Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton


Tuesday night, I was driving home from work. As I was driving down Penn, I noticed an odd smell. I figured it was coming from outside the car, but it persisted for a couple of blocks. Then I looked over towards the glove compartment and noticed a cloud of vapor forming inside the passenger area of my car.

I promptly got off the road and parked in a gas station parking lot. Once there, I noticed that there was even more vapor coming from underneath the hood.

I called my father-in-law, who is wonderfully handy. He agreed to come on out and take a look at the car. There was no particular rush, so I said it would be fine for him to finish grilling his chicken before coming out.

While I was waiting, a fire truck came through the intersection with lights and sirens going. This was not particularly novel; I've seen that before. But it stopped near me and firefighters came towards me, and I had a sudden sense of "Did someone call the fire department because of the cloud from my car? I'll be so embarrassed."

It turned out that this was not the case. I had parked next to two cars that had had a minor accident, and the fire truck had come because the firefighters were trained paramedics, and they were the closest folks available to see whether anyone needed paramedicing.

This accident also got a police car and about three tow trucks at different times. I strolled over at one point and asked, "How many tow trucks does this fender-bender need?" One of the drivers jokingly answered, "Oh, about ten." He also told me that there are 69 tow trucks in the area.

It was interesting to overhear the chitchat between the policeman and the tow truck driver about relations between the police and the towing companies.

Eventually, my father-in-law came. We put in lots of water, and it became clear that the lower radiator hose was split.

Les managed to take the hose off and cut off the split end, and put the shorter hose back on. It was a temporary stopgap fix, but a mighty nice one. I was impressed.
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