A message board I frequent used to do “Happy/Crappy” where you had to post something happy about your day and something crappy.  I had an interesting evening in Rome (Georgia–not Italy) last Thursday and thought I would recap it in a similar fashion.

Happy:  It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon.

Crappy:  I had to drive up to Rome that night for a makeup class for school.

Happy:  I get to Rome early and spot a Panera to grab a snack and finish up my homework.

Super Happy:  Next to Panera is a Gamestop who actually has the elusive Wii Fit that we’ve been looking for all over Atlanta.

Crappy: Panera forgets to put caramelized onions on my panini.

Happy:  WiFi keeps me entertained during class.

Crappy:  Our teacher does not let us out early.

Crappy:  Due to lack of caramelized onions I am still hungry when class lets out at 10pm.

Happy: Spot the golden arches of McDonald’s on my way out of town.  (normally this wouldn’t make me happy, but I was really hungry)

Crappy:  Sitting in the drive thru for 10 minutes without moving.

More Crappy:  Hearing odd clunking noises from the car while sitting in said drive thru.

Sill More Crappy:  Seeing ‘check engine’ light come on causing me to leave drive thru before being able to get food.

Happy:  Spotting a brightly lit BP across the street to pull in to.

Crappy:  Having to call my husband and my father because I have no idea what to do about the car.

Happy:  Feeling a sense of accomplishment for adding oil and checking the radiator all by myself.  (This may not sound like a lot, but for me who knows nothing about cars, it is.)

Crappy:  Engine is now overheated and check engine light is still on.

Happy:  Gas station has the three things I was looking for before I get back on the road: a gallon of water, hand sanitizer, and a clean bathroom.

Crappy:  Have to go inside to order at McDonalds because father does not want the car to sit and idle with a hot engine.

Crappy:  The cashier at McDonald’s is very slow and doesn’t seem to understand what a large, regular flavored iced coffee means.

Happy:  Said iced coffee and ‘Southern Style Chicken Sandwich’ (AKA McD’s Chick-Fil-A knockoff) are surprisingly tasty.

Undecided:  Getting back on the road, I discover the “John Tesh radio show.”  Kind of like the male version of Delilah.


Happy:  Needle on engine temperature drops from hot to normal after driving for a little while, just like father said it would.

Crappy:  Almost immediately after needle drops, car starts making rattling noises and stops accelerating.

Super Crappy:  Car goes dead while still driving down the highway, in the middle of nowhere.

Really Super Crappy:  Trying to coast a dead car off to the non-existant shoulder while trying to see out the windshield that is blocked with the massive amounts of steam coming from the hood, all while trying to not cause a wreck and trying to locate the emergency hazard lights so other drivers know there is something wrong and that I’m not just a moron for driving 25 mph on the highway.

Even More Crappy:  Hazard lights are nowhere to be found.


Really Super Hallelujah Happy:  When I finally get over to the right, a big turn lane for a random country road appears giving me a safe place to pull over. 

Crappy:  Having to call and tell father that while the engine temp is no longer showing hot, the entire car is dead with steam pouring out of the hood on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere.  

Happy:  Having the kind of father who immediately starts getting ready to come get you on the side of the road at 11:30pm when you’re an hour away.

Crappy:  Not knowing where I am in the middle of nowhere (“maybe ten miles from the McDonald’s” doesn’t really help).

Happy:  Spotting a sign for the random country road to call and tell husband where I am.

Crappy:  Having bad cell reception and a dying cell phone in a time like this.

Happy:  Thanks to GoogleMaps, husband is able to find exactly where I am in order to relay to father and AAA.

Happy:  Finding the car manual in the glove compartment to try and find where the hazard lights are.

Crappy:  Having to stare at the manual for 5 minutes before finding them (Tip: If you have a ’94 Volvo 850 I HIGHLY recommend locating your hazard lights before you need to use them, because their location is NOT obvious).

Crappy:  Now having to wait close to an hour for father and AAA to come find me.

Happy:  Actually having some time to do my homework from class. 

Crappy:  Due to using WiFi during class, laptop battery is pretty much dead and thereby depriving me of doing homework, listening to music or playing solitaire. 

More Crappy:  Having to hand write homework by the light of the overhead dome light.

Still More Crappy:  After a while the battery on the car starts going and the dome light starts flickering with the off beat of the hazards giving the effect of a slow strobe light.

Happy:  Father arrives to rescue me from the middle of nowhere!

More Happy:  After inspecting the engine it appears that the turbo hose connection thing to the engine broke away and therefore the breakdown is not due to my lack of checking the oil earlier like we thought. 

Even More Happy:  Ten minutes after father arrives, so does AAA tow truck man.  He’s nice and hooks the car up quickly.  (He wasn’t really a teddy bear, but the picture is just for visual effect.)

Crappy:  Despite it being way after midnight, we now have to lead tow truck man to our mechanic an hour away before father can take me home. 

Happy:  Having time to chat with father on the way.

More Happy:  We arrive at the mechanic’s all right, drop the car off and father takes me home.

Crappy:  It is now a little after 2am, and husband wants to leave at 7am to drive to Charleston and I haven’t packed yet.

More Crappy:  Due to massive iced coffee and the craziness of the night, I am unable to really sleep at all. 

Happy:  After a fitful night, I’m able to get up, quickly pack and sleep the entire way to Charleston for a fun weekend. 


Overall, while being a crappy situation, I was very lucky that I was able to pull the car over safely when it was dead, have a cell phone, AAA membership and a great father to come and get me.  The entire situation could have been a whole lot worse.