Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crisis: Averted


"My car won't start. Can you come to AB-Tech?" That was Drew yesterday afternoon. I abandoned my house-cleaning mania and proceeded to inadvertently take the longest route possible to the community college. My husband, meanwhile, was kind enough to chat amiably on the phone about who knows what with me while he sweltered in a parking lot. During ninety degree weather. He's a great guy.

Several starts later, the old blue Saturn had sputtered to life and was leading the way - the shorter way, I might add - home. *whew* Car maintenance is no laughing matter. I spent over $300 on a car inspection, new windshields wipers, and two new tires mere months ago. I was envisioning the cost of a new battery - or even worse, some other, more expensive problem lurking in sinister enjoyment inside the old car. Then there was the issue of origin. Does anybody know where car batteries are made? I don't. It could be China, for all we know. Whoever said that being a responsible adult is fun, clearly did not have an enjoyable childhood.

Fast forward an hour or two. Drew and Katrina are headed to the movies to see Toy Story III and I'm off in the opposite direction to play basketball with a friend.

"Why are you standing there?" Drew asks.

"I want to make sure your car starts before I leave."

After a dismal grinding noise, Drew and Katrina dash for my car as the three of us attempt to make two separate engagements in different parts of town (I'll add that I'm already fifteen minutes late and their movie starts in ten. Great combo, eh?). The car battery is officially d-e-a-d.

The saga continues the next day when Drew drives me to work. "Uh," I begin, worried about reminding Drew of our boycott at this delicate time. After all, a car battery is a car battery is a car battery. What if the only option is a Chinese one? Are we going to put one car out of commission and share the other one for the rest of the year? That's absolutely insane!

"Uh, you'll ask where the battery is made...right?"

"Sure," Drew says. I underestimated my husband. He didn't forget about the boycott. And he's not mad about it either.

"After all," I continue, cheered by his positive response, "My windshield wipers and tires weren't made in China. Why should all the batteries be made there?"

I got a phone call later that day from a very happy husband. "Guess what!" Apparently, Drew's dad had put a brand-new battery into his other son's car the day before it wrecked. While the car had been declared totaled, the battery had not!

"Sweet!" A free, gently used (read: one-day used) battery plus free labor by Drew = problem solved. I thought that this battery episode was going to be our Big Test: the situation where we had nowhere to turn and a very real, very important dilemma on our hands. Would we choose our boycott or would we choose the necessary item?

So maybe that test is still out there, waiting ominously in our future. Maybe not. All I know is that the car is running and our boycott is still going strong. Alleluia!

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