Thursday, January 12, 2012

Always Carry a Screwdriver

Greetings from the frozen tundra otherwise known as Indiana.

It's cold out there. No, cold doesn't even begin to describe how it feels outside. The minute you walk outside it's like all the air is sucked out of your lungs. It's so cold it hurts to breathe and any part of your body that is exposed to the icy wind starts to sting. Your breath hangs in mid-air, as if frozen. Yeah, it's definitely cold out there. The temperature is around 16 degrees, but when you factor in a wind of 30 mph with gusts around 40 mph you get a windchill of -2. But hey, that's winter in Indiana, right?

I work Thursday nights this semester with my friend Vicki. She doesn't drive and depends on public transportation to get back and forth to work so I usually offer to give her a ride home on the nights we work together. I parked on the backside of the building instead of in the main lot because there were no close spaces and I wasn't feeling the walking in sub-zero temperature thing. Frostbite   wasn't on my agenda tonight. 

For some reason when it gets cold outside my car doors have a bad habit of freezing shut. Well, tonight was no exception. When Vicki and I got to my car we found both doors frozen tightly shut. There were patches of ice right next to my car as well, making it hard to get any traction to actually pull the doors open as well. The passenger side door was not budging at all. I finally got the driver's side door open and Vicki had to crawl across the console/gearshift to the passenger side. It was pretty amusing to watch considering it's a Cavalier and there isn't much room for such a maneuver. Better her than me though, that's for damn sure. 

When she finally got over to the passenger side I slid into the driver's side and tried closing the door and heard a dull thud and the door bounced back open. I knew instantly what had happened. For some reason the latch that holds the door shut gets stuck and the door won't shut. It does it a lot in the winter time and two winters ago a co-worker of mine and I spent about 30 minutes in the parking lot trying to get the door to shut. We didn't have any tools in either of our cars and ended up breaking three pens but we finally got the door to shut, although neither of us really knew how. He suggested that I always carry a screwdriver with me so I'd have something to use to pry the latch into the open position. It became a running joke with he and I and he'd often ask me if I had a screwdriver and if I'd be needing assistance in the parking lot later. He was an awesome guy and always made sure I was safely in my car and pulling away before he'd leave the parking lot. He walked me out every night that we worked together. A few semesters ago he suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. It was all very unexpected and shocking, especially since I had spoken to him a day or two before it happened. I miss him deeply. But anywho, moving on...

The door latch has done that several times now and usually my brother-in-law came to my rescue. The last time he came to bail me out he shared the technique with me. Basically what you have to do is pull the door handle up and use the screwdriver to push the latch into the open position so it doesn't block the door from closing. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not tonight. The latch wouldn't budge. We were screwed so I finally admitted defeat and called my brother-in-law. But I'm not one that likes to admit defeat so I pulled my gloves back on and stepped back out into the icy wind and gave it another try. Finally I got it into the open position and was able to close the door. After a quick call to my brother-in-law to let him know we were good to go, I drove Vicki home. 

Of course the passenger side door was still frozen solid when we got to her house. I got out and pulled and she pushed and I almost fell on my ass but the door finally opened and the latch on the driver's side didn't stick this time so  once she disappeared into her house I drove away.

Now I'm safe and warm inside my house and ready to settle in for the night. The Weather Channel says it's 16 degrees with a windchill of -2 but inside my house its 70 degrees. It's almost tropical.Makes you want to sip one of those fruity drinks with the little umbrellas...

Peace out everyone!


Christy said...

Oh what a shitty night! Glad you're home where it's nice and toasty now!

Hubs told me to tell you to take a bit of vasaline and smear it on your rubber seals around your door, it'll help keep them from freezing shut, and also, give that latch a squirt of WD-40, it'll help keep it from sticking. Hugs and Loves to ya, Gypsy!

Mary McFalls said...

Tell hubs thanks for me! Hugs and love to ya Birckenstock!