Immune to Jinxing, or, Car Trouble and a Steak Knife

I'm immune to jinxing. I can say things like "I sure hope I don't get run over!" and I walk away unscathed. Thus, it came as a surprise when the following went down on Highway 1 about 10 miles south of Aptos today:

Chris + Becky (paraphrased): "We are so smart for getting our car serviced before heading up to Oregon! It's purring like a kitten! My what a reliable car we have!"


We pulled off the highway to take a look, assuming something had wrapped itself around the front axle. Instead, we discovered that a strip of the belt that hooks the alternator to the engine (I think) had peeled away and was thus slapping against the engine while we were driving. We decided to perform roadside surgery rather than call for a tow, so I cut off the strip using the only thing we had handy: a steak knife that was supposed to be for slicing salami on what was supposed to be our picnic in Carmel today. Then we drove back to Santa Cruz, gently.

What's the moral of this story: there is none. We just have to call the car place on Monday morning and see how soon we can get it back in to get the belt replaced (we checked and they didn't replace it when we had it in for service, although they did "inspect" all of the belts.)

HOWEVER: You know how whenever you see people pulled over by the side of the road with their car hood up, they're just standing around looking bewildered, kind of half-heartedly poking at their engine? Well, despite a COMPLETE LACK of automotive knowledge, I did something halfway useful while standing by the side of the road with my car hood up, and I did it with a steak knife.

(When we got home, we went to Plan B and took the bus to Natural Bridges and had our picnic there.)

P.S. I'm still immune to jinxing.


quixote said...

Wow. That is so badass. And if I ever have car trouble, I'll call you and your trusty steak knife.

eskimo*friends said...

I wonder if a steak knife would've helped with the year and a half when all cars I drove or rode in on I5 spontaneously blew the right rear tires?