Saturday, September 30, 2006

how many years of college does it take to change a lightbulb? is 15 enough? UPDATED

i'm afraid of my car. on a few levels. sometimes on bridges, i have images of being thrown off the side like that yugo that sailed off the mackinac bridge when i was a kid. but more than that, i'm scared of taking care of my car. i can get the oil changed, but whenever something comes up that requires a [gulp] mechanic, it tends to turn me from a confident, educated modern woman to a bumbling, frightened, shaking sucker. and i'm pretty sure they have some kind of sensor at garages that sense fear. i must send it off the chart.

my check engine light has been for years. years. after about six traumatizing visits to the mechanic, i stopped going. now, i get scared when the check engine light turns off. lately, the driver's side headlight has been on the fritz. for a while, just pounding the light a few times would jolt it back to life, like those shock paddles they have in the emergency room. but it stopped working. this morning, out of nowhere after breakfast, B and i had a gust of bravery and stopped at the auto supply store to buy our own headlight. we're smart, educated, clever people. surely we can change a simple headlight, right?

make sure not to touch that glass with your finger, the cashier said. otherwise, it will probably explode. m'kay. B had read the owner's manual, and it looked pretty straightforward. this cashier was probably just trying to freak us out.

so we came home and lugged all our tools down to the parking garage. B was excited to prove his testosterone levels. the excitement quickly turned to cursing those crazy south koreans that built my car. not his car, of course. my car. (note: any of you that have ever enjoyed even one beer with B knows all too well his disdain for foreign cars. he, of course, will only own an american car. he refuses to put his name on the title of the kia. no joke. so, obviously, if this were an american car, the headlight wouldn't have even burned out, according to B. and if it did, changing it would be nothing short of a delight.)

ninety minutes, a brief moment where B thought he should remove the side panel of the car, and a google consultation later, we decided to discard the stupid owner's manual's directions and just took out the battery. from there, it was a quick job to get that old bulb out and shove the new one in. (B touched it quickly, but it didn't explode. nice.) and there was only one little spark when B was rehooking the battery. mission accomplished.

but imagine my surprise when i hopped in the car to run to the grocery store. (B needed celery - he's making homemade chicken soup for dinner. DAMN i love this man.) it wasn't until i was pulling out of the parage garage that i noticed it.

the check engine light.

it isn't on anymore. gulp.

UPDATE: the check engine light is back. phew.

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