'Al luck' strikes again
I just might be the luckiest person in the world.
Only hours after finishing last week’s column about the reliable ol’ Jeep, I headed out to the parking lot after the end of a long work day to find my Jeep didn’t start.
I tilted my head back in frustration and let out a big sigh before panic set in. I was supposed to meet my cousin Tina in Hanover for dinner at 6 p.m. and was already running late.
But thankfully, this happened before, and I quickly remembered the problem could be that my battery cable is loose and easy to fix.
So I popped the hood, and pressed the battery wire cable into the terminal to find my hood light turn brightly on and that indeed, it was just a matter of reconnecting the cable.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), our sports editor, Josh, was headed home around the same time, and happened to have a pliers I could use to reconnect the cable and tighten the battery terminals.
I say “unfortunately” because his assistance came with a cost: relentless smack talk about the unreliability of the Jeep and the irony that even he had a pliers in his “reliable” Honda CRV and how it’s so funny that out of everything I carry around in my vehicle (an old TV, a set of golf clubs, a life jacket, two sleeping bags), I don’t have any tools in the “piece of crap Jeep” that has a notorious record for breaking down.
This back talk is nothing new for us; we’re usually mouthing off to each other on a daily basis, but my tolerance Tuesday afternoon was abnormally low after finding out the Jeep was acting up again.
I gritted my teeth and focused on tightening the terminal while he paced around the parking lot spewing sass and laughing.
I looked at him disapprovingly and thanked him quickly for his “assistance” and sped away, eager to get on the road to see my cousin.
I made it to the Glencoe hospital when I remembered to grab my phone for directions to Tina’s place in Hanover and to call her to notify her that I’d be a little late.
I didn’t see my phone in the console and I couldn’t find it when digging one-handed through my purse in the front seat, so I pulled over, dumped out my purse, searched under my seat, felt along the tight crevices between the console and passenger seat to find nothing.
A wave of panic washed over me as I remembered holding it while fixing my battery and I thought I left it either under the hood or on the roof of the Jeep.
I cursed Josh in my head for distracting me and making me forget my phone and I imagined it probably fell off my Jeep and into the road.
So I sped back to the office to check the alley for any sign of my already cracked phone.
I kicked through the grass and along the side of the building and found nothing. I opened the hood to see if I had set it on top of the engine, but there was no sign of life.
I looked in the roadway and in the alley, but nothing.
Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Defeated, I headed back into the office to print off directions to Hanover from the web and accepted the fact I had lost it.
I wanted to cry, thinking not only about the cost to get a new phone, but the realization that I lost all of my pictures from my trip to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota or from the front row at the Trampled by Turtles concert with my best friend Sarah.
Pictures from my hiking and snowshoeing adventures in Ely and my first NFL football game with Mom and Dad at Green Bay against the Cleveland Browns and the obscene amount of pictures of our family dog, Roy.
I headed back to the Jeep and popped the hood for one last look when I spotted my phone sitting neatly on top of my one good fog light in front of my grille.
I grabbed it excitedly and ran into work to tell the production girls about my insane luck.
How had I managed to drive all the way from the office on 10th Street to the hospital on 18th Street and back again without it sliding off?
Luck. Pure luck.
My friend Sarah believes I have a special sort of luck and refers to instances like these as “Al luck,” where it wouldn’t happen to anybody else, but I’m just that lucky.
Like when we go shoe shopping and I find the last cute pair in my size and on clearance or the time I picked out a really cute swimsuit and was ready to pay full price, but the register scanned it at 75 percent off during checkout.
And then there’s that time three years ago I told Sarah it’d be so cool to live in the apartment above the newspaper office in Silver Lake so I could walk to work and three months later, the tenant moved out.
For my birthday, my grandma got me a pair of pliers, so I won’t have to rely on the sports editor for help again.
And it’s a start towards the tool box for the Jeep. It’ll look nice next to the TV.