Actually “won” is a bit of an understatement. “Massacred” would be a more accurate description. That’s right, I got my ass beat by a 93’ Honda Civic. I’m a girly girl. Not the annoying kind that wears make-up to the gym or walks around wearing a tiara and declaring herself a “princess”, but a girly girl nonetheless. I like pedicures. I love shoes. I have a pink ipod. I can recite every episode of Sex and the City practically verbatim. I don’t do auto repairs. To me, the mysterious mass of metal lurking beneath the hood of my car is about as clear as the ink blots in a Rorschach test. However, even someone as mechanically un-inclined as I am can figure out how to get the cap off the oil filler…or so I thought.
As I drove home from work last night, I noticed the oil light on my dashboard would start to flicker on every time I braked. I knew I was overdue for an oil change, so I wasn’t too alarmed. But save for emergencies, or non-operation of my vehicle, I generally save the exciting task of going to the mechanic for Saturday mornings, so I figured I’d just put some oil in my car to tide it over and take it in for an oil change over the weekend.
I stopped at the Kragen Auto Parts store near my house and walked into utter chaos. I didn’t know automotive supply chains were the cool new post work hangout. Hey everyone, screw happy hour, let’s go buy some car accessories! It was more crowded than the intersection of Hollywood and Highland the week before the Academy Awards and to top things off, the store was completely disorganized. After waiting in “line” for about twenty minutes I paid for my oil and was pushed out of my place at the register by the impatient prick behind me. Being a “man” store, there was no observance of “purse courtesy” (the few moments polite people give a girl to get all her things together before she vacates the register) and I hurriedly tried to gather my belongings as I felt the hostile glares of other customers piercing my back.
By the time I arrived home, my Kragen experience has already put me in somewhat of an ill temperament. I had a lot of other errands I needed to run, so all I wanted to do was put the oil in the car, change my clothes and be on my merry little way. But my car was not having it. I popped the hood and when I proceeded to try to twist the cap off of the oil filter...nothing. I’m not talking about the sort of mild resistance that could be remedied with a quick cocktail of perseverance and elbow grease. This was an absolute refusal to move. I was a Democratic initiative and my oil cap was the Republican Congress spearheaded by Newt Gingrich. Not budging. After forty-five minutes of grunting, screaming, crying, pulling muscles I didn’t even know I had, and basically having a full-blown emotional meltdown in my driveway, I called for back-up. My best friend, Deeves, (also a girly girl, but considerably more practical and adaptable than I) suggested that I just gently tap the top of the cap with a hammer to loosen it up. What a fantastic idea! It works great on jars of spaghetti sauce, so why wouldn't it work for cars? Wrong! The first tap of the hammer sent synthetic splinters flying everywhere like some guerilla insurgent had set off a plastic grenade. At this point I completely lost it. I knew there was no getting the stump that was left of that cap off the oil filter so I just unleashed my rage and hammered the shit out of it until it broke off. I was temporarily relieved by the cathartic release of my pent up aggression until I realized, in utter defeat, I would now have to go to Pep Boys to get a new oil filler cap. So in the end, the car won...but at least I got a cute new steering wheel cover.