Sunday, June 28, 2009


Trouble does not travel in singularities.

When my scarred, dented and fuel-sucking corolla 92 clawed its way to Alabang one
Saturday afternoon, i thought it to be just another weekend of feel-good moments with my everdearest friends. We were off to barge in a horde of autobots and decepticons masquerading as humans all lined-up up for the Transformers 2 (Revenge of the Fallen) movie tickets.

My car always seem to have a slight nervous breakdown as i suspect an alien residing inside the monster. The alien forces inside are enough to tick the idiot trouble signals at the instrument panel. I've been accustomed to this on and off red light at the panel as i always blurt it out to a low idle rpm. The light usually goes off at the slightest engine rev, characterized by a growling sound from my muffler.

So clawing my way to intermittent traffic along SLEX, i didn't mind the flashing idiot light at my panel.

Accelerate.. stop.. red light on.. accelerate.. red light off..stop .. Accelerate.. stop.. red light on.. accelerate.. red light off..stop.. Until everything suddenly came to a halt.

The engine was dead.

Stepping on the brake pedal, I turned the key off the ignition. turned on the hazard lights.. pulled up the handbreak lever.. double-checked the stick-shift to neutral, and turned on the key iginition. The engine choked up, but i could sense any signs for the countinuous life of the engine. I turned on the key to ignition again while pumping the fuel, but to my utter dismay (and also to those at the vehicles at my back), the engine didn't come to life. I was sweating heavily, but told myself not to panic because there's nothing i could do. I was thinking of getting towed if the engine wouldn't really kick off but the Ninoy peso-bill in my wallet wouldn't even be enough to pay for the service.

My officemate Mike passed through me at the right side of the lane. Realizing it was me, (yep, it was really your kumare.hehe) he immediately called up to check what happened. "Na-overheat ba? May kuryente ba? Merong gas? Meron oil?.. and the question and answer went off for quite a minute until he said he can't pull off because he was also in the inner lane. While he was advising me of calling the PNCC for a tow service to which the contact numbers are stored inside his low-batt phone, three bleeps immediately sounded out and he went off. Empty batt.

I was sweating to death because it was the first time my car stood me off. Not that i am blaming the monster, of course, i am the owner, the controller, the driver and everything that should be in total control. I have forged a good relationship with my car and for as long as i can remember, i have taken the utmost care and concern for my everyday road companion. SO i have resolved, at that urgent moment, to blame the aliens who have clandestinely settled their troops inside my sweetie.

As minutes passed, another vehicle of acquaintance chanced to spot my vehicle bolted on the ground, flashing its yellow hazard lights. The Makati service van found its way to be still in front of my vehicle, and Jeff, the driver, got off to extend any help he could. At that moment, the engine seemed to have waken up from a slumber, and as i turned on the ignition key, it seemed to be tickled a bit. I gave way to Jeff at the driver's seat, he revved the engine back to life, revved harder and harder, reassuring the mechanism had commenced good enough for me to reach my destination.

The wheels rolled and the monster made its own way to Filinvest exit. I was driving with extreme nervousness as the idiot lights are again flashing on and off. I was crawling my way to the nearest mechanic i could get, and chanced upon the Total Gas Station at the West Gate. Stopped there and asked a gasoline boy for an available mechanic, who immediately responded as i parked in front of the service area.

I know i could have turn the knob to increase my idle rpm. But to let an automotive mechanic do it for me would shove away the nervousness i had. As i opened the hood and say hello to the engine, the mechanic laid his hands on my idle control knob. Too bad for me to support the nation of aliens inside. Tsk tsk.

The engine ran smoothly as i got off from the Gas station. (Of course, i paid the mechanic not only for doing something i could have done in less time, but also for springing some confidence that my engine would run smoothly and i could go home with no hazard. Thought i should have consulted a mental therapist also huh.)

I was able to reach ATC with no engine hazards in less than 5 minutes but got my car parked after 3 quarters of an hour. The autobots and decepticons had all the parking fully occupied.

Anyways, here are some things that i learned from the experience:
1. Store that f%$!^%#!#*! PNCC number in your phonebook. You'll never know when it'll come handy.
2. Don't travel empty-headed. I mean empty-handed. (Ehe :D) At least fill your pockets enough for the towing service just in case.
3. The idiot lights are there for their own reasons.
4. Trust yourself. If you know what to do just in case the engine goes off, just do it. For all you know, you may be .. well .. right. If you bang it off, it's your car anyway.
5. Relax. Never mind sweating to death. At least you're not in panic.

Mike called up again to check on my situation. He said he was the one in panic for me. He went his way to Filinvest exit instead of Sucat looking for some kind of help for me. So nice of you my kumpare.

Again, thanks a bunch Mike and Jeff.

And the aliens?

Oh, prepare your troops. I'll wipe your clan in no less time.

*big evil laugh*