Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh . . . no . . .

Yesterday a series of unfortunate events unfolded at our house which may have resulted in us sending the Smart to automobile heaven. Comically, every single person in the house is responsible for the outcome, including the baby.

The Dude loves to press buttons, light things up and figure out how it all works. My car, the Smart (or Smarty Jones as I like to call her), is now one of his favorite toys. He can spend an hour sitting in the front sheet, shaking the wheel and going "brrrrmmmm!!" He can turn the lights on and off and once in a while even honks the horn. I probably shouldn't, but I let him do this every now and again when I need to have both hands to do something.

Yesterday, after running a few errands, I parked Smarty outside the kitchen window. I went inside the house to put lunch on the stove and let the Dude explore the car, while watching him through the window. Around 11:30 I brought him and gave him lunch. He went down for a nap without a peep and I wrote a blog.

At about 2:30 I got him up and ready to go to day care, which he does three times a week in the afternoons. When we got in the car, there were no lights and the thing would not even crank. I looked around trying to figure out the problem. Mother F***er. I noticed the headlight switch on. The Dude must of turned it on, and when I brought him in, I forgot to turn it off. The battery was D-E-A-D.

I stuck the Dude in the stroller and walked him to day care, and with a hint of panic in my voice called the German. "No worries, I will jump start it when I get home."

The German got home and pushed Smarty into the garage. He hooked everything up and jumped into Smarty, shut the drivers side door and got the battery going. All the lights immediately came on, but when he put the key in, the car would not start up.

I must pause at this point in the story to explain something, Smarty is . . . fickle. The car can only be unlocked using the electronic button on the key (there are no locks. How weird is that!) Sometimes she will not start if you have had the car unlocked and in park. However, if you press the key and lock the doors and then unlock them, the car starts right up. We knew this when we got the car, and it even came with a sticker in the owners manual.

Okay, where were we? The German was in Smarty with the drivers door shut. The passenger side was open (as that is where the battery is). The jumper cables got electricity to the car, but we could not actually get it to start.

We both knew that we needed the keys to lock and unlock the car again. We tried both keys furiously for 10 minutes before we realized that for some reason the computer was not recognizing the signal of the key. Perhaps the memory had been erased? Just then, the doors on the car automatically locked, locking the German inside the car.

The German got a little frustrated and yanked the handle on the door in an attempt to get it open. The handle came off. At this point, my mouth was hanging open and I was at a loss for words.

We disconnected the cables and the German climbed out on the passenger side. We were putting things away and discussing the key and door problem when he called out, "Don't shut the passenger side door, otherwise we will not be able to get into the car." I looked for the bike so that we could pick up the Dude from day care and the German walked over to me, but not before absentmindedly shutting the passenger side door. At this point I was laughing hysterically.

Smarty is currently sitting in our garage. We can not unlock the doors and get in the car because the keys no longer work. Even if we could get in the car, the drivers side door is now broken. Once we get in the car, I am not sure what shape the battery is in.

Any suggestions?

In a completely unrelated event, the Dude said the work "sh**" for the first time. Great. As if I did not feel like a bad mother before, on my 19 month old's first 50 words is profanity.


Sands | കരിങ്കല്ല് said...

At loss of words! :(

well, I wish you guys luck.

Michele J said...

We test drove a Smart once and had weird problems with getting in, getting out, locking the doors, starting the engine, etc. I'd call the dealer - they most surely have a trick up their sleeves. Otherwise ADAC? You can join on the phone in minutes I have heard. I think worst-case scenario it will have to be towed to the dealer and they fix it. The door will have to be fixed there regardless I suppose.

PapaScott said...

I was also going to suggest ADAC. The dealer may offer some kind of "mobility guarantee" if they've done any maintenance work, or maybe Smart themselves offers "Pannenhilfe".

I've called ADAC at least 3 times for a dead battery in my own driveway. They haven't laughed at me yet.

christina said...

Oops! That sounds like tons of fun. These new fangled automobiles, eh? My Twingo is like that with the having to lock and unlock thing if you've left the doors open for a certain length of time, but it has always worked, thank goodness.

I'm pretty sure this has happened to other people and that a Smart dealer or auto mechanic would know what to do. I'd send Mr M over but he has a cold and is a bit grumpy.

Reez said...

"Just then, the doors on the car automatically locked, locking the German inside the car."

At this point, screw workplace decorum, I just had to laugh out loud. Calling your husband "The German" just makes it even more funny!

Good luck with Smarty!

Reez said...

Also, my nephew used to say "fuk-an" over and over when he started to talk...try saying it and see how it sounds: "Fuk-an"

joiedekitty said...

Oh, dear. I should not be laughing, but I am!

heissescheisse said...

Holy crap,Claire. I can just imagine the German 1. getting locked in and 2. shutting the door. Poor Man.
Babies have super powers. I swear Max is a gnome of Zurich. If i don't do what he wants, BAD things happen.

give the boys my love.

Anonymous said...

An infant is not a responsible person. The "adult" that allows the infant to do stupid things is the responsible person. What were you thinking?? A little child has no buisiness being alone in a car under any circumstances. In case you haven't figured it out, cars are NOT toys!!!!


J said...

You lasted longer than me, Claire. I started laughing when the door handle came off.