Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Feb. 14, 2015 - 9:52 a.m.

I Go Where I'm Towed

I had this great, completely honest, wildly inappropriate entry about bullying and fat chicks ready to go (spoiler: I'm only in favor of one of them) and then Diaryland went and ruined it by returning the "Notes" feature. Now I'm too scared to post it. Thanks, Andrew.


It was 6 degrees out when I got off work on Friday.

6 degrees is the surface of Uranus (the planet, not your Secret Fun Place). But it was 6 degrees in East Rutherford on Friday when I got off work.

Which meant, naturally, my car broke down on the way home, stranding me in 6 degree weather with no heat.


This is the new/used Subaru Forester we recently got, the one NewWifey(tm) named "Faith" because it took a lot of it to buy a car with 165,000 miles on the odometer. Up until now it seemed our Faith was justified, as it ran with no complaints at all.

But now I was sitting on the side of Route 23 in Riverdale, New Jersey in an uninsulated metal box and it was 6 degrees out. So I did what any red blooded Real American Man does when his car breaks down. I called my wife and begged her for help.

NewWifey(tm) was not particularly happy to hear from me.

As it happened, Friday was the first day that NewWifey(tm) felt well enough to leave the house since being stricken with diverticuliiiiiiiiitis. To celebrate, she'd just driven an hour north of Dangerhouse to attend a weekly get-together of her stitching buddies. I was stuck an hour south of Dangerhouse.

"Let me get this straight" NewWifey(tm) said. "You want me to leave my friends whom I've just driven an hour to be with and drive another 2 hours just so I can look at your car and say 'it needs radiator fluid'?"


She laughed.

My wife actually laughed at me. In 6 degree weather.

So I played the only card I had. The only card I knew was guaranteed to work.

"OK, fine" I said. "I'll call a tow truck."

That did it.

"Calling a tow truck" is a phrase that simultaneously mashes two of NewWifey(tm)'s hottest buttons: spending money, and admitting she can't fix something. I heard teeth grinding on the other end.

Finally: "Where are you, exactly?"

"On 23 north, at the top of the hill just before the WalMart."

"Alright." She took a deep breath. "Walk over to the WalMart and buy a tow rope. I'm not working on a car on the side of Route 23 in 6 degree weather, especially after how I've been feeling. I'll tow you home with the Escape and look at it tomorrow."

"Walk to the Walmart?" I said. "It's 6 degrees out!"

"WALK TO THE FUCKING WALMART AND BUY A FUCKING TOW ROPE!" she screamed. "Then just hang out in the store and make fun of all the fat people til I get there. You won't die. At least, not until I get there." She hung up the phone.

So I walked to the fucking Walmart and bought a fucking tow rope and hung out for two hours until she got there. (She was right: there are an awful lot of fat people in WalMart. How did she know?)

Two hours later we attached one end of the rope to NewWifey(tm)'s Escape and the other end to Faith the Forester and started for home.

I need you to understand something here. The Ford Escape is the baby SUV of the blue oval family. It has a 1.8 liter, 4 cylinder engine that produced about as much torque as an electric pencil sharpener when it was brand new. And ours has 230,000 miles on it.

Now we were asking it to drag not only itself, but another SUV up and down the hills of Northwestern New Jersey in the middle of rush hour traffic in 6 degree weather.

God bless American car designers and Chinese OEM parts. It did it.

It did it slowly, but it did it.

Lemme tell you, I didn't think it was gonna work at first. From the get-go I could smell the Escape's clutch (it's a manual) burning to cinders every time NewWifey(tm) accelerated, not matter how gently. I really thought there were gonna be TWO broken down cars on Route 23 within 5 miles. And two dead bodies inside them.

On top of that, I was having real trouble keeping Faith in line. Remember, this was a tow rope we were using, not a solid bar. Every time NewWifey(tm) slowed down - and there are a lot of traffic lights on Route 23 through Riverdale and Butler - I had to slow accordingly or I would plow into the back of her. But with a dead engine there was no power assist to Faith's brakes. I had to use both feet and push like I was getting a priest off an alter boy in order to slow even the least amount. No power steering either, so turning was a 2-arm affair. By the third red light I was almost completely physically spent, and we still had 25 miles to go.

Plus, I was FREEEEEZING. 6 degrees out, no heat in the car, the window open most of the time in case NewWifey(tm) shouted instructions back at me. (Example: "STOP PICKING YOUR NOSE IN OUR NEW CAR! I can see you in the rear view mirror, you know!" I heard that one three times.) It was awful.

But as I say, it did it. Took almost 3 hours, since up some of the steeper hills NewWifey(tm) had to throw the Escape into 4x4 mode and creep along at 5 mph...much to the enjoyment of the patient New Jersey drivers stretching a good half mile behind us. But it did it.

So now we have a dead 2006 Subaru Forrester with 165,000 miles and no warranty sitting in our driveway. Inside the house is a husband who can whip up a "Coeur a la Creme" with a reduced port and mango-butter sauce faster than it takes you to Google "Coeur a la Creme" but doesn't know which end of a screwdriver to use, and a wife who can do a top end job on a Chevy 327 small block with only a nail clipper and the power of her white hot fury, but is currently crippled with diverticuliiiiiiiiitis.

AND it started snowing on Saturday.

AND it was even colder than Friday. I didn't think that was possible, but the thermometer doesn't lie.

AND it was Valentine's Day.

So what did we do?

We did exactly what any of you would do if it was Valentine's Day and it was desperately important that you had a working car to go back to work on Monday but it was snowing and colder than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's heart and one of you has diverticuliiiiiiiiitis:

We ignored it and ate Coeur a la Creme with a reduced port and mango-butter sauce and then fucked like mink.

Now it's Sunday. And hard as it is for me to fathom, it's even colder than Saturday or Friday. With roof rending winds this time, to boot.

When we got up this morning NewWifey(tm) looked out the window at the unbroken wall of sideways blowing ice pellets and a thermometer that read -2 degrees and she said, "Do we have any leftover Coeur a la Creme?"

I nodded.


She sighed. "Take the Escape to work Monday. I'll cancel my appointments. I just can't go out there in these conditions and work on a cold engine. Not with my diverticuliiiiiiiiitis."

"Can we fuck like mink again, too, then?"

She looked at me like I'd just asked her if cats were snakes. "Well, duhhh. What else are we gonna do? Talk?"

True. What were we gonna talk about? The cold? Cars? Diverticuliiiiiiiiitis? We really didn't have many options. French desserts, gamahucher, and irrumation would have to suffice. Again. Oh, the privations we First Worlders suffer when we're without a car!

I nodded my assent.

So now if you'll excuse me, I've got to once again shoulder the twin burdens of rich food and filthy redhead.

Stiff upper lip, old man. Stiff upper lip.

And parts elsewhere.





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