I decided to stop at Whole Foods, and get some sushi or something equally comfort-food-like for me...
Getting there is about a 10 minute trip from the office -- with 5 of those on the highway. I got about 7 minutes thru, off the highway, and at the first traffic light -- I stalled. First in line at the red light, in a no-left-turn left lane, uphill. Hazard on, I was there about 10 minutes before the motorcycle cop pulled up and asked what was going on. The Republican cop. and me with `Kerry for President` and `Reich for Governor` stickers on the van.
He blocked traffic a bit behind me, and I put in neutral, and rolled back and right, up against the curb. He put his bike behind me, lights a-flashin, and stood chatting with me for another 10-20 minutes, until it eventually caught and restarted.
I drove a mile or two, to an auto parts store, where I got some carb-cleaner spray (and later, I discovered that no, my van is apparently fuel injected -- TBI, or throttle-body-injected, I believe -- because there wasn't a fully carburetor over the cylinders...)
no stalling, no weirdness from cop to auto-parts, and no trouble restarting after shopping... so I headed for the highway.
I got a mile or two, on the highway, and *zap* -- no acceleration, no reaction to gas pedal efforts. coasted into breakdown, played the same games as before -- and took the doghouse off the engine, to discover the lack of carburetor, making the spray I'd bought useless (damaging to fuel injectors, even).
30 or 40 minutes later -- longer this time than any before -- it restarted, on my last ditch key-crank, before hiking the 1/2 mile to the next exit, to call for rescue....
I drove on. Stupidly, right past the off-ramp, and another, until 3-4 miles later -- *zap* as before. I parked in the breakdown lane again.
I hiked a mile or so against traffic, to the last off-ramp I'd passed, as I knew there was a gas station there, with a Dunkin Donuts and payphone. I met a cop at the off-ramp, just as it was getting DARK, and he called AAA for me, and offered a ride to the gas station, avoiding the construction-ruined off-ramp walk. I accepted -- nice cop.
He dropped me at the gas station, and I went in and got a coffee (it was now 9pm or so), and came out to the payphone to call some friends where I could stay for the night (yay commanda and Kirok), and then to sit and wait for the tow-truck... and then I realized that my splufty Shure headphones, which I needed to use my iPod to while away the time, were -- in the front seat of the cop's cruiser, where they'd fallen out of my pocket.
I called the local station, explained what had happened, and they called him on the radio. He was going to return to the gas station in 10-15 minutes -- and as soon as I got off the phone, up rolled the tow truck -- so off I had to go.
Sometime this week, I'll get back to his police station, and collect them.
Tow truck driver, chatty as always, drove from there to my van, loaded it up, and drove the 10ish miles to my chosen mechanic (a dealership near my office, who did a great goodness for me with a weird brake issue over the winter). Once there, I was asked for money for the tow -- because somehow the AAA call had been made against the State's account, rather than against my own AAA Plus account... OK, no biggie, only $33 -- paid, will protest with AAA, they'll refund....
Filled out the late-night-drop-off envelope at the dealer -- who is actually open tomorrow! -- and hopefully things will get done soon....
Now -- more walking. 2 miles or so from the dealer to my office, because the nearest pay phone is walking further away, and if I can't reach any rescuers, I want to sleep somewhere safe and warm, even if the floors are concrete+carpet.
Get to my office at about 11:00 -- after two 15-minute miles -- call my friends again -- get them this time, instead of voicemail/answering machines -- arrange to be picked up in 45-60 minutes, when they escape Boston's clutches... Call the dealer, and leave a message with more detail than would fit on the late-night-drop-off envelope... Call the police station again, explain that I missed the nice officer, leave contact info, and tell them I'll get there to collect my headphones sometime next week....
Friend comes, ride back to dealer, collect bags for Open Beltaine, and to keep computer happy... ride back to friend's house, have a beer, chips, salsa (no dinner, remember)... could have gone for fast-food, but no real appetite, and trying to lose some excess inches, so... OK.
Now, about to sleep. 7 hours after leaving the office on the early side. I hope nobody "just showed up". and I kinda hope that Beltaine is rained out tomorrow, whether or not it happens on Sunday. Cause I'm *tired*.