This weekend was the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento.
I had wanted to go on Friday but ended up running out of time… So, I asked Hubby if it would be OK if I went on Sunday, even though it was Father’s Day.
He told me that the best gift I could give him would be to go to the Expo and make myself happy AND, not require him to attend with me.
So, that was our deal. We had Father’s Day breakfast with the girls, I left for the Expo and they played at the river and did fun stuff without me.
AFTER THE EXPO
I will spend some time (later) telling you about the Expo. But today I want to tell you about what happened directly after the Expo.
I was dog tired. Although I had impressed myself with the amount of walking I was able to do, my parts were dragging as I juggled a few too many lumpy purchases stuffed into a ripping shopping bag.
As I got to my car, I dropped the completely useless paper shreds that looked like parts of a bag and dug around for my keys. Aha! I found them and pushed the ‘unlock’ symbol on my key fob.
Hmmmmm. That little reassuring unlocking ‘upwardthump’ sound didn’t happen. The car was still locked.
So, I tried again.
Well, no problem, I said to myself, I can always just use the key.
So, I did.
HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!
The car started screaming in those rhythmic blasts we are accustomed to hearing while in parking garages as we hurry away from the sound.
Except, I was stuck with my screaming car.
HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!
I COULDN’T GET IT TO STOP DOING THE BAD THING!
No one has ever seen me move around a car so fast. I tried everything I could think of … futzing with the battery, locking and unlocking the door lock, putting the key in the ignition and trying to start the car, pushing all the buttons on the fob, sitting and rocking in the fetal position… nothing would work.
In the middle of it all, I called Hubby. That was a fun conversation – not. Imagine trying to listen to someone who is inside of a screaming car… Not only that, he was on his way to return the rental car that he had just picked up because the air-conditioning had quit. He was a hot, unhappy camper, listening to his crazy wife and her hysterical car.
As I was trying to converse with Hubby, I did notice people walking by, shaking their heads and covering their kids’ ears.
I’ve never wanted to stab my car before, but with screwdriver in hand, I wanted to kill it.
I understand now why certain POW camps used blaring, shrill music to drive the prisoners to confess. As it was, I was on my knees, begging the SUVgods to please make it stop.
And it did. Finally. Stop. But, the locking mechanism would not let the car start.
I was stuck at the Expo parking lot with a psychotic car. It would let me in, but it wouldn’t drive for me. And if I asked it to do anything, it would scream.
THE FIRST GOOD HORSE PERSON.
When my car finally took its first breath after its tantrum, I had time to notice what was going on around me. I saw a family coming my way and I ran up to them.
I think I startled them a bit. The expression on my face must have read, “I’m not crazy but I’m a bit desperate for help” look.
As the mother shielded her child, the husband seemed open to listening to me. I asked him if he had a battery for a key fob.
However, he said, “Triple A” will help.
“GREAT IDEA!!!” I think I was yelling because my ears were still ringing.
“I’LL DO THAT, THANK YOU!”, I screamed at them as the mother shot the husband a glare. But, to his credit, the husband (the first do-gooder) sat on his opened tailgate and said he would wait for AAA to arrive before he left. His wife glared again.
He kept his word.
I called AAA and the lady on the other end of the phone seemed competent. I told her that the battery had died in my key fob, I thought, but the weird thing was that the car didn’t recognize the key when I inserted it into the door or ignition.
She said that was no problem.
I felt relieved.
I called Hubby and told him that AAA was on the way. He told me that they wouldn’t be able to do anything and that he would be to me shortly because the airport was only about 20 minutes away. Hubby was pretty cranky. I told him that I would be fine. AAA said I would be fine. He should just drive back down towards Paso Robles and have a safe journey.
He said, “But I don’t want to get down the road and then have you call me and tell me that you need me to come get you.”
“Won’t happen”, I said with confidence.
WHILE WAITING FOR AAA…
While waiting for AAA, I decided to try all of the buttons and and key again.
