After dodging more danger at the hands of my brother all weekend (rich Italian food! margaritas! buttery corn-on-the-cob!), and working on Monday (as it’s a sunny, glorious day), on Tuesday I decide to head to Malibu. Soak up some sun, hang out with the little people, show folks how it’s done, etc. The usual stuff I do at home, in other words, but under the blue California sky.
As I’m driving along, hurtling down a mountainside on my way to the coast, I notice that the car is making a loud humming sound. VERY loud. Annoyingly loud. It stops the instant I touch the brakes, and seems to only happen when I’m coasting downhill. Okay then, I’ll avoid hills/mountains while I’m here in Cali –should be simple enough, right?
Except that when I hit the coastal road, the humming sound is now continuing unabated, stopping only when I touch the brake, which I really don’t want to be doing unless I want a bunch of angry Californians beating me to a bloody pulp, and deservedly so. So I head over to Zuma Beach, park, and make a couple of phone calls.
To my mom: Hi, mom? So when you discovered all this stuff wrong with this car, what exactly was that? Anything that would cause me to think that something’s going to snap at any moment and send me hurtling off a cliff?
To my brother: Ha, nice try, but I made it to the coast unscathed! Say, do you know why the car would be making this loud humming sound?
Then, of course, it starts to pour, so where do I find myself? Yep, the Malibu Starbucks – the next stop in my Starbucks Across California Tour. Here, I pretty much assume that any pretty people – tall, leggy, blonde – who walk in are stars or starlets, so I grab a piece of paper and am about to start working the room (“excuse me, sign here please, and then write your name so it’s legible – the autograph won’t be worth much if I have no idea who you are, yes? K’thanks!”), when my phone rings. It’s Andrew, who “claims” he has “no idea” what could “possibly” be "wrong" with “the car.” Right. But supposedly he knows a guy, so………
3 hours later
I’m sitting at Frank’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop in Burbank, looking at the pouring rain outside, waiting while John (Andy’s “guy”) looks at the car at his shop. But my immediate problem is much bigger than whatever’s wrong with the car: I need to work on my computer, and I’m running low on battery power. Gadzooks! What to do?
Intrepid soul that I am, I immediately spy a couple of outlets, and the only things that seem to be plugged in are some kind of fan/ventilation system, and something else industrial-looking. Maybe a stove. No matter though – I’m sure they understand what our priorities are here. I must update my blog – my public awaits!
Okay, so how was *I* supposed to know that I was about to unplug some kind of fan element that is basically the entire restaurant’s exhaust system? Sheesh. You’d think they’d have a warning sign or something. Like I’m a mind reader!
Honestly, the audacity of people sometimes just amazes me.
So apparently the rear brakes on the car are totally shot, like practically scraping metal shot, and one of the brake drums that’s supposed to be round is oval, leading to a warp in the transmogrifier or the space modulator or whatever, causing the humming sound. Beautiful. Looks like I’ll be back at Frank’s in the morning, early, while they fix the car. I really need to figure out which outlet I can plug into……