Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Trip That Almost Wasn't

Infernal Luck With Internal Combustion

Y'all are going to have to help me out on this one. I've pushed this problem through my puzzler 'til my puzzler was sore. Seriously, I ruminated on this dilemma for 1800 miles, and just can't make sense of it.

Here's the deal...

As I've blogged about many times before, I have the absolute worst luck with motorized transport. Whether they catch on fire, chew up a transmission, develop a fatal case of colic, or just die quietly in the driveway, one thing remains constant. If I acquire a car or truck, within weeks it will develop numerous major issues requiring thousands of dollars to repair, or it will beshit itself to the point it requires replacement.

This is in spite of my diligent efforts at maintenance. Look, I've got the receipts from the oil changes and other regular upkeep. I don't drive like a maniac. Hell, I drive like an old woman, to tell the truth. No burnouts, no sliding around corners, no shrieking stops, just slow, steady driving. I'm just too cheap to buy excess gas and pay for speeding tickets, if you wanna know the truth.

Over the past few years, I've had numerous family & social events scuttled due to car troubles. The last two BlownStar blogfests, the 2007 & 2008 Hysterics, gatherings at Feisty's place, the last 3 Thanskgivings and Xmas at my sisters, and so on.

After a couple of pay raises and the payoff of most of my student loan debt, I had some extra coinage to throw at the truck. I switched to a repair shop that could differentiate between shit & Shinola, and finally started making real progress. New tires were purchased, the front end & brakes were replaced, and things seemed to be running smoothly.

So, with a healthy vehicle at long last, I load up the truck and head for Tennessee.

That was the plan, anyway.

Leaving my subdivision, I felt something not quite right with the engine. A little extra vibration, and the acceleration was off just a tad. At the last stoplight before the freeway, I knew something was wrong, and I got that damned cold chill in the pit of my gut. Sure enough, as I'm heading up the entrance ramp to I-10, the "CHECK ENGINE" light comes on, and the engine starts to shake & sputter.

At that point, I didn't know whether to shit or go blind. Shit, because I've got the truck fully loaded and gassed up for a long out-of-town trip, or blind due to blind rage at being cornholed once again by the automotive gremlins that have plagued me since I got a driver's license.

I mean, think about this! What are the cotton-pickin' odds that out of all the days that the engine could go wonky, it waits until I am literally on my way out of town?? This can't be random fate! Not this many times... Surely, some entity in a position of power has me in their crosshairs...

There was much cursing, wailing and gnashing of teeth as I steered for the mechanic's place. Yet another of my ignition coils was dead as fried chicken, and it took 3 hours and $279 to set things straight.

As I'm pounding my head on the counter at the auto shop, the service manager was saying "Look, this is a good thing! At least it went out here in Houston, and not halfway there!"

He had a point...

So, here's the dilemma I can't puzzle out...

A) How cosmically unlikely is it that something broke just as I leave town, and...

B) Is this just my infernal bad luck once again, or has the worm turned, with this breakdown occurring at a (relatively) benign moment, sparing me much trouble and drama in West Bumfuck, Alabama?

Your thoughts are welcomed...