Air Conditioning and Auto Zone

I woke up Saturday and the air was full of promise – promise of a great cup of coffee and a pastry from Stickyboy; the promise of a productive shopping trip to Ikea, and hopefully some great summer clothing items on sale at the mall…I popped right out of bed, not feeling the least bit groggy and quickly got ready for the great day ahead of me. I ran a couple of quick errands and grabbed my dark, delicious cup of joe and pastry and soon Hannah and I were on our way. Everything was going just as planned and we were enjoying some golden oldies on the iPod (two points for Hannah for having such an awesome, wide ranging selection on her iPod) when all of a sudden we were in a crazy storm. It came out of nowhere. It was raining cats and dogs and leaves were spinning and hitting the windshield with surprising force. We were a bit worried as we saw cars pulling over on the side of the highway and wondered if we should do the same. No, we decided, we would press on to the goal of Ikea. We persevered through that great storm and made it safely to our destination (three points for Hannah for her excellent skills behind the wheel). By the time we got there, the storm was nowhere in sight and the sun was out in all its glory.

We went into the wonderland that is Ikea and had a blast. I mean, how could you not? It’s a place of wonder, excitement and discovery (okay, okay, I stole that from Adventures in Odyssey, but it’s true about Ikea as well as Whit’s End). Our time there was fun and productive, we got a lot bang for just a few bucks. It felt good! I love finding those deals and steals that just make you feel like a professional shopper or something (one point for both of us for our excellent finds). So, out we headed proud of our purchases and full of excitement and hope for the next stop. Well as they say, pride cometh before a fall. I suppose we were a little too puffed up and proud of what effective shoppers we had proven ourselves to be on such small budgets. We cranked the car, turned on the AC (which I had complimented Hannah on the way to Charlotte — I mean it worked really well for such an old car) and cranked up the music, it was time for a little John Denver, “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” anyone?? We sat there in the parking lot regrouping and trying to decide where to go…we realized that we needed to plug the GPS in so that we could get directions to our next destination. So, Hannah yanked the iPod adapter out of the cigarette lighter and WAAAAAAABBBBAAAAAAMMM!!! The entire middle panel that controls the AC, radio, clock, cigarette lighter, etc went BLANK and DEAD. Yes, the AC went out and YES we were sitting in a HOT car in 94 degree weather. It was terrible. I instantaneously began to sweat. Like a PIG. It was gross. Very gross. I hated it. I got cranky. So did she. We both started complaining and whining like little kids who don’t get their way. So here’s the scenario: two girls in a hot car, with a dead GPS and no way of charging it…so that’s when Hannah began driving around the parking lot trying to create an artificial breeze. It didn’t really work. Oh and then we decided to use Hannah’s Blackberry to get directions…well per the norm it froze up and wouldn’t work.

At this point we were both soaking wet from sweat and feeling pretty bad about the whole situation. Jackson called and just laughed at us and said he didn’t feel bad for us at all (he had just flown in from Vegas and a visit to Death Valley where his shoes had melted on the pavement. + there was a minor traffic incident–he wasn’t driving–and had had to wait in the heat for a couple of hours while the police report, insurance, etc was settled…). I must say, that didn’t really help our morale. So, thankfully, I have a keen sense of direction (haha) and said that we should get on I-485 and booooom, that was the right decision!!! After about 20 miles of torture I  saw a sign for a Chick-Fil-A and decided that I was done with this and that all I wanted was to go in that restaurant and sit in an air conditioned booth and drink a sweet tea and have a fruit cup. So off the exit we flew and lo and behold there was an Auto Zone right off of the exit. HALLELUJAH! We pulled in and found a nice lady who said she had just the right person to help us. “Kurt! Ladies in distress! she yelled to the back. We chuckled to ourselves, thinking that she had completely hit the nail on the head with that description. We hoped this Kurt could help us out, but tried not to get our hopes up.

Out came Kurt and suddenly we were completely confident that the car would soon have working AC. He was tall and handsome and had a peculiar combination of confidence and humility. Yes, we could tell all of this, in about 10 seconds. Hannah gave him the keys and out he went, braving the heat waves to rescue us. He came back inside to the cool of the store and said that she had blown a fuse (one point for me — that is what I predicted; yes, I am a navigational expert and a mechanic) and that it would cost $3. Well, that was amazing news. So, he went to the back and got a box of fuses and then we followed him outside. He replaced the fuse down beneath the steering wheel (one more point for me, that’s where I thought it would be…seriously, I had more wins that day than all of my days combined…), then he turned the car on and sadly the AC was still not working. Have no fear, Kurt is here! He said not to worry, he just needed to replace a few more fuses. That did the trick and soon enough we were on our way! So for $3 we had working AC…well $13, we decided to give him all of the cash we had, a paltry $10 wasn’t near enough to show our gratitude for our hero of the day, but it was better than nothing. So, off we went in a nice cool car.

The rest of the day was a success and we got home that evening without incident. I suppose these little things are entertaining and make for pretty funny memories. Well, until next time!

*J

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