing whether that would be a good or bad thing.

"Nope. Not oil! The good news is nothing is leaking from the engine or from under the car. The bad news is I left these jugs of sweet tea in my back seat and they exploded."

"Sweet tea?"

"Yeah! So much sweet tea that it soaked through the floor. You should see how sticky everything is!"

"Ugh, gross. But, I guess thats better than a real leak."

"Yeah. Imagine if I had taken it in to the shop." Then in his best Egyptian accent: "Sir. Dee problem eez...sweet tea."

Only in the south.


Sara said...

That sweet tea will get ya every time! :-) I am glad nothing was wrong with the car - this is definitely a FUNNY story to be told quite a few times over.

Sandra Winfrey said...

HILARIOUS!!! Glad it wasn't the engine, however I would suggest you invest in a deep cleaning of the car (aka SUV)!

Katie said...

I still don't understand why the tea was in his car...was he transporting it somewhere???

Linnet said...

too funny! I'm glad the car's OK! I'm equally clueless about those crazy things with wheels :)

Amber said...

Do you know any comedians? This is classic material.

Anonymous said...

In Reno things freeze in the car, say like in January,and the snow is three feet high and the temp is around 20. What could happen in Knoxville, unless that tea was trying to be "Jack Daniels sweet tea brew".