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Stranded at the Laundromat

With 6 clean sleeping bags and 2 comforters, I push my piled-high cart through the parking lot and pull the handle of the side door of our minivan to start loading. It won’t open.

That’s odd. We just spent our lifesavings to get the only-helpful-when-they-work electronic doors fixed. I try the other side. Same thing.

Ahhh, maybe they’ll work if the van is running. I dash around the other side, put the key in the ignition and turn. Nothing. Sigh. I’m supposed to be home right now getting myself and my 4 boys ready to attend a wedding. Instead, I’m sitting in 90 degree heat in a van that won’t start.

Being the brilliant car mechanic that I am, I start troubleshooting. The lights on the dash turn on, so it’s not the battery.

I turn the key again, as if that revelation will magically fix it. Nope.

I suddenly remember seeing my 4-year old with a random key headed out to the car. I had said, “Buddy, don’t put your key in our van door lock, because it could short out the electronics.”

But then I had gotten sidetracked and didn’t watch what he did with the key. Had he done it? Was I stranded at the laundromat because of a 4-year old’s curiosity?

I dash back to the passenger side and try my key in the lock. Just as I had feared. The key won’t even go in the lock. One 4-year old has some ‘splainin’ to do.

I call home, saying what every husband wants to hear, “Honey, I’m stranded at the laundromat. I think our son shorted out the electronic system.” I feel very smart telling him my conclusion to my troubleshooting efforts. “I’ve done everything I can think of, babe.”

I know he can’t come get me. He’s about to leave to play the piano in the wedding.

“I’m sorry, honey. Good thing we have Triple A!”

Ah yes, Triple A. I punch the number on my cell phone, imagining myself loading up 6 sleeping bags and 2 comforters into a tow truck cab. Where would I sit? Where would the driver sit?

I give my whereabouts to the Triple A employee on the other end of the line. Just as she is about to contact the nearest tow truck, I suddenly think of something.

One flick of the wrist and a turn of the hand- and Voila! The van starts!

I tell the employee I won’t be needing Triple A after all. I then call my husband. “Honey! You will be so proud of me! I fixed the van myself!”

He is stunned. “Really, how?”

“I put it in PARK.”

4 thoughts on “Stranded at the Laundromat”

  1. HA! 🙂 I had to learn “P” is for “P”ark…the hard way too! You are a smart mechanic, you are! “P”roud of you! Did you get to the wedding? Just curious of course!

  2. At least you figured it out on your own. Happened to me and my mom many years ago and we called the cops. Talk about embarrassing. I’ll never forget it. I’m sure we are not the only ones who’ve had this happen.

    1. Called the cops?!?! Oh my goodness, how terribly embarrassing. I’m just glad we didn’t pay for a Triple A mechanic to come out, just to point out my error! Ahhh- humility is our friend. 🙂

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