Saturday, October 10, 2009

I don't want chivalry to die, I just want it to be more observant

I may have mentioned in a past post that automotive issues and maintenance are not really my thing...but if you missed that let me say it now: I consider cars to be a necessary evil in this world.

Now my car has suffered a safety breach in the under the hood region, that is to say something is broken, which has resulted in the coolant leaking out of my car when I am not looking. I have every intention of having this actually fixed but for now I have been able to manage the problem by topping off my coolant when the light goes on telling me it is too low.

So Thursday night I left work and headed to the grocery store and on my way there my coolant light came on. After expelling a disgusted sigh I made a mental note to refill the coolant after I had done my shopping so that the engine had some time to cool off before I started poking around under the hood. Well I did my shopping and in the blinding setting sunlight I popped the hood of my poor little car and warily approached the cap of the coolant tank.

Here I think it is important to note that on the cap of the coolant tank it says that contents are EXTREMELY HOT and UNDER EXTREME PRESSURE.

So I twisted the cap ever so slightly to the left and listened until the sounds of escaping pressure subsided, I then removed the cap completely. Ugh! If you have ever smelled hot coolant (I am aware of how silly that sounds) you know that the odor rising to my delicate nose was not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. I then opened the coolant bottle-jug-thing and started pouring it into the tank.

While in the midst of this delicate procedure, I suddenly notice this random guy walking up to me and he says:

"You should have your engine on while you do that."

Um, there are very few things that I know how to do on my own with regard to car care, but I think this is one I can handle as it seems to have more to do with common sense than actual automotive knowledge - it is probably a bad idea to have the engine on when I am pouring liquid into this tank where said liquid is made hot in the process of doing its job when the engine is on.

So I look at him and in the politest tone possible I say:

"Oh no it's okay, I am just topping off my coolant."

He says again:

"Ya, you need to have your engine on for that. Why don't you go turn it on."

I am all for chivalry. If you see me stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire or an actually non-working car please feel free to stop and lend a hand, but at this point I was like; thanks for the offer to help, but I've got this.

I suppose he finally got it that I was not going to start my car, so he just gave me this look and walked away. I then finished adding coolant to my car, got in, and drove away - the entire time mentally shaking my head not really sure why he seemed so bugged when it was me who was being annoyed.

Was that the right reaction? I am just not sure, the entire episode kind of confused me to be honest.

So that is my story, and if you are in the mood to hear another tale of a man offering a woman help when she really didn't need it you should read this, and know that I wish my story telling skills were just as entertaining.

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