Bad idea. I had upset the sleeping monster – again. HONK! HONK! HONK!…
People were staring at me as if I did it on purpose – which I kinda did this time.
Anyway, while the care was in hysterics, the second do-gooder arrived in the shape of a real Cowboy – the kind that wears a starched shirt, pressed Levis and a flat brimmed hat at events such as this one. He was very handsome and tall – just like one pictures that type of Cowboy.
The tall Cowboy actually said, “Can I help you, Ma’am?”
I said, “Do you have a battery for my key fob, by any chance?”
“Nope. But I can remove the horn fuse.”
And then, on its own, the car quit screaming – as if to not upset the kind cowboy. Or maybe it heard him suggest pulling a fuse, dunno.
Now that the horn had stopped, I told the Cowboy that I was waiting for AAA and all would be fine. And with that, he tipped his hat, said, “God Bless Ma’am” and drove away.
Swear to Horsegods.
Right as the cowboy drove away, I saw a Cowboy Poet Artist that must have been sent up from Central Casting. In fact, if Central Casting had sent up a guy who looked like this guy, you’d think he was ‘too typey and over the top’ and would have sent him back – his look was that perfect – right down to the curled ends on his handlebar mustache.
Anyway, the Cowboy Poet Artist asked if he could help. I told him the story and asked for a battery. He didn’t have one. But, as he walked away towards the Expo, I saw him motioning to the AAA driver that had just arrived. The Cowboy Poet was telling the AAA driver how to find me.
AAA DRIVER ARRIVES.
The AAA driver arrived and he was very sweet. He tried. (Do-gooder #4) But, this was totally out of his league. He tried everything I had already tried.
And the car went hysterical. More people started running. It was mayhem again.
At this point, I was begging him to drive me to the nearby Walgreens so I could buy a battery. He was almost willing to do that but gave me the number of a locksmith instead.
It was Sunday night and I was starting to think I might just be stuck there.
I decided to call Hubby again. Ack. I cringed when I called.
Hubby said he knew I’d be calling him back so he was already on the way…
DO GOODER #5
Even though Hubby was coming, I really wanted to solve this without putting him off of his course – after all, he still had a 5 hour drive in front of him.
So, I stalked the parking lot for Jeeps like mine. When I found one, I’d linger around the car to see if anyone was approaching who might have a key fob or battery that would help with my insane vehicle.
No Jeep owners arrived but I did fine a Ford SUV owner approaching. I asked if he had a battery. He said no, but that he owned an autobody shop and might be able to help. (His lovely wife was in the car and she and he starting having ‘car talk’ to figure out what they could do to help. Clearly she worked at the shop…)
While Do-Gooder #5 and his wife pondered the situation and moved around my Jeep, I saw a white rental car going very fast, then stopping and then going very fast and stopping – I knew it was Hubby looking for me. So, I waved him down.
Hubby arrived, marched out of his rental car and produced two batteries. He grabbed my key fob, inserted the battery and proceeded to press his thumb in the manner he had done a million times to make the benevolent clicking noise.
So, he inserted the key in the door and – totally upset the car again. Hysteria.
Hubby could not believe that his solution wasn’t the solution. As he stood there, clicking the key fob and messing with the car battery to make the noise stop, Do-Gooder #5, the auto body shop owner, quietly got into my car…
After Hubby took off the battery cable and then reattached it, Mr Auto Body Shop Guy turned the key a few times….
…and the car started.
OMG. The heavens opened. People in the lot applauded. I was thrilled. The Jeep was appeased, finally!
Mr Auto Body Shop Man (with his proud wife smiling behind him) told me that the Jeep’s computer chip needed to reset in order to recognize the key. When Hubby unhooked the battery and then reattached it, Body Shop Man knew that he had to turn the key a few times and the car would reset back to normal.
HORSE PEOPLE ARE GOOD PEOPLE.
All of this mayhem took place in under and hour.Most of the do-gooders were horse people who were attending the Western States Horse Expo.
Horse People are good people.