i definitely can’t park there

I was going to do a post on how I’m slowly gaining weight again. I took a photo and everything. But no. That’s not happening 1) because gut 2) because I was a fat kid I would have a BMI of -5 and still be self-conscious at times of how I look without a shirt on.

Anyway, I planned on having a relaxing day today because it’s one of my rare consecutive days off and my days off next week will consist of finishing up packing and moving upstairs.

Instead, I was trapped in a parking lot for about two hours.

I took Nicole Louise Cobb in for service once and was told the battery was bad. I called BS because my car is a 2009 and this was in 2010. And most battery checks afterward have been fine.

“I’ll get a new battery when it stops working,” I said.

Today was the day.

I dropped Renée off today at work and geared up to run some quick errands before spending the day on the couch with some drunken noodles. The closest parking lots to her job are restricted (and somewhat isolated) but, since I’m just dropping her off, whatever.

I left my cell phone at home because I don’t believe in being attached to my phone. And I simply forgot it.

Today, I helped her bring in a new office chair, so I turned my car off and went inside as far as I can go because the building apparently is UVa’s Chamber of Secrets. I dashed back because I know that campus police are vultures wheeling around parking lots, waiting to pluck out the eyes of anyone who dares leave their vulnerable vehicles where they ought not be.

Nicole wouldn’t start.

The radio came to life but I noticed that the dome light was dimmer than usual. I wondered what could have drained the battery because my car, which is probably three design models behind the Knight Industries Two Thousand, had anti-battery-killer fail safes. If I inadvertently pop the trunk, the light inside eventually turns off. The same with the interior lights and headlights if they’re turned on and the engine is off. There are still some things that run, because all our electronics never truly turn off nowadays, but I drive enough for that to not be a problem.

Despite me being on a college campus on a Friday afternoon whilst a Board of Visitors meeting was in progress, I didn’t see a soul for a good little while. I wanted to just walk home and call my insurance, but I knew the vultures would swoop down the second I turned my back on Nicole.

(We live 2.5 miles away from her job and this city is 10 square miles. I hate myself every time I drive somewhere in the city’s core during daylight hours. It’s probably why I’m gaining weight again.)

I could have pounded on the door to Renée’s building until the cows came home but no one would have heard it.

Finally, a university workman walked by. I asked him to call campus police for me. At the least, I wanted to not get a ticket whilst I got my phone. I didn’t want to ask a complete stranger to use their phone to call my insurance because I would be leery of that in 2013. He said he didn’t know their non-emergency number and left.

A few moments later, I came across a doctor who found the non-emergency number. The person who answered said I needed to call another esoteric-sounding code that the doctor didn’t understand either.

He had jumper cables so we pushed my car near his and then they were in the wrong position and there was no way to fix that in this extremely tight parking lot.

Then a parking office worker spotted my car with the hood up and told me I couldn’t park there.

I explained that I was making a delivery.

“This is a restricted lot.”

I know.

She took me to her office, which was in an adjacent building and called insurance to send over a tow truck. As the parking woman led me back outside, she mentioned again that I can’t park there.

I entered Level 2 of Elliott Robinson Anger. I go up to 5 and I even hit 6 once. Six wasn’t pretty.

I left the hood up and sat on my trunk. A few moments later, a campus police officer rolled by. He asked what the problem was and I said my battery was dead.

“You can’t park here,” he said. Then drove off.

A few moments later, a second car came by.

“Is anyone coming to help you?”

“Yes. I called my insurance company, but all I need is someone to jump the car.”

“You can’t park here.”

Exit officer.

At this point, it was around 4 p.m. I got there around 2:30 or so. Getting a late brunch was very high on my list of things to do.

I began to flirt with Elliott Robinson Anger Level 3.

It took about 10 seconds to jump my car and I did the quick non-eating parts of my errands before heading to AutoZone to get the battery checked out.

I waited an extraordinary amount of time for that.

Anger Level 3 activated.

The battery tested fine and I braced myself for an outrageously expensive car repair. A few seconds later, I started my car and nothing.

I went back inside and the guy was like, that’s not possible. The battery was tested again and failed the test. I was told that it was probably holding barely enough of a charge to start the car for some time now and finally bit it.

About $115 later, I had a new battery. But no food yet.

At nearly 6 p.m., I finally had lunch and then felt inspired to do the last step of moving: setting up cable service upstairs. I figured I wouldn’t have to do this, since it’s the same building, but for all I know, there are two separate accounts here.

Comcast: You’re moving where?
Me: Same building, only upstairs.
Comcast: So it’s the same house?
Me: Yes. There are two units with nearly the same address.
Comcast: Would you need a technician to come out?

Anger Level 4 engaged.

I was put on hold eventually, then told I had to call another number because the cable upstairs is “inoperable.”

On the new line, I had to explain that I was moving to another part of the same building again. More confusion. More pauses. I was then told a tech guy needed to come out. I was assured it would be free. I’m holding them to that.

I saw that Howard the Duck was on. Sweet.

The guy is coming at some point on Sunday between midnight and 11:59 p.m.

Anger Level … Crisis Averted by Howard the Duck.

It made up for everything else.

I’m not ready to go to work tomorrow after all this.

On the bright side, I can park anywhere I want there.

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