Here’s a secret: I am utterly terrified of jump-starting cars with dead batteries. I am sure I will fry myself to death on the batteries, or blow the cars up, or something.
I know. Dumb, right? My second job is dealing with our car Co-op’s fleet. I consider myself a confident, competent person. And mostly I am. I can change light bulbs, tires, oil, filters, wiper blades, and hubcaps. I can measure tire tread, even. But I can’t jump-start batteries.
The boss called and told me the one on the left had a dead battery. “But it’s okay. There’s a car there you can use to jump it with.”
“Ahahaha, no problem, then!” I hung up, determined to face my fear.
I got the cables out, read the instructions three times, told myself I was a strong, independent woman who didn’t have to be afraid of batteries, popped the hoods, and wished out loud that my dad was there.
Then I looked up. Standing at the front of the parkade was someone’s dad: He had to be. No one but a dad wears those knee-length khaki shorts or tube socks with orthopedic shoes. No one but a dad wears a big stiffened-canvas hat. The guy was wearing the Dad uniform!
I went over and asked for help.
“I don’t live here,” he said.
“That’s okay. I don’t need geographical help, I need jumper cable help.”
He laughed and came over to help me. We had the cables hooked up in a minute, and my dead car was running!
So, from the child who needed a dad for a minute, thank you, dad-guy from Medicine Hat, Alberta. I have been hoping all day that your son was chosen to be in the Olympics for speed skating today (why you were in town), because I could see how proud you are of him.