The negative side of me wanted to call it: Do I have bad Car-ma?
The dramatic side of me wanted to say: Terror on the 405!!!
But the relaxed, zen side of me decided to call it: One Step at a Time, because that’s exactly how I need to take things, OSAAT.
I wasn’t going to be one of those bloggers who after not reading and commenting much in the past few weeks, apologizes profusely for not being around much, but, the preface to this story is that I’ve been insanely busy with work, juggling several big projects and driving all around town to do these jobs.
I say this because it really is a good thing, and plays a huge role in why I need to keep things in perspective. But, since I mentioned it, I am sorry I haven’t been around as much. 🙂
Anyway, a week ago I was driving home from a client meeting, and when I got home I noticed my car was overheating. The very next morning I drove it 1/2 mile to my mechanic and asked him to check it out. It was out of some kind of fluid (yes I know a lot about cars), so he filled it up, but I left it there for him to check everything out because I told him, “I’m driving all over LA for work and the last thing I want to do is break down on the 405.” What I should have said was, “the last thing I want to do right now is win a million dollars.” Self-fullfilling prophecy anyone? 🙂
He didn’t find anything wrong in particular, but did mention I should get a new radiator soon ($400) and a new timing belt ($400). I put that on my to-do list for when I win that million, and went on my merry way.
Friday afternoon started off like any other. I was supposed to be in Glendale at 4pm, but since I left my MAC power cable there, decided to go earlier to catch up on some other work.
My other producer asked me to stop by his house to drop off a drive, and while I was at a complete stop on a busy street, this guy came up behind me and bumped my car.
We pulled off to the side and he steps out of his Jag. I found some scratches on the bumper and a liscence plate light popped out, but my car is old so it has a lot of scratches. I asked for his insurance anyway and he tells me he doesnt’ have it. And I know this is judgmental, but I got the feeling he didn’t have insurance at all. He looked really sketchy.
I went on my way and over to my producers’s house. After I left, my air conditioning started blowing hot air. I got pissed since it was really hot on Friday and I JUST got a new compressor ($600) in August.
By the time I got to Glendale I was hot and aggravated, but knew I wanted to sort of “clean up my energy” because I didn’t want to have that negativity floating around me. So I calmed down.
My producer (and former boss) had me there for two hours before he decided to send me home…right during rush hour traffic.
I was on the 405 going south, and as I got closer to Santa Monica, traffic was moving at a pretty good pace, with the occasional slow down. On one of those slow downs, every fricken light in my car came on and the car just flat out died in two seconds. No time to do anything.
I was in the second to far left-hand lane, and completely started freaking out. I first called my friend Dave (no idea why) who told me to hang up and called AAA. Duh!
My hands were totally shaking which meant dialing was hard, plus I was frantically looking in my rear view mirror praying no one would come slamming into the back of my car. Mostly I was just staring at really angry motorists, who were in danger as well since everyone to the left and right was whizzing by really fast.
BTW, why do people honk at me? As if I just decided to stop my car in the middle of the freeway for fun. I mean, really! “Hmm thought this looked like a nice spot for a picnic!”
I called AAA (who also called the police for me and said they would be there in 20 minutes). Do you know how long 20 minutes feels when you are stopped on a freeway? Luckily a tow truck pulled up behind me in about 10 minutes.
BTW somewhere in the middle of all this I wrote a FB status update (which I since took down not to worry people) that said, “broken down in the middle of the 405 and I’m fucking terrified!!!” Why I felt the need to post a status update I have no idea, but the message worked and my good friend and next door neighbor Erika texted me immediately saying she was on her way.
Anyway, the tow truck driver walked up to my window and told me to stay calm, and that he was going to push my car off the freeway. OMG!
He starts pushing me and I’m trying to cross 4 lanes of fast traffic with no power steering and hardly any braking power. I also had about 75 yards to get to the Santa Monica Blvd exit or else I was screwed because there was no shoulder on the far right.
It was the scariest thing ever! I luckily made it to the off ramp, but as I was going downhill I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to brake hard enough and crash into traffic.
At the bottom of the hill on the right was a Chevron station, so I put all my body weight into braking, then made a sharp right into the gas station and luckily there was a empty parking spot dead ahead, where the car finally came to rest.
Stay tuned for Part 2 Wednesday where I talk about the financial damage, and the lesson I learned from the whole experience.
Do any of you have any really scary car break down stories?
Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net