Dad to the Rescue!


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.

5 Comments to “Dad to the Rescue!”

  1. By Arwen, August 17, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

    Holy shit. That made me cry.

  2. By Liz, August 17, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    Yeah. Me too. All day.

    Also, I called my dad to thank him for being a dad. We talked for 30 minutes. That’s a miracle.

  3. By Beth, August 18, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    God, I miss my Dad. I am always about the missing my Mom thing, but this made me miss my Dad. BTW, I’m good with the jumper cables if you’re ever in my neighbourhood and need some assistance.
    I had a car that had the battery die regularly because of a problem with the generator. I carried an extra battery in the trunk along with cables and I could haul it out and start the car in 2 minutes when needed, (and it was needed regularly).

  4. By stephanie, August 18, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    Oh yes, car jumping freaks me out. I practically run across the street when someone goes to jump a car.

  5. By Liz, August 18, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    Update, Beth, I am cured! I am a jump-starting fiend now!

    Stephanie, I’m like that about people lighting barbecues. All that propane just waiting to blow? I’d rather be around the corner, thanks.

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