I confess a severe lack of understanding of cars in general, though this is progressively changing with my current employment. But during my mission I was clueless. Really. Here's a story:
It was stake conference time, and my companion and I wanted to find a ride from Harrison (In-the-Middle-of-Nowhere, Michigan) to Midland a few counties away, inasmuch as we were allotted precious few miles to drive in our car. So we hit up the greatest stake missionary the world has ever known, Brother Wes Langston, for a ride.
Wes was an 18 year-old Arizona transplant living with his Mom and step-dad in Michigan, awaiting the time he would be able to serve a mission himself. He worked at a greasy fast food place and worked with the missionaries--that was it. (Incidentally, Wes now works next door to me at Pinnacle Security here in Orem.) He was the greatest blessing in the world, always willing to take us wherever we needed to go, like stake conference.
For all of his generosity though, he had one short-coming: his car. It was a 1980's Oldsmobile, brown, hot, and falling apart. We had dubbed it "The Optimobile" because when you rode in it you had to be really optimistic about reaching your destination in safety.
This is an aside: Wes now drives a nice luxury car. I think a BMW. He must do ok there at Pinnacle.
The drive down to Midland was without incident. Conference was wonderful (even though Elder Holland didn't come as he had been originally scheduled to), and afterwards some members provided sack lunches to those driving back to Harrison. We hopped in the Optimobile and began munching our sandwiches when half-way between Midland and Harrison we heard a loud bang! come from under the hood of the car. Smoke began rising from beneath the hood, and knowing at least enough to stop because this was pretty clearly not a good thing, we decided to investigate.
Wes popped the hood and lo! a small flame was burning on the engine block. We knew that we needed to get that thing put out, so we ran to the trunk and grabbed the first thing we saw: Window washer fluid. It was blue--blue liquid is supposed to put fires out, right? It didn't work though, and after reading a warning on the label that said (in not so large print) FLAMMABLE!! we opted to try something else. Thank goodness for those sack lunches! We snatched up two apple juice boxes and let them rip. Suddenly, as the fire died down, it smelled as if someone was baking an apple pie with motor oil.
Wes, not in the best of moods, started to hoof it off to the nearest place with a phone (a Michigan Welcome Center, oddly placed mind you). He called his step-dad, who happened to work for the Clare County Sheriff's Office, and he radioed to a trooper who came and picked us up. And so, we missed a wonderful photo-op when we stepped out of the back of a police cruiser in front of our apartment. Dangit!
2 years ago