Day: January 25, 2022

If You Give The Human Female a Car…, Part I

I have had SO much fun today. And the mischief’s not over yet!

I got the idea last week when Sigyn showed me the children’s book called “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” In that short, highly improbable tale, the feeding of said rodent initiates a long chain of increasingly preposterous situations. How, I asked myself, could I assure that something similar happened to the human female? Not, of course, that I wanted anything to do with an actual mouse. But it didn’t take long for me to figure what I could use.

Automobiles are such chancy things. Rife, I say rife, with possibility! The human female’s vehicle is some fourteen years old–nearly as decrepit and she and twice as gray as she–and I have had fun with it before. (I especially like that half of it is usually gross and sticky, since it’s parked under a hackberry tree which I yearly fill with aphids…)

So, first I showed the human female a video in which a gullible young man appears to “prove” that one can open a locked car merely by pulling on the door handles. Since the human female is equally gullible, she actually went and tried it—and Thor’s Bitty Ball-peen!— she didn’t even have to yank on the fourth door’s handle. The third door opened on the first pull! She told her mother and sister, who were rightfully skeptical, but she insisted that it was a super magic trick!

That was entertaining for a day or two, until I launched phase two. Now not only would that door unlock at a touch, it wouldn’t stay locked at all.

And then the key fob remote stopped locking the entire car. Unlock, yes. Lock, no. Not with the remote, and not by hand. Push the lock button down…slowly it pops up. Down. Up. Down. Up.

And then the “driver’s door ajar” symbol started showing up on the dash. And the “you’ve left your keys in the ignition” buzzer started sounding whenever the keys were in but the car wasn’t running, as if the driver’s door were open.

Clearly, she could not leave an unlocked car sitting out, so her clunker went in the garage and the human male’s was relegated to the driveway.

If you give the human female a car problem, she’s going to want to take it to the shop. At my urging, the human female got up early the next day to take her misbehaving auto to be repaired. Unfortunately, getting her vehicle out of the garage between the other car in the driveway and the fence and shrubs bordering the driveway proved to be a bit too complex for her. I sat in the passenger seat, helpfully poking her shoulder and telling her which way to turn the wheel. It’s not my fault she has poor spatial perception, so I felt no guilt at all when she rubbed the pretty blue car with her ugly silver one and left a very noticeable, if shallow, scrape.

What a clumsy moron.

If you take the car to the shop and ask them to fix things, the techs are going to want to check it over thoroughly. The helpful techs at the shop diagnosed a faulty key fob battery right away. But since that wouldn’t explain the unlockable door and the “door ajar” issue, they delved a little deeper.

If the techs check the car over thoroughly, they will also find things wrong with it. While they were looking things over, they discovered that that the vehicle was in need of new power steering fluid. They also pointed out that three of the four tires were afflicted with dry rot, a not uncommon occurrence when a car sits out in the hot Texas sun all the time.

The techs did also diagnose the cause of all the door lock and open door problems–faulty contact between the driver’s door and the “door’s closed” sensor on the car body. If the car thinks the door is open, it’s going to do all sorts of funny tricks. However, they told her, addressing this issue would require taking the car to a body shop and having the panel in the door pulled out just a bit so it would make better contact when the door was shut, something they weren’t really equipped to do.

If the techs find things wrong with the car, you are going to want to fix them. Knowing how important being able to steer is, the human female agreed to having the power steering drained and filled. She was less inclined to buy new tires from the dealership, knowing she could get similar quality for less elsewhere.

If you want to fix the things wrong with the car, you will have to find the place to take them to have them fixed. It was amusing watching the human female try to get here to the tire emporium. She hadn’t been to this location before, and the human male tried to give her directions. He kept insisting that she needed to “go over” a certain road, and she just couldn’t picture it, since she couldn’t remember an overpass along the route. (She is notoriously confusable in traffic) She got here all right, and discovered that the male mean “go past” rather than “go over.” I love it when they bicker.

If you find the place to take the car to to have things fixed, they will find more things to fix. So now we are sitting here in the tire emporium waiting room, waiting to have all four tires replaced. Because, of course, you can’t have three new tires. They should always be replaced in matched, safe, pairs. Nice, matched, safe, expensive pairs.

(later)

If you have the things fixed, you will still need to go home. Ehehehehe! You’d think that would be enough mischief for one day, wouldn’t you? I mean, multiple auto shops, multiple repairs, spending the whole day on what was supposed to be a simple errand. Ought to be enough, yes? Snort! Have you met me?

After having the tires fitted (and having to remind the clerk to give her the warranty paperwork), the human female still has to drive home. She made sure to double check with the male what she needs to go to get back to the house. And we’re off!

Stop sign. What’s the street? Is this our turn? Yes, the sign says, “Arrington,” so this is where we turn.

Except–Great Frigga’s Hairpins! This isn’t Arrington, is it? This is the feeder road for the main highway and you now have no choice but to merge into rush hour traffic! Nope, you can’t chicken out and turn around. There’s a big, impatient SUV behind you! Go, now! No, wait. Now. No, wait! Yikes. I should have noticed, when I was turning that street sign around, that the feeder road comes up over a hill just here, meaning that the traffic just sort of appears out of nowhere. This human is going to get us both killed. Okay, NOW!!! Gogogogogogo!

(just a bit later)

Whew. Safe at home now, thank the Norns. That last little bit of signage mischief was almost our undoing. Time to pour myself a restoring beverage, put my feet up, and bask in the glow of a day well-spent, right?

Wrong! There’s still the car door to fix!

(To be continued.)

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