Eat Gas

I'm Going to Eat Gas

The stupid light that reads SERVICE ENG1NE S00N came on in the ne0nmobile this week and just stayed on in that annoying way that little stupid yet slightly alarming lights always do. I wanted to start flipping switches frantically in an attempt to accomplish something even though no vehicle ever invented could be fixed by flipping a couple of switches, except perhaps the batmobile. I didn’t have any switches to flip frantically. Maybe the turn signals, but that seemed kind of pointless and slightly lame. What I did do was pull over to a convenience store and add a quart of oil to the engine. Why? I don’t know, it was the only thing I could think of at the time.


Here are a couple things to know about the ne0nmobile:


*It has 86,000 miles on its 3 year old engine

*I have never taken the car for a tune up

*I get oil changes approximately every 10,000 miles

*A couple weeks ago, I attempted to downshift from 5th to what I believed to be 4th gear, but which was in fact 2nd gear. FYI, if you do something like that, your ne0nmobile is going to make an ugly, hateful noise.

*For the past few weeks, I have had to give the ne0nmobile a lot of gas when taking off or it gives up the ghost and dies. I mean like A LOT OF GAS. So much so that all these teenage badass punks think I am down for a race. Back off there, pony boy.


I went in and purchased a diet coke – because all situations can be made better by that simple act – and sat on the curb of the seedy convenience store parking lot with my owner’s manual doing my best homeless whino/crack whore impersonation while tossing back my bottle of diet coke. Turns out the service engine soon light can mean anything including, but not limited to, loose gas cap, impending explosion, or possibly the hamster that turns the wheel under the hood that keeps the ne0nmobile moving has died. Hard to say really. The important message I took from the owner’s manual was that unless the service engine light soon light was flashing, danger was not imminent.


I later took it into the shop where they assured me they would hook it up to the computer diagnostic system to retrieve the error code that would solve the service engine soon light mystery. I’m fairly sure they don’t actually hook it up to a computer, that they actually just play a game of Tetris and whatever level they fail on, that’s the problem. “Uh yeah, Ms. Toast, your ne0nmobile seems to have a level 5 blockage caused by too many blue squares entering the system, and a lack of red blocks.” Yeah, anyhow. Turned out to be something about a broken seal, oil leaking into spark plugs or something, I wasn’t paying attention really, until I heard the price, then my ears perked up like a damn dog – not like my dog Boris as B0ris is old, deaf, and possibly autistic, but more like a high strung dog who’s ears perk up at shocking sounds. Let’s just say I am almost 30 years old, have basically no credit left on any of my assorted credit cards, have no savings, and live paycheck to paycheck. Yes, let’s say that.


Now, if like everyone else, you feel the need to tell me that I was an idiot for taking my ne0nmobile into the repair shop for service based solely on the serv!ce engine s00n light, you can suck it. Seriously, make just one smartass comment about my idiotocity and I will hunt you down and pee on your leg. Try me.


Now my ne0nmobile is back, sans the service engine soon light. It has also stopped emitting that death rattle like noise when I start it every morning, so bonus. Plus I have a new driver’s side window, fabulous window tint on all windows, a tuned up/oil changed car, and absolutely no money in my checking account. Dammit, that money was going to be used to fulfill my dream of becoming a natural blonde, which will now have to wait, as I am not about to start messing around with pouring bleach on my head at home. That would so end badly. Luckily I still have $93 available credit on my Texaco card. Woo hoo, looks like a $6 box o’ Fruity Pebbles for me tonight!

2003-05-22 at 4:19 p.m.