Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It's okay to question...
So, Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancee and I traveled to the distant wilds of the Minnesota-Iowa border this past weekend to celebrate Big D's birthday. It was fun. We played a little Wii, and I am happy to report that I am not nearly as sore from the experience as last time. We had a ton of good food, some great conversation, we played with the animals, and just generally hung out. It was very relaxing, for the most part. A good time was had by all.
And since it never quite seems like a vacation if we don't get some one-on-one time, Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancee and I decided to go to a movie late Saturday night. Surprisingly, or maybe not so much if you read this blog even occasionally, we went to Zombieland. I'll post a review about the film, and probably talk about the whole small town film going experience itself, later this week, so lets move on from that. (In a nutshell: Fun.) You see, it's the events that took place afterwards that concern this particular blog.
Now, earlier in the evening, before setting off, we'd talked about being careful of deer, as they are a very real and very common highway hazard, especially this time of year, so I was watchful and alert. I'd been here before, you see. So, we're coming home, barreling down the Interstate at a hard-rockin' 80 mph and, as any non-city native can tell you, when you're out there, past all the lights... it is black as pitch, man, we're talking Country-dark here. But you have to keep moving, fast too, because besides the deer, the other hazard out there in the country is country drivers. Believe me, you do not want one of those drunk fuckers to come bombing up on your ass out of the dark. So, we're moving along, flying, and all of the sudden, we come across a blackish-red smear across the pavement, a splattered trail of blood and bits that must have been 30 feet long. In a word: A big god damn mess. So, I am on the verge of saying: "Look, Little Ms. Super-cute Fiancee, look... someone tagged a deer... big time. I told you..."
The body was still sprawled out in the middle of the road...
There was a brief moment where you could see it's massive size in the glare of the headlights, a tossed over bulk of torn brown felt and strips of crimson.
We plowed it under.
You could feel the tangle of bones thunder beneath us, jabbing at the floorboards. We barely had time to exclaim: "Ah!" and we had passed the carcass by.
Holy crap! The rest of the ride was spent in tense silence, eyes jumping restlessly between the still a-okay dashboard instruments and the thick velvet-black that pressed in all around on our suddenly very dim-seeming headlights. We both strained into the dark for that flash of moonlit movement, for even a glimpse of shadowy, hulking silhouettes, hoping not to see that brief flash of gold as the deer turned our way in the moments before dashing into our path...
Luckily, it didn't happen. No deer and no noticeable trouble from the Little Ms. Super-cute-mobile. We made it home safe and amazingly, the next morning, the only apparent damage was a slightly bent (and blood smeared... ew) front license plate. Well, that and few bloody and fur-bristled bits of deer falling from the undercarriage to splat on the concrete. Other than that? Nothing.
Tres lucky, no?
So then, Sunday, we began the long and arduous trek back to the welcoming bosom of civilization and the deer-less protection of Casa La Awesome. Or so we thought... The Check Engine light comes on and being that it's Sunday, it looks like we're staying an extra day until we can get in to see a mechanic Monday morning.
Which really wasn't too bad, because the Lasagna was even better the second day...
Anyway, long story short (too late), the light was on due to an O2 sensor hanging off the catalytic converter, no big deal. We decide to drive it back home and get it fixed at our regular mechanic and the damage is really the nothing type of damage, the car is safe to drive home. Like the mechanic says: "You might have a misfire, but that rarely happens." The drive back was terrible, of course, because after a dry Sunday, Monday decided to be rain-soaked and the Interstates were clogged with the classic type of Minnesota Road Construction, seemingly never-ending and almost completely bereft of any workers, but we made it home without issue.
So, that night, we're doing dishes and discussing household stuff, as awesome young couples are wont to do, and the subject of the repair came up. Now, I was saying that since it's no big deal, we can wait to get it repaired and therefore avoid incurring any extra expenses at the moment.
Little Ms. Super-cute looks at me like I'm insane. "Shouldn't we get it fixed as soon as possible?"
I shake my head, "No, it's no big deal. It's not a necessary part. It's only relatively recently that cars even had catalytic converters."
She squints at me, unsure, and says sincerely, "But what about it sparking and setting on fire?"
"The guy said it could set on fire."
"The mechanic," she explained, "he said it could spark and set on fire, but that it rarely happened."
I was dumbfounded. It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about. "MIS-fire," I reiterated. "MIS-fire. He said it might mis-fire, but that it rarely happened."
Her face clouded for a second as she mulled this over. Then the light came back on. "Oh... That makes sense... I was wondering why everyone was so nonchalant about it..."
I set down the dish I was washing and slowly turned off the faucet. "Honey..." I said. "If ever in the future, someone wants you to drive a car that... maybe... possibly... might set itself on fire, even if it's a small chance..."
She looked at me for a moment and then held out her hand for the next dish to dry as she said haughtily, "Yes, I suppose you're right."
So to sum up kids... Questions when you're unsure: Good. Being in a car when it blows up: Bad.