Saturday, June 22, 2013

Living Life Without Brakes!



subtitled: I Can’t Drive 55!”

I woke up Friday, content with the world. After all, it was “Friday” and payday! How bad can that get? Well, let me tell you…

Weather-wise, it was hot and humid, and an ozone-action day here in southeast Michigan. For you out-of-staters, that means you’re not supposed to use gasoline-powered implements (like lawn mowers) or fill up your gas tank until night.

I had been seriously thinking about redoing my pasta salad and tweaking it a bit. I like making it for the weekend, as I can just grab a bowl to eat here and there without the fuss of “making” a lunch or supper. If it actually works out, I may put it up in recipes as my own, as I have been messing with this for a few years now.

So, I went to Westborn at lunchtime and bought more feta cheese, a green pepper (instead of the sweeter yellow pepper I used last time), cherry tomatoes, more baby spinach, a cucumber and, to kick it up a notch, some sugar snap peas.

I also got some apples for next week, and a tub of the lobster bisque and a container of the Westborn seafood salad for my lunch today. I went home and ate the seafood salad and the lobster bisque.  Both were great, as usual. Then I headed back to work.

That was when things went horribly wrong!

I was on Plymouth Road. I cut over to the inside lane as traffic permitted just after Wayne Road, as I needed to turn. I punched it just a little to avoid pissing anybody off, but then the light at Levan turned yellow. Please note that the speed limit there is 40 MPH and I wasn’t speeding. So, I hit the brakes…

AND THE BRAKES FAILED!!!

With my brake pedal on the floor, I slid through the intersection, dodging the oncoming cars from Levan. Fortunately, their brakes worked (so did their horns). God had apparently forgiven me those Jesus jokes from my youth, as I didn’t hit anybody and nobody hit me. I passed through two turning cars and continued on. Sweet Jesus! I used the parking brake to stop at my road and turned onto it.

I again used the parking brake to turn into my building and then park. I took a long moment to breathe again…

I checked with the mechanics out back and their theory was that there was a leak somewhere. I told them I didn’t have any brake fluid on the ground in my garage or my “handicapper” parking space.

So, they gave me a jug of Dot 4 brake fluid and told me to fill up the reservoir. I did.  Then I drove down the street and checked it out. If you pumped them, you could slow the car a bit, but not stop it.

The mechanics suggested several possible solutions, but none of which they could address today. So, I called the only local car repair place I know that somebody had some work done at once and were pleased with them. But, they said they are closed on Saturdays. I asked if they could recommend somebody and they did. I called there and they said to bring it in at 7:30 AM, since they close at noon.

Then I called and cancelled my haircut and massage, both of which I really need.

Of course, there was one more dicey thing I had to accomplish: getting the car home. So, I left work at 4:15 PM, hoping to avoid the five o’clock traffic. After much thought, I decided to take the expressway instead of Plymouth Road. Not only would that minimize the number of traffic lights I had to deal with, but if I stayed in the right lane, I could avoid things by going onto the shoulder. So, that’s what I did.

At first I was lucky, because I got on just behind a lumbering, huge gravel hauler. He never got to 60 MPH, so everyone passed him (and I). But, he turned off. So, I just kept going slow. Hey, I was in the “slow” lane, right? I eventually made it home safely. I called work to let them know (they asked me to).

I took the night off and putzed in the air-conditioned house. I cooked a pound of shrimp I found in the freezer for my pasta salad and made the pasta. I did my ToDo list for the weekend (minus car trips). I made a blue box of mac and cheese for dinner. I watched part of ”Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (my least favorite Indiana Jones movie) and then went to bed.

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