The Best-Laid Plans

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

My car’s name is Buzz.  He is a little red 2008 Suzuki SX4, named after Buzz Aldrin, of Apollo XI fame.  And I love him.  Most of the time.

Except for now.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

It was all so simple, you see.  Finish tutoring, hit the highway, beat the worst of rush hour traffic, drive 20 minutes to the suburban Staples to curbside-pickup the deliciously mustard corduroy tote bag that was out of stock in town …

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

Now I’m no longer ahead of the rush hour traffic.  Oh no.  I’m the object of all those drivers’ curiosity (and, dare I say, pity?) as they zip on by me on their way home.

Looking out my driver’s side door window, I see the Staples mocking me.  “That was easy,” it taunts.

I haven’t gotten there yet.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

The noise of my hazard lights is boring itself into my brain.

When I left my house this morning, I thought Buzz sounded a little more … aggressive … than usual.  A little more snarly.  I made a mental note to pop into the garage on Thursday, as they would be closed tomorrow.  And then — decision made — I promptly turned up the stereo.

Everything was wonderful at the beach, through the residential areas, zipping along the highway, right until I came to the last intersection before Staples.  At that point, there was a roar to rival a Harley Davidson convention, and something — metallic and important-seeming — dropped from the bottom of my car and began to drag, making rock tumbler noises along the pavement until I got safely pulled over on to the shoulder.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

Now I am sitting here, watching the sky darken, waiting for my husband to come rescue me (again), and wondering what fell off.  Is it beat-up enough I could claim it as space junk?  Could I sell it on eBay?

Headlights appear squarely in my rearview mirror, and I can see the silhouette of my dog’s tail wagging madly in the back seat of the vehicle pulled over behind me.

Help has arrived.