There’s a Spanish saying that goes something like “Only in a hospital bed, and in a jail cell, will you know who your true friends are.” Would you not agree? I would add one more: at a dark parking lot with a dead car battery.
The other night, around 9:30pm, as I returned to my car after a full day of work, followed by the first day of my fall semester night class, my car greeted me with some bad news. It would not start. Yes, I had left the headlights on the whole day. Now, we do have a very friendly and helpful DPS department on campus; the only problem is that the charge box they use to jump cars never works on my van (that’s right this was not the first time I’ve done this). Luckily, the friend that rescued me last time, gifted me a set of jumper cables. Now I just needed to find a willing soul. However, at that time of night on a weekday there is not much traffic on campus, and administrative offices are closed for the day.
After waiting several minutes, a guy who was parked diagonally across from me came by. I asked for help and he graciously agreed. Chris, that was his name, was so helpful he even pushed my van forward so the jumper cables would reach his car. Now, he had no experience doing this, and guess what: neither did I. Contrary to common sense, all the previous times my van needed a jump, it didn’t occurred to me that I should be watching in order to learn how to do this! Turns out Chris hooked the cables the wrong way and…. the cables got fried. He was mortified and I felt so bad for him. He promised to notify DPS of my distress on his way out of campus.
Back to the waiting game, about 20 minutes passed and nothing. That was strange since we are a small campus and DPS is very prompt to respond. I started to get nervous to be alone out in the dark, already my cellphone had given me a low battery warning, plus I had a babysitter watching my kids at home, who I was paying by the hour. I called the DPS office but nobody answered. I was hesitant to call on my friends since it was passed 10pm and most of them have kids to tend to, plus is a bit of a hike to the university. Did not want to bother the guy friend who helped me last time either since he is married and I am sure his wife would not appreciate a female friend calling him at night.
Fortunately, a new coworker of mine who happened to be working late that night, walked my way. He parked his car as close to mine as he could but his cables were shorter than mine (which were fried.) As Matt, my coworker, was reassuring me saying we will find a solution, a DPS officer came to the rescue. He tried charging my car with the charge box, which of course did not work. Although, they are not supposed to use jumper cables since it might turn into a liability issue, he offered to do it. Now both the officer and Matt pushed my car backwards in order to get it to a parking spot that would allow Matt’s cables to reach the officer’s car. Whoever said that chivalry was dead? The bad news is that my batteries did not charge, even after several minutes. At this point I thanked both of them and told Matt it was ok for him to leave; he needed to get home. The officer asked if there was someone I could call to come help me and I said yes; he then went back to his booth, not without advising me to invest on a AAA membership.
It was close to 11pm now and I began to feel hopeless again. Wait a minute, there was this single male friend who could probably help! Too bad he did not answer my call. Now what? I was so drained and discouraged by this time that I started to cry like a little girl; which I rarely do. Then I proceeded to wake up the only man who never says no to me; my dad, who promptly came to the rescue; and yes he was able to jump-start my car with his cables and his car. Dads always know best. He didn’t even complain, or remind me that he had performed this services for me recently, he didn’t even ask me to be more diligent about shutting off my headlights. He just gave me a big hug and a kiss. Thank God for good dads.
How about you; do you know how to jump-start a car?