A couple of days ago I pulled the battery out of my ’98 Dodge Dakota, since, for whatever reason, it was dead and I couldn’t get it to charge properly while it was in the car. Taking one last stab at it I borrowed a battery charger and hooked it up in my garage. Getting the battery out of the car was no small feat I’ve gotta say. Whoever put the new battery in last had stripped the nut that holds the negative wire to the battery and now it was basically round. After much work I managed to loosen it a tiny bit and then pried it off of the battery. Step 1 completed.
Once I managed to get it out of the car I hooked the charger up to it in my garage and left it for the night. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t getting my hopes up as to whether it would actually charge. My truck has always run fine, and I’ve never really had any problems with the battery until recently. I’ve had the truck for about 12 years now, so I certainly can’t complain about how it’s treated me to this point. I’d probably still be driving it if I hadn’t moved so far away from work. Making the 40 minute drive each way to and from work everyday was getting a little expensive on the gas. A 10-year-old pickup truck you may be surprised to know is not the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world. I believe I was filling up, pretty much every 3 days. So that’s about $90 – $135 per week in gas alone. Ouch. Then there were the constant repairs that kept creeping up. Like when I took it in for some service, which included some work on the tires among other things. Then I drove tried to drive home only to find out about half way that my front brakes had seized up. Of course the fact that it was fine before and they had just had the tires off couldn’t possibly mean that they did something, so it was left to me to pay for after much arguing. Then there was something else a few weeks later, another $400. Then another repair…..and a month later another. It was starting to cost me almost as much as it did when I was actually making payments on it. Probably more if you include the amount of gas I was going through. The decision was made to buy a new car. I only had that new car for about 2 months, but that’s a story for another day. So 2 months after buying that new car I bought another new car. Needless to say Nissan loves me, and believe me, everybody there knows my name, haha.
Oops, I’ve strayed from my story haven’t I? Okay, where was I again? Aahhh that’s right.
I had hooked my battery up to charge and gone to bed. When I woke up in the morning the house was still standing, so I knew the day wasn’t going to be too bad. After showering and all that other stuff, I went and checked on my battery, to my delight the charger said the battery was fully charged. I popped the hood on the truck and put the battery back in, pried the negative wire back onto it and crossed my fingers. First try she started right up, just as she always used to. It was at this point that I started to get sad that I was going to be selling her. It’s funny how attached you can get to something when you have so many memories that are linked to it. The 2000 km drive we took to Nova Scotia, the countless trips up north to go camping in Algonquin Park, trips to the states, and a thousand other places. It was my second vehicle, my first “new” vehicle. The first “major” purchase I ever made. I was going to miss her. I had thoughts of, “maybe I should just keep her around, you never know when I’m going to need a pickup to move stuff or what not”. Then I would remind myself that paying insurance and maintenance on 2 vehicles when my girlfriend doesn’t really drive just wasn’t practical. She had to go! Ummmm, the truck. Not the girlfriend.
That night I went to bed and had the most incredibly vivid dream.
I was preparing myself for what would most likely be the last time I drove my truck when it was actually mine. I started her up and she purred like a kitten…….well, not a kitten exactly…….more like an older, wiser, more experienced cat actually. As I was getting in to drive away I noticed a couple of bees poking their heads out from behind my driver’s side mirror. Hmmmmmm. The truck had been parked in my garage for about a year, no problems there. At that point I wanted to actually be able to use my garage, but it was winter so I couldn’t park it on the street or they wouldn’t be able to plow it when it snowed. So, I parked it in the driveway and parked my car on the street, figuring I knew I could move the car if necessary, and it would be gone all day while I was at work. After a couple of months winter passed, with barely any snow I might add, so I parked the truck in front of my house. Where it has sat for the last 3 months. After running all this through my head I concluded that there may be a bee hive in between the plastic part of my mirror and the actual mirror itself. It had certainly sat there long enough. Well, that and the fact that while I was thinking all of this about 4 more bees popped their heads out.
