First, two weeks ago, on a Thursday, my alternator died. My wife and I were about a mile or two from home, on the corner of Fairview and Summit. I was able to pull the car around the block and, just as the heavens opened up and poured down rain, AAA picked up the car and we started walking home. It was a fairly miserable walk. We had an umbrella, but it was sheeting BUCKETS. We were soaked to the bone, laughing, by the time we got home. We had a houseguest that week, but he's a very chill dude, so the only real hassle was that we had to postpone our trip to visit our friend's cabin in Siren, Wisconsin.
Cue day of the trip.
We're, oh, I dunno, just entering the outer rim of the suburbs, Vadnais Heights to be exact, when we hear a kind of grinding flapping sound and suddenly everything is sluggish and it's hard to steer. We look at the car, but at the time nothing is patently obvious. We decide to see if we can make the next exit. Limping along we manage to make Country Road E... and a BP gas SERVICE station. I go in, fearing the worst. I start talking to the service guy about our car and Shawn sticks her head in, "I've figured out the problem," she says matter-of-factly, "A belt is broken and some green liquid is dripping out." Service guy follows us out to look under the hood where we can clearly see the shredded serpentine belt and dripping, overflow antifreeze and he adjusts his ball cap and says, "Well, you're not wrong."
But the BP guys get us up and running in 20 MINUTES. I kid you not. My crazy-weird not-luck/luck means they not only had the time to do it, but they also had the part in stock.
We get to Siren, and I successfully drive the car both there and back again a couple of times because, as luck would have it, I miscalculated about when my Loft class ran and I had to drive back to the cities for a Saturday morning class and then back to vacation again. It was actually fine. Siren is no more than a couple of hours outside of town.
I'm leaving for WorldCON/MidAmerican Con II tomorrow and so I've got a bunch of errands I'm trying to get done so I can leave Shawn and Mason all settled in. I got kitty litter this morning, did a run to Target, and Mason and I were just coming back from a trip to the library to return some books when we hear that SAME DAMN SOUND AGAIN--the cranky sort of fwap-fwap-FWAP. I knew without even looking we'd better just stop.
Guess where we were?
Yeah, no, not another BP service station, but that's close. We were LITERALLY just pulling in in front of our own house. So I called AAA from the comfort of my own home and had them haul the car off to my usual mechanic. The AAA guy thought that something must be wrong with the mechanism that keeps the serpentine belt tight (he said pulley? but what do I know from cars) because he's NEVER had to have his replaced in 15 years, much less twice in so many weeks.
In another great irony? The guy who hauled away my car today? He's the one who took it away in the rainstorm on that first Thursday. I kid you not. He recognized me, and visa versa.
The only bummer of course is figuring out how all this is going to work before I have to leave tomorrow. Rick at Dave's did not think they'd have much of a chance to look at the car tonight. Which sucks, but there's not much for it. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that they can fix it quickly before, say, noon tomorrow. That would be ideal.