I was going to tell the story of My Harrowing Second Annual Holiday-Mailing Trip Down to Sumas In teh Snow last Thursday, in four-part harmony, with feeling, but now it's been a few days and I'm afraid much of the narrative juice has leached out of it. Suffice it to say that the car started lurching and slowing down alarmingly a few miles down the highway, I pulled off at the first exit and drove around frantically (and ever more slowly) looking for a place to pull over, finally found a parking lot that belonged--joy of joys-- to an auto-supply shop! just as the car seemed to be getting over its ailment and speeding up again, pulled over, the guys inside spent a good amount of time brainstorming about my problem (and intermittently dissing VWs), they said it was probably not a crisis situation and gave me the name of a good VW mechanic.
On my way back out to the car I called RW, who said oh, yeah, she knew that mechanic, and also she knew that car problem, it had happened with her last year and the mechanic said it was moisture in the gas tank and put something in it to dry it up. I turned around & went back in & told the car guys that, and they said, Oh, We Know what he put in there, here, we'll sell you a bottle of it, pour half the bottle in the gas tank and then fill up with premium when you get down to the States (it's cheaper there), and sold me a bottle of something for $3.99.
So then all was well until I thought I missed my exit and got off at the next exit and then had to figure out where I was while also not getting stuck on a snowy side road (by the time you get that far East, all the cars have snow tires if they're driving off the highway. Except not me), somehow managed to find a gas station with only a little skidding around, got directions, got back on the highway, and then the car started lurching & slowing down just as I got off at the right exit.
So I lurched the few miles down to the border, whereupon I was hassled by the requisite A**hole Border Guy--they appear at random intervals and never when you expect them--who chided me for sealing the packages so he couldn't easily get a good look at them, but fortunately (for time's sake, not for what was in them, which was exactly what I said was in them) didn't insist on opening them then and there.
The post office itself was pretty straightforward, and everything got mailed, and then I stopped at a gas station & tried to fill up with premium, only the premium gas pump was frozen shut. So I drove home without even stopping for cheap cheese, or actually back to work because by then I was late for my 1:00 shift. It should've only taken two or three hours but it took four and a half. And I was very very cold.
Well. It felt heroic at the time. But it's hard to capture the magnitude of it. Because when you come down to it, I drove an hour on the highway, mailed some letters, and drove back.
In other news, today I feel like Norma Frickin Rae, in a similar spirit of exaggeration to that of the heroic epic above. If you ask me I will tell you about it.
And two people at work spontaneously wished me Happy Chanukah, which was pretty nice.
It's all lighter from here on out!