Okay, the decision was made. I would be driving with my driver’s side window up……and for safety sake, and because I hate very much dislike bees (I guess these are actually wasps, not bees?), I would leave the passenger window up as well, just in case there happened to be a hive in the passenger side mirror too. My dislike of bees is mostly because I was stung many, many, many times as a kid and became allergic, which I seemed to have gotten over at some point recently. I decided to go without the A/C because I was low on gas and needed to make sure I made it far enough to fill up. It was warm! I drove along, the truck was running great, well, great considering it hadn’t driven anywhere but up and down my street for the last year and a half.
I made it to the gas station no problem, the “low on gas” light hadn’t even come on yet. I jumped out, being careful to avoid getting too close to the mirror. I walked over to the pump, put my credit card in, and opened the fuel door. With my eyes fixed on the mirror watching for bees I started to reach for the fuel cap to pull it off. Bad idea! It took me a moment to realize what was going on, what with the 50 or so bees that were flying around my head. Looking at the fuel door I saw it! A fist sized bee hive attached to the little door, complete with about a hundred angry, grumpy and just plain disturbed bees. I swear I could see their beady little eyes staring at me….their voices as they spread word that I was indeed the one who had disturbed them. As quick as I could I stepped back, thankful that nobody was getting fuel in front of me, because the sky was filled with bees! My heart was beating just a wee bit faster than normal now. I decided that I didn’t really need to get gas. I mean, the low fuel light hadn’t even come on yet, right?
I waited a minute or so and mustering up as much courage as I could I slowly stepped forward and carefully reached out and closed the fuel door. “Whhhoooooooaaaaaaaa”, was all I could say. Surprisingly, I managed to remember to hit cancel on the pump, since I had already put my credit card in and validated it. Fearing bees from all angles now I quickly walked around to the passenger side and slid in that way, climbing over the seat to get back behind the wheel. Safe back inside my truck. Hmmmmmm. Safe inside my truck…….my bee infested truck………hmmmmmmmm……….perhaps this wasn’t the safest place to be after all? I felt trapped now. Hunted. Like an animal in a cage. An animal being hunted by another animal. Like Prey. Not much I could do at this point though. So with the windows rolled up all the way, and an irrational fear of bees coming through the vents (irrational, or maybe not?) I decided to continue on to a friend’s house close by where I could hose down this bee infestation once and for all. It was no longer warm. It was HOT! After 5 minutes of driving like this, with sweat starting to drip off of me, I can safely say Do Not Leave Your Animals In The Car While You Run To The Store, even if it’s only for “a couple of minutes”. It gets hot, and it gets there fast! It quickly got to the point where I couldn’t wear my sunglasses because they became too steamy for me to see out of! Yeah, that kind of hot.
To make a long story short, I hosed the suckers down, both in the fuel door and behind the mirror. The mirror extermination was much less effective, which was continually pointed out to me by the bees that would constantly be crawling out from behind the mirror for the rest of my drive. Not because they decided to fly away mind you, but because they wanted to stand there and stare at me before ducking back down behind the mirror. I did manage to get the courage up to crack a couple of the windows after that, just a tiny little bit. Which was enough to keep me from roasting to death……..barely.
Pardon me, I mentioned earlier that I had an extremely vivid dream. All I can remember about it now is that it was so life like……….and it had something to do with being on a boat…..and sharks. Anyways…
I’m sure I’ll be having nightmares about bees in the very near future. I think I may honestly be scarred for a long, long time now, if not for life. I was already traumatized by bees when I was younger, but I think despite not getting stung through this whole ordeal, it may have been worse. Certainly more freaky. I drove my car later and, I couldn’t help but looking at my mirror every few seconds to see if there was a bee staring back at me. Every movement, every shadow that came across that mirror was without a doubt a bee staring me down in my mind. I know deep down inside I’m going to be scared every time I go get gas now. Thankfully my car has a switch that pops the gas door open from inside the car, so at least I can peak in before I stick my hand right up to it. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow when I have to fill up the car……..or maybe not………….I wonder how long I can drive around with the low fuel light on……hmmmmm. If all else fails I’ll be saved once I can buy an electric car.