I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a “Speaking universe,” one that tells you to stay in bed and avoid the day. Maybe it’s a cough and a dry throat at the start. Or maybe it’s an audiobook that won’t finish downloading.
Whatever or wherever “Signs” come from, well, this last Wednesday morning I ignored them all.
The plan was Niagara Falls. Megan and I would pack a lunch, hop in the car, and drive for an hour and a half to the State Park. Since we moved to Rochester, Niagara has been on our radar—mine especially, incessantly nagging at my curiosity to come visit.
“Stay in bed!” said the Universe. Instead, I threw a liquified shot of Emergen-C powder into my dry throat and headed out the door.
Highway 490, Revisited
About 30 minutes outside of Rochester we heard a funny noise below our car. It was just for a second. Like a… well… as if something fell out. But the car was handling great, and there were no warning signs. So we kept driving.
Five minutes later, that warning sign showed up. If any of you readers drive a Prius, then you’re aware of just how scary the big red exclamation point is. We took the first exit we could (paid a toll) and stopped at the nearest gas station for a gander.
We landed in a town called Batavia, and it was there that we learned we had a major oil leak. I knew this because I bought a fresh quart, emptied it into my car, to which my car—as if in protest—urinated it back onto the gas-station concrete.
Instead of an in-depth analysis, here’s a quick play-by-play of everything that went wrong soon after.
- After calling Allstate Roadside, the tow truck guy called me and said we were “Right around the corner,” from the Toyota dealer and that we could make it if we tried, and we’d save an hour.
- I disregarded my wife’s advice to wait, and had her plug in the Toyota dealership address into our GPS. Under five-minutes away.
- Megan accidentally chose South Main instead of West Main on the GPS.
- Five minutes later, we ended up on a country road, surrounded by large fields and spread-out houses. This was where our car finally jilted us to the side of the road and drove us no more.