When I was a teenager, many years ago, I overheard a friend telling someone I was a “space cadet.” I was taken aback, mainly because I thought I was far from being the proverbial “dumb blonde.” It sort of hurt my feelings. Sure, I would have preferred another moniker, such as “insanely intelligent,” or “god-like” instead, but I really didn’t want to labeled “stupid.”
After that, I paid attention to what people said. People did use, “perky,” “imaginative,” and “funny,” and I got a lot of “crazy,” but as time went by I noticed my mom would tell me how gullible I was. My college roommates would call me a “dip shit.” My ex-husband called me a “Dingleberry” when we were married. So, I guess years later, synonyms for “space cadet” have traveled with me.
And today I visited Pluto.
Let me begin by saying I really am trying to be a responsible person. You have to understand that during my 25 year marriage, I didn’t have to take care of the car or anything that needed a hammer or screw driver. Ok, sure, maybe one time I may have called a Phillips screwdriver a “Wilson Phillips screwdriver” when my husband asked me to fetch one for him, but how did I know they had names? There is a flat screwdriver and a round screwdriver. How easy is that?
Anyway, after my divorce, I have been forced to do certain chores and can no longer depend on anyone. This “insanely intelligent” girl was on her own at the ripe old age of 52.
Last month, I purchased a brand new Subaru Forester. My old Subaru had 135,000 miles and had a plethora of problems, ranging from a leaking water pump to a rusty exhaust system. It was time to go. I vowed to continue being a responsible (anal) owner and take the new car to be serviced every 3,000 miles like I did before.
I already drove my nice new car to pick up my son at Dulles airport, which is about 3-4 hours one way. I drove the 2 hours to Pittsburgh to pick up my daughter. Since July 2, I have put 2,301 miles on my car without a problem….until last week.
I noticed something was rolling or sliding when I came to a stop or traveled up or down a hill. The feeling and sound was coming from under the floorboard under my left foot. There was nothing visibly moving, as my car is currently immaculate and quite free of rolled-up bags of previous morning visits through the Hardees drive-through like I had in my old car. No, there was something rolling or sliding under my left foot.
This was driving me nuts. I was going to call the service department of the Subaru dealership where I bought my car, but I thought I would drive it there so I could better describe exactly what was going on with my car. So, I made some mental notes:
- The movement and noise was taking place more when I was coming to a stop, but did it also traveling up and down a hill.
- The feeling of something moving was right under my left foot, and didn’t really extend any further towards the front. (I moved my foot up and back a little) It was directly under my foot.
- The movement was more pronounced when I had to apply my brake hard.
I walked into the service department and was greeted by a man who was cordial but not close to being nice. I decided to be really nice, because you know what they say; “You can get more………something……with sugar.”
(I had to look that up….”You can catch more flies with honey.”)
Dear God, I really am a dip shit.
I told the man why I was there.
“Do you have an appointment?”
“No, I need to make one. I thought I would do a “test-drive” here so I could better explain in detail what is going on with my car.” (Which translates to “Could someone take a look at it today?”)
He said he never heard of that before and gave me an appointment card for August 22, which is ten days from now.
On my way home, among the rolling and sliding of the new occupant under my floorboard, I went to another place, Walter Mitty-like and visualized the following scenarios:
- Whatever was rolling around in my car flies out when I hit a pot hole and hits the window of an approaching car and impales the driver right through the left eye.
- My brakes fail and I hit a coal truck from behind and try to duck before something takes my head off.
- My car won’t start and I have to call a taxi to take me to school and he is a former NYU taxi driver and I get sick because of the way he drives and throw up on his credit card meter.
I was not happy with my new purchase when I pulled into the garage and was full of angst. So, I did what anyone who wants more answers would do: I googled “something is moving under the floorboard of my car.”
Well, there you go. Many, many people posed that exact question. I read through forums and decided it had to be something to do with a caliper pin, whatever the hell that is. My problem has to be in my brakes!
And now I have to wait and drive my car for ten days with a caliper pin injury.
But, wait. What is this?
A poster wrote that he had the same problem for weeks and weeks and then found a can of something or other rolling back and forth under his seat. It never came to the front, just stayed under his front seat. Posters laughed at him, but also congratulated him on his honesty and willingness to share that embarrassing information.
I knew there was nothing under the seat in my brand new car……….pause…….pause……pause
And then I remembered a conversation I had while driving with my son last week.
There was a small bottle of water sitting in one of the cup holders that had been there since I picked him up at Dulles.
While he was driving me back from a doctor’s appointment, where I had 3 layers of skin on my nostril removed because of stupid basal cell cancer, I picked up the bottle of water.
“This bottle has been sitting here too long and in the heat. It’s not safe to drink. The plastic breaks down and is very bad.”
And…… I tossed the bottle onto the floor of the back seat.
Upon this realization, I stood up from the computer and ran down the stairs,my confused cat following me, amazed I could move faster than the slug he had been living with this summer. I flung open my basement door, opened up my back door and felt under the driver’s seat………and pulled out that damn bottle of water.
I think it was smirking at me.
Shit…… I am a dingleberry…..I am worse than a dingleberry. I am a dingleberry space cadet dip shit blonde who made an appointment in 10 days to fix the caliper pin problem in my car.
I went back upstairs and grabbed my keys to do another “test drive.” Problem gone, but the air head remains.
I think I will wait a few days before I cancel the appointment. I will lie, of course, because I’m a lying space cadet.