Friday, August 8, 2014

The Day Black Betty Betrayed Me

It was a dark day. A dark day, indeed. Black Betty betrayed me.....turned her back on me in my time of need.

A few Saturdays ago (when it was hotter than hades outside--like 100+ degrees), my niece had a birthday party at noon at a park. It was super fun, but SUPER hot. Nick had just sold his car the day before (he had a junker that he drove back on forth so he didn't have to put miles and hundreds of dollars in gas in his truck) and we decided to go look at a slightly newer/nicer car to replace his junker right after my niece's party. My mom volunteered to take the kids to our house so she could put them down for a nap (and I didn't realize until later what a Godsend that was!). We left the party, hot and sweaty, and went to the south side of Wichita.

The guy we were buying from lived in a nice, clean neighborhood. Nick drove the car for about 20 minutes and really liked it. It drove great, the air conditioner was cold and it got decent gas mileage. He decided to buy it, so we drove to get the title (which was straight into the middle of ghetto Wichita) and then went our separate ways to head home.

Now....Black Betty is only ONE YEAR OLD. But that day.......that hot, sweaty, horrible day.....she died on me. We had a code blue. On Broadway. In the middle of a stoplight. "BETTY!!!," I yelled! "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?" I cussed a little and spanked her on her dashboard. Then I prayed that God would bring her back to life--at least long enough to get me out of the intersection. I turned the key and she started back up. I screamed for joy and then drove another block.......and she died again. I full on beat the crap out of her this time. I was slamming her on the steering wheel, spitting on her dashboard, cursing the day she was manufactured conceived. How could a one year old car (that I paid a LOT of money for in order to avoid getting a car that left me STRANDED on the side of the road) do this to me?

I got her to start one more time and sputtered my way into a parking lot, where she died one last time. I called Nick and begged him to come rescue me. He was almost to the turnpike already, so I had to wait about 20 minutes for him to come. Now, Black Betty is.......black. And a black car in a barren parking lot with no shade is FREAKIN hot. I sat in my car-turned-sauna and sweated off 20 pounds until my hero showed up to rescue me in his sort-of-new car. He called Ford for me and they said they would send a tow truck that would be there quickly. They gave us the option of leaving the key under the mat for them or waiting for them to show up. Given the neighborhood we were in, we decided to wait. And wait........and wait. For 45 minutes. And they still weren't there. So we finally put a key under the mat (after I had a meltdown or two) and got in Nick's car to leave. "F-you, Black Betty." I said in my mind as I crawled into Nick's silverish, cool new car. I shut the door and Nick started the car.

Or tried to. It didn't start. The new one. That he had JUST bought. Ohhhhhh, man. I cried a LOT. To the point where I think Nick was ready to shove me in the Black Betty sauna and let the towing guys deal with me. He finally got it to start and we got on the highway so we could get on the turnpike. We made it all the way to within about 1 foot of the turnpike exit and it died again. So there we were--betrayed by Black Betty, betrayed by the Silver Bullet and sitting with our tail end sticking out into the Kellogg traffic at 5pm on a Saturday evening. Awesome.

Within 30 seconds of our car dying, a random stranger pulls up in a huge white pick up, yells at us in a mix of Spanish and English and we get the hint that he wants to push our car with his truck until it's out of the intersection. Nick put the car in neutral, the guy gives us a gentle nudge and we slide forward enough to get the car completely out of the way. Whew! At least THAT went right for us. Nick put the car in park and turned it off, thinking our little Mexican angel was done. But nooooooo, that guy wanted to keep pushing us. I yelled at Nick that he was still pushing us and Nick hurridly put the car back in neutral so our gears wouldn't get screwed up. But since he had turned the car off (since there was NO point in us being pushed any further than we were), the steering wheel was locked in position. So the guy was pushing us and we had no way to steer the car. This proceeded in us rolling up on a curve on the right side of the road, the car rolling down the curb and veering to the left and us rolling across 4 lanes of rush hour traffic. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to do anything but scream out for God's help and wave my hands at oncoming traffic to stop. I'm sure they thought we were crazy because it looked like we were just flipping a big u-turn. By the grace of God, we didn't get hit and bounced off the curb on the other side of the highway. The guy that pushed us drove up in the lane behind us and blocked traffic with his truck. He helped us push the car until it was facing the right direction and then somehow, the car started and ran long enough for us to get it off the highway and into another deserted parking lot (anyone seeing a theme in this story?).

I called my mom (and I MIGHT have been sobbing hysterically because we now had TWO broken down cars, had just spent a small chunk of money on one of them and had almost had a legit near death experience). She came and got me (while my cousin watched the kids) to take me to Ford so I could get a loaner car while my POS Black Betty was being worked on. Nick's friend came and helped him tow home POS Silver Bullet.When I got to Ford to pick up my loaner, some douche bag in a bright pink shirt sauntered his way over to me and my mom.

"Hi, ladies! How are you today?" he said.

Fool. Um, could his eyes SEE me?!? I'm sure I was the exact picture of a pissed off customer who had spent FOUR HOURS in the blinding heat waiting for her TWO CRAPPY CARS to get her where she needed to be. I smelled like death, my shirt was damp and my hair was a huge friz-ball. My eyes were bloodshot and I had makeup smeared across my face from all the crying. And he wanted to ask me how I was?! Ha!

I stared at him with my resting-bitch face and then turned around and walked away. He pursued me (who IS this idiot?!) and said, "What's the matter, ma'am?"

"What's the matter? The MATTER is that my brand new 2013 Ford Focus that I spent a LOT of money on just broke down and left me stranded in the middle of Wichita and now I have to come to YOUR facility to get it fixed and Ford is the LAST place I want to be right now seeing as how YOUR company is the one that made my car........that left me STRANDED! THAT'S what's the matter, sir!"

He said,"I'm sorry to hear that! But why are you mad at me?"

I just rolled my eyes and walked away again. Then my mom said the most epic thing ever--

"She's probably mad at you because you're wearing that PINK shirt."

Ha!

Four days later, Ford called me to let me know that they couldn't find anything wrong with Black Betty--she must have just gotten overheated. Yeah. Because that makes for a really reliable car. I'm giving Black Betty one more chance to prove herself to me and then we're breaking up if she does it again.

You hear that, Black Betty?! Don't fail me, little lady.

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