After I shot a (pathetic) 51 at Penmar yesterday, I scooted to Nagao to grab dinner. On the way home, with five steaming cups of miso and several orders of sushi riding shotgun, I popped into the Brentwood Blockbuster because my girlfriend wanted to watch The 40-Year-Old Virgin. My BB account expired sometime around 1998 so I had to buy a copy. The not-very-helpful Blockbusterista said that there were four used copies in the store, but he had no idea where they were, things weren’t alphabetized well, it wasn’t his “usual” store, and he could only sell me a new one for $21.99. Yeah, right.
After spending a good twenty minutes browsing through stacks of dozens of copies of The Adventures of Pluto Nash and the assorted random not-very-good movies that always seem to be all that any BB ever has, I left empty-handed.
A twenty-something young woman approached me in the parking lot and asked if I had jumper cables. I do. I always have jumper cables. I got her car started — she’d left the headlights burning during her entire 6-hour shift at the nearby Peet’s — and headed for home.
I started thinking about how that had to be at least the tenth time I’ve given someone a jump since I moved to LA. I couldn’t even begin to count how many times I’ve given someone a jump since I started driving. I have never needed a jump. Why don’t people carry jumper cables with them? It seems like one of those things that should just be drilled into your head when you’re a kid, like turning on your headlights in the rain and making sure to change the oil.
I am not particularly good with cars. I can change a tire and — if desperate — a fuse, but that’s about all. The Rube Goldberg device under the hood that makes the car, y’know, “go” is a complete mystery to me. But I always always always have jumper cables with me. How can you not? It’s not like they’re expensive, and they certainly don’t consume much cargo space; I’m driving a Toyota 4×4 with *no* cargo space and I still have a set.
So. Consider this a public service announcement. Go buy a pair of jumper cables. (They’re not even $10!) Put them in your vehicle. You just cannot depend on someone like me to be there for you every time.
(PS: The one and only time I forgot to turn off my headlights was when I was about 20 and driving a Honda CRX with a manual transmission. I had jumper cables, of course, but the car weighed, if I remember correctly, just shy of 45 pounds, so I was able to push it, jump in, and clutch-start it. That’s a trick that my *mom* taught me when I got my license.)
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