Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Story of the Year

Last weekend was the OWU Board of Trustees meeting and most of them came in on Thursday and Friday. As staff, we go to the committee meetings and run around doing whatever the Trustees need. At 4:15 on Friday, one of the Trustees came to our office saying that she needed a jump as her battery was dead. She had left the lights on in her rental car because on all of her cars, the lights were automatic. I had already messed up about 75 times earlier in the day, but I knew how to jump a battery, so I didn't think that it would be an issue. My boss (otherwise known as Captain Annual Fund) and I took my boss's van to the Trustee's car and started the whole car-jumping process.

My mind was anywhere but on what I was doing, and I hooked the cables to the dead battery (grounding the negative clamp to the frame) prior to the live battery. This is not what you do because, according to my ca-knowing friend, "You never go up river" or something like that. As I was paddling "up river" by hooking up the live battery after the dead one, the Trustee was standing by her car while I was over at the van. When I clamped the cables to the live battery, but there were sparks, which is generally what happens during a jump. She asked me "Is it supposed to spark like that?" To which I answered "Yes" while not paying attention to her car.

"Is it supposed to smoke like that?" she asked. I was getting annoyed because of course it was going to smoke a little from the sparks. At this point, I looked to my left towards her car. That when I saw black smoke billowing out of her engine. I stood straight up and saw a flame. Her car was on fire.

I had lit her car on fire.

On fire.

A feeling of overwhelming panic welled up inside of me as I pictured her car exploding, then blowing up the car next it, and the one next to it, etc. as we were in a full parking lot. But I also knew that I had to save face and not show concern, as this was a Trustee of the University where I worked. So I nonchalantly walked over to her car, which was on fire, and mumbled "Don't worry, I grew up in the country. We do this all of the time," (which made absolutely no sense, but I thought something needed to be said), thinking that I can't show any concern of blowing up the city of Delaware due to a mistake I made while jumping a car. I looked into the engine and saw that the negative clamp and the area in which I grounded it to was the source of the flame, which I thought was weird. I didn't think metal caught on fire easily, but that was a moot point now.

I had lit her car on fire.

I grabbed the clamp that was on fire, burning my hand in the process, but avoiding the Great Delaware Fire of '06. Then I mentioned that the area in which I grounded the clamp, which I darn well knew was metal, "must have been rubber or something like that because metal doesn't usually catch on fire." I was trying to save face. The Trustee then touched the area that was previously on fire and now blackened to see if it was metal and proceeded to burn her finger, confirming that it was indeed metal.

As I went to hook up the negative clamp to the battery, I held my breath because I wasn't sure what would happen. I figured the battery would explode, spraying acid in my face, disfiguring me horribly, and then blow up all of the cars in the parking lot- but I was not about to lose face. None of that happened, but it was a tense second.

As I walked back to my boss's car, about ready to vomit, my boss asked me if I had hurt my hand. I said no, and then I whispered if she could tell I was nervous. She said "no," so I knew I was all right. Both cars started and everything was fine, but it was an omen that I should have not gone out last weekend.

There is nothing worthy of comment.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Thursday, October 12, 2006
i'm just glad you didn't die.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Thursday, October 12, 2006
kind of disappointed that you're slacking at your slacking outlet aka this blog.

you're a double slacker.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Friday, October 20, 2006
update or retire
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Saturday, October 28, 2006
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