|I'm so hot, I'm combustible.
||[May. 30th, 2008|08:32 am]
Last night I passed a Car-B-Q. And I felt really sorry for the person who's car it was -- although he seemed to be safely off to the side. But it was cool. 15 foot flames and a bright flashing mini-explosion as I went by. |
But of course, it only then served to wake up my paranoia and I spent the rest of the drive home watching the temp gauge on the car and sniffing anxiously for smoke.
Because I set cars on fire.
I was driving home from my summer job, managing an inner city pool, and giving one of my lifeguards a lift home. We stopped at a stop sign and suddenly the car was engulfed in a cloud of smoke. Johnny said, "Oh, my god, the car's on fire." And I said (because I was the boss and the boss always knows better - clearly the early stages of my management career, before I learned better) "No, dude, it's just my turn signal bouncing off the smoke. I guess we're overheating."
So I put the car in park and turn it off and leisurely get out of the car. Walk up to the hood and then remember that I forgot to pop it. As I walk back around the hood, that's when the flame shot out in front of me from under the hood. Luckily, I can admit I'm wrong when faced with the obvious.
"Oh, my god, the car's on fire. Johnny, go call the fire department!" Luckily we were in a residential neighborhood so there were plenty of houses to choose from. (Yes, kiddies, this is when I was in college, BEFORE cell phones, when there were still pterodactyls and you had to knock on doors and ask to use the phone if you were in trouble.)
And that's when my crack lifeguard says "What's the number for the fire department?" Sigh. 911, you moron.
So, I got to watch my parents' station wagon go up in flames. It was put out before it blew up or did anything more spectacular than 15 foot flambes, but at the end, charred, twisted metal.
And I got to make the call to my parents "Uh, can you come pick me up? There's a problem with the car. (outrage and hollering begins) Um, it caught on fire. (how could you set the car on fire, what did you do, what the)" I'll admit, it was a little traumatic at that point to be hollered at by my parents -- as if I had decided to make a campfire on the hood of the car and it had gotten out of control.
I was mollified the next day when my Dad came home from the impound lot, or wherever it is that twisted, charred hunks of ex-cars go, and he was white as a sheet and just hugged me and apologized. I guess they thought it was a bit more...minor.
But it was even more traumatic when, not 3 weeks later, I got into the other family car, started it up and flames shot out of the glove compartment. Truthfully, I just went back inside, left a note for my Mom and went back to bed.
Now, turns out, both cars had been in for electrical work at the same dealership in the past month. So, technically speaking, I may have had nothing to do with it.
But I'm telling you, to this day, on mornings where the air is just the right temperature and you turn the A/C in the car on and it comes out of the vents in a little puff of "smoke"....I can't stop the sudden adrenaline rush of panic.