Amended to include new photos
(Wrote this Monday night so keep that in mind – all events happened Monday.
This morning I was thinking today's theme song would be that Arrested Development song "Tennessee" but I've decided to change the theme song for the day to that Bangles song "Manic Monday" because I've suffered through the Mothers of All Manic Mondays.
Let me preface this list with a bit of foreshadowing: Last Wednesday I had my car serviced and inspected precisely to avoid, say, having the truck stop working while I was at a rest stop in, say, for example, Tennesee. It checked out just fine.
Then as I approached my first meeting/party Sunday night I noticed the battery light was sometimes flashing, sometimes not, but I couldn't fathom how there could be a battery problem WHILE the car was working. But I made a mental note of this, and mentioned it to Courts, and decided if I see a car repair place en route I'd pull over and have it checked out. (The mechanic later theorized the car could not hold a charge and so I'd damaged the battery AND the alternator during this process.
Long story short, I went into a rest stop, used the bathroom, came out, and the car would not restart. I called AAA and they sent sometime. That person said they could tow my truck but was not sure if he could tow the trailer. Well, that made no sense so I called U-Haul for its Roadside Assistance. AAA guy left during this.
Come to find out U-Haul said they could inspect or tow the trailer but not the truck.
So back I go to calling AAA – at this point saying "please don't make me repeat all this again – and they come and tow me. It was the same guy as the first time who determined the problem was not, as I had hoped, just the battery but rather the alternator.
He tows the truck and the trailer to place in Seiversville, Tenn. The good news was they could fix it all up and get me back on the road that night. The bad news is they replaced the alternator and the battery (saying the alternator was failing and I somehow ruined the battery and the fan belt would probably fail before I made it to Texas too.) So $900 and two hours later I hit the road again.
And as when I left Hagerstown I was singing "Hit the road, Scott, don't you come back no more, no more, no more…" I was now singing the same about this region which cost me dearly in the pocketbook.
Five Observations On My Day
) At what point does a Rest Stop stop being a rest stop and start being a stuck stop? I didn't get any rest there. Not only that but when I realized that the car wasn't going to start I asked if I could have a chair to sit in this rest stop and the staff (there were three people watching me and taking no action beyond talking about me under their breath (blah blah mazda blah blah u-haul blah) but two hours later they did give me a chair and I resisted the urge to say "I don't want your pity.
2) My tow truck driver pointed out a few interesting things when I noted that the car repair place was adjacenet to a place called Sexy Stuf (apparently it's more sexy to spell stuff with one less f). For example, you know how there are laws in some places prohibiting the opening of an adult business near a school? Apparently the opposite is not true because there's an elementary school being built behind the sex store and car business. I remember walking from my schools to nearby stores to buy treats. I don't even want to think what the kids will buy when visitng those stores!
3) The sex store is just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently the region's movers and shakers (well, those non-sex-related movers and shakers) wanted the region to appear family friendly, promoting such places as Dollywood. Instead there is not only the sex store but also a hemp business and a body piercing business place, all three hard to miss on the interestate.
Or as I put it, "it's like a combo platter... sort of an adult version of the happy meal."
4) For some reason the name Knoxville seemed familiar and it was not just because it's the closet big city to where the truck broke down. Finally it hit me – Knoxville, Tenn., was where there was that terrible shooting (link) at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I was wearing a tie-dye shirt from my own UU church but it was under another shirt. Coincidenece? Cue x-files music.
5) I don't want to explore this option much but must I remind you that the last time I had trouble with my truck it was the car radio because the truck saw me lookingly longingly at other vehicles. Perhaps the truck is not adjusting well to this whole move?