The other day, I had the displeasure of experiencing the negative side of cars--when they don't run smoothly, and fail to get your from point A to point B. I'm not any kind of driving enthusiast, so when I can I try to avoid driving long distances unless absolutely necessary. After an enjoyable day off spent at the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, NY, it was time to get back to camp (a 90 mile drive), and get some sleep. Evidently, that wasn't in God's plans, and it certainly wasn't in the '03 Subaru Legacy's plans. After about 3 miles, the 'Old Lady' began to overheat. Assuming that it was just a result of my foot sleeping on the gas pedal as the car tried to ascend the mountainous road, I continued to drive, waiting impatiently for the temperature to drop back down. At this point, there was no more hill, no more foot on the gas, but the temperature continued to rise. With my oh-so-extensive knowledge of cars, I realized that the air-conditioning was now blowing hot air, and that the engine was overheating--time to pull over. Ordinarily, I would just have locked the car, grabbed my bag, and been on my way via the most reliable form of transportation (which is of course, one's legs), but being as I was not alone, I called to have the car checked out and played the waiting game.
As any teenager in a sticky situation might do, I called my father, knowing that he would be able to point me in the right direction, and at the least to inform him of my whereabouts. Following my newly acquired advice, I called the camp, at which point I was directed to the security guard, who coincidentally and very fortunately for us, had a generous friend who was willing to help. Now, and only now, was there a chance that we would be getting any sleep that night, and possibly getting on our way within the next 24 hours.
When help arrived, it wasn't just an aid for the car. A man whose name will remain withheld provided us not only with reassurance, but also with entertainment and kindess above and beyond anything I've ever witnessed before. A person whom none of us had ever met or even heard of prior to that night was now offering us a ride, a place to stay and a helping hand during a time of incertitude and confusion. Next, we waited for the car to be towed to the car shop. The tow truck came in a miraculous hour in change, which for Triple-A is practically code-red emergency speed. The rest of the night wasn't quite so eventful, but it did teach me a few surprising things. First, you never know who might come to the rescue during your time of need (you might find that they are unlikely characters, and perhaps even friendly strangers). Second, don't go too far from home if your car is overheating, just go get it checked! And lastly, always know and trust your mechanic.
Oh, and I forgot to add in conjunction to that third lesson learned that we actually did have the car inspected that morning, informing the mechanics that the car had been overheating, and though they claimed to fix the problem with some coolant, it may have exacerbated the problem, causing it to go from a hot engine to a cinema-like death trap, with smoke and steam erupting from under the hood.
Just so no one feels like they didn't receive a proper conclusion to our little escapade, we managed to get the car fixed (properly--thanks GoodYear), and were able to get home in due time. And for all who were concerned about the 'Old Lady', she too is running fine, and intends to accompany and guide us through our next journey.
Graduate student, writer, insurance producer, runner.