#16. Jump Start My Car

Are sparks good or bad? 
Are sparks good or bad?

As I’ve mentioned before, I once loved my SAAB… until it broke my heart by hardly ever starting, never turning off when I asked, and made belching noises whenever I inserted my top-secret favorite Toby Keith’s Greatest Hits CD. WTF, Saab?!

Anyhow, after returning from our California trip, I was shocked my car actually started! Thanks, Norse gods! However, when the 5 o’clock bell rang and I went to start Helga, she didn’t even pretend to have the will to live. Dead as pickled herring on toast points, topped with a sprig of dill. I got a ride home and pulled a Scarlet O’Hara: I’ll think about it tomorrow.

I devised a plan: I’d drive Josh’s giant truck to work (he’s got both a pickup and a car that gets good gas mileage… brilliant man). Then after work, I’d jump my car, drive it home and we’d get Josh’s truck later that night. The only thing is that I’ve never successfully jumped my car by myself.

Josh gave me instructions: First, red on the positive “good” battery. Or wait, was it black goes to negative on the bad battery? Aw crap, I forgot everything once I was in the field, so I Googled it. Red goes on the bad battery’s +. Then, attach the other red clip to the good battery’s +. Next, attach the black clip to the good battery’s -. So easy! The last move is attaching the last black clip to a metal, unpainted surface on the dead car. Once I identified a spot on my car, I started attaching the clip, boom! Sparks! Shit, that can’t be right, can it?

I picked up the phone to call Josh, but he didn’t answer. Then I kind of walked around the car like a hopeless damsel in distress, thinking that one of the millions of people who speed through our parking lot  might ask if I needed help. Not a one! (which I was fine with, because I was supposed to be doing it myself. But not one person even asked. Unbelievable!). I called my friend, Margie, cause she knows a thing or two about cars. Apparently, sparks are mini fireworks that let you know it’s working. I took a deep breath, attached the black clip, then very briefly watched sparks fly. Two minutes later, my car started. I took a photo of my jumper cable set-up, posted it on Instagram (because otherwise it didn’t happen) and I drove off into the sunset. I did it!

When I got home, I noticed some GUY I don’t even know commented on my pic:

“What’s wrong with this photo?”

Oh god, what was wrong with the photo?! My knee jerk reaction was to immediately delete the picture. I was mortified that some guy called me out on “incorrectly” jumping my car… even after I’d A) successfully started it and B) driven her home. Before erasing my shame, I showed Josh the photo. He told me I did it right. I may have learned to jump my car, but I also learned that I should trust myself more– not just some jerk waiting to say gotcha! on Instagram.



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Comments (2)

  • Denise 7 years ago Reply

    Well, if I was still at work and saw you standing by your dead car, I would have helped. Actually, I would have just given you moral support, because what I use to know about jumping a car left my brain the moment I signed up with AAA. Sad. And I saw that comment on IG and thought….but the car started, so it couldn’t have been too wrong. Jerks gotta be jerks.

    molly mogren 7 years ago Reply

    I know you would’ve given moral support. You’re good like that, Denise!

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