. Damn! Damn! Damn!
It was a hot day, but that's not he reason for my expletives. I had stopped at a convenience store on route to my next client for the day. A couple of cold cans of Coke Classic was just what I needed.
....What I didn't need was for my truck to refuse to start. Though the radio and air conditioning were working, I figured it must have been the battery. Even above the nosie of the traffic on that busy street, I could hear a series of rapid clicks. Where one click would have suggested that there was a problem with the starter, this rat-a-tat meant otherwise. To be safe, I turned off the radio and the a/c, but had the same results. Damn! Damn! Damn!
....Swear words were beginning to form at the fore-front of my thoughts. Looking under the hood, I was hoping I'd see the problem right away, but inside I knew better. It's a guy-thing! You have to appear to know what you are doing. At least the fluid levels in the radiator and window wash tank were not low. Since I had a sealed battery, I couldn't check the water level in the cells.
....It was 12:45PM, so I called my office to let them know about my predicament. My coordinator said she would call my remaining clients and tell them I would be late and possibly might not make it at all. I promised to let her know what was going on when I had news to relay to her. If I was able to resume work, I would call her. (Don't count on it, I thought to myself.)
....Next I called AAA for some roadside assistance. By the time all the pertinent information had been passed along to the operator, and she had given me my reference number, it was 1:15. I had the gloomy feeling that this going to cost me - right in the wallet! Damn! Damn! Damn!
....Surveying my situation, I could at least take comfort in the fact that I was at least near civilization. I wouldn't starve or have to worry about dehydration parked in front of a convenience store. I didn't have to worry about eating junk food either. Next door was a pizza/sub shop. My stomach had been reminding me that I hadn't eaten yet.
....Interestingly, on the other side of the convenience store was a Psychic! Ms F. Fowler, according to her sign, specialized in Phrenology. (I never could buy the idea that the shape of one's head could have any bearing on one's personality.) The tools of her trade were displayed in the windows on either side of her door. There were some Tarot cards and a large diagram of a human palm with the life line indicated. Several crystal balls were laid about also.
....I wondered in jest, if the all-knowing Madame Fowler could give me a diagnostic of my truck's problem. Could she tell me how much it it was going to cost? When my cell phone rang at that moment, I'll bet she knew that is was AAA. She probably knew what time AAA would tell me when assistance would arrive.
....I glanced at my watch, it was 2:15, as I spoke to the AAA person. She informed me that they would have someone there to assist me at 3PM. (Sigh!) There would be at least another forty-five minute delay to my day. Damn! Damn! Damn!
....Hmm, according to the awning above the door, she was a Clairvoyant and a Spiritual Healer. I wondered if Dionne Warwick would recommend her? Then again, the Psychic Network didn't appear to do much to help out Whitney, her niece and her husband, Bobby.
....Unbeknownst to me, maybe the Madame was trying to tell me something? For across the street from where I stood was a used car dealership, and two door downs was an Enterprise Car Rental office. Next to the Enterprise was another auto dealership. What else was there? I saw an auto-glass shop -- no good for me at that time. A pet grooming shop "Paws Pause" -- cute! Back on my side of the street there was a Dunkin' Donuts -- nah, too hot for coffee, and their iced-coffee isn't so hot. A little further down there was a gas station -- gas only! After that there was a Walgreens, followed by a McDonalds, which was opposite a Jiffy Lube.
....Three o:clock came and passed. At 3:15, there was still no sign of help! When it turned to 3:30 by my watch, I was angrier than ever. Damn! Damn! Damn! Using my reference number, I called AAA again, at the same time rehearsing in my mind my line, "Where in the hell is he?"
....Finally! It was 3:45 when a van pulled up bumper-to-bumper in front of my truck. After my description of the problem and trying to start the truck, he echoed my feelings of earlier. The battery was probably low. Testing it, he discovered that there was a dead cell. He could try to charge it, but the charge wouldn't hold. I had to have a new battery!
....It was 4:15 PM, three hours after I had placed my original call to AAA, I was finally off and running. It was just one of those days, I thought as I drove to one of my clients, that maybe I should've stayed home. Now of course, Madame Fowler would have known how my day was going to transpire. She could could have saved me all the grief, time and money. Hmm, before I get home, maybe I should give her a call and ask for the box score of tonight's All-Star Game. I still had time to place a bet or two. Right? After all, she is all-knowing, isn't she? It says so on her window.