It's been a rough week for transportation. We started off on Monday by being stuck in the Burlington VT airport for 8 hours due to equipment failures in DC. It speaks well for BTV that they have free wifi and Triplite bus strips all over the terminal. The Little Man was amazingly well behaved through the whole process, but being able to rotate the various IOS devices through the charger definitely helped.
On Tuesday evening I went out to my car to find that one of the tires was flat. It wasn't just a little bit flat, it was completely flat. I have a cigarette outlet powered pump, but after 10 minutes, it was clear that the tire dead. I suspect that it had gone flat over the weekend, and I'd driven to work on it flat, breaking the seal and probably killing it.
After several minutes of jumping on the tire iron, I was fed up with the whole thing. Why am I driving only 2 miles to get to work anyway? I should be riding my bike, or just walking. I'd be in better shape than this. ...and so on. After rolling the car off the jack, I decided my mental health would be better if I got a ride home with Mrs 'Struction. My mood only improved after watching "Here Comes Santa Clause" with PP sitting on my stomach and asking difficult philosophical questions as he tried to reconcile all the Christmas specials into a single, coherent narrative.
Wednesday, with renewed energy, I went back and succeeded in changing to the donut tire. The secret is to loosen the lug nuts before you lift the car. You know just like you're supposed to. Fortunately, I don't have any highway driving to get the car home, but the donut tire is clearly NOT the same.
We've been putting off bring home a christmas tree, and by that evening we couldn't put it off any longer. So we piled into the "good" car and headed to a nearby lot. There were lots of good trees (well, one lot of good trees). We were there maybe 15 minutes before we had a tree picked out and on the roof of the car.... which wouldn't start.
It would only give a single, short "rrr" and stubbornly refuse to turn over. It seemed like a classic dead battery, but to come on so suddenly and be so severe seemed odd.
Then came the negotiations and comparison of options. "How about if you and PP walk home, then drive back here."
"That would work, except the car seat for that car is still in the trunk of this car from our trip to Vermont."
"It seems odd for a dead battery, but we could *try* a jump start."
"We took the cables out to make room for luggage."
"Maybe somebody else has cables."
"At this point we looked around the lot and realized we were the only car there."
Did I mention I didn't have my phone and Mrs 'Struction's was at 3%? In the end, we all walked home, which involved crossing the railroad tracks. This gives Mrs 'Struction the heebee jeebees. Once home, she plugged in her phone and called AAA while I drove back in the donut-mobile to meet the tow truck.
The messages I got from her were to the effect that I may or may not have to ride in the tow truck to the dealership and then somehow find my way home. This seems new to me. I swear I've had cars towed to repair shops without having to chaperone them, but the AAA rep seemed pretty sure.
It was a moot point anyway. The truck gave me a jump start, and it started right up. Dead battery. Well that's a relief. Except now I was at the tree lot with two functional cars to get home.
I got my walking in that night.