I affectionately call my car the Big Gulp. You might ask why? Because she is a giant, old tank who guzzles gas. Three summers ago, I almost traded her in because I had all of these mysterious problems that no one else could ever hear or diagnose. Literally the whole summer, I would get in the car not knowing if she was going to do her “jerk and shake.” For the highly anxious, this was not a good form of transportation. But, by the end of the summer we had the problem fixed (and it was not in my head), and life went back to normal with my Big Gulp. I did put a Bobble Head doll of Daenerys Targaryen (AKA, Khaleesi) on the dash that summer, and she protected me like one of her baby dragons until yesterday.
I turned left at the light on Smith Level Road and heard an awful noise. I could not accelerate, turn the steering wheel, or use the brakes. I immediately turned on my hazard lights and coasted to the side of the road and used my emergency brake to stop the car. Ironically, I stopped next to the mural of Dean Smith that was created after his death. I talked to Dean, told him all was good, and asked him to watch over me as I figured things out.
Here is my special Big Gulp. My 13 year old tank with 230,000 miles.
I called Bob’s towing. I still had his card in my visor from that summer 3 years ago. But after calling and asking if it was extra to tow me to the Toyota dealership too, I called Rahul to tell him what was happening. Hello, getting into a tow truck with someone you do not know with no one knowing. That is straight up like the plot of ALL of my true crime podcasts. Girl goes missing, never to be seen again. I am clearly the least trusting person on this planet.
But Bob was super nice. We talked about all things Chatham Co, and all he asked for were some Girl Scout cookies in January. I am happy to report that I made it to the dealership safely and no podcasts will need to be made about my disappearance or murder.
I waited all day to hear about the fate of the Big Gulp. Rahul said those awful words when we talked later – we need to come up with a number that is too great to spend to save her. Gulp. But, right around 5pm I heard back that the axle was broken and needs to be replaced. Totally doable. Whew.
Hoping to have my girl back before the end of the week, since Samantha and I are heading out of town this weekend for our mother / daughter special weekend together.
Cars… like a friend of mine shared…Cars are so annoyingly essential and annoying and expensive. So true.
For now, The Big Gulp will live on… with all of her quirks and character.