Who’s A Big Dummy?

I am.

For those of you who aren’t in Southern California and haven’t been watching the weather on this coast, it has been gorgeous. The terrible 90° heat of a couple weeks ago has been replaced by wonderful breezy days in the low 70s. So today I decided to grab a little lunch, drive over to Griffith Park and enjoy the sunshine with a good book. (Actually this isn’t that wacky of a decision for me. I do it quite a bit when I’m not working.)

I found a nice spot to park near the Mineral Wells picnic area, rolled down all the windows in my car, opened up the sun roof and decided to listen to a little quiet music with my lunch and book. I shut off my car but clicked the key forward to leave the stereo on. After listening to a couple of Black Keys singles I picked up at Amoeba several weeks ago, and finishing off my lunch, I decided to hunt for the perfect soundtrack to a wonderful day on my iPod. I have my iPod hooked into my car stereo with one of those cassette tape adapters. Hardly the latest example of high fidelity, but it works. (Though I do keep meaning to stop by Al & Ed’s Autosound to talk to them about how we can set this thing up properly.)

I decided on The Beatles’ White Album, and with the gentle sounds of “Dear Prudence” gliding from my car’s speakers, I sat back to enjoy my book.

I must have really gotten into it because time slipped by and suddenly I realized that the music was long over. I wasn’t quite sure how long I had been sitting there in my car enjoying the sun and breeze and the book but I knew it was probably time to head home. And that’s when I discovered that my car wouldn’t start.


In my car from the “off” position on the ignition, one click forward with the key turns on the radio. Two clicks forward adds the air and power to the windows. Going beyond the second click will start the car. I realized that I must have shut off the car FIRST and THEN decided to put the windows down. So I put the key in the second position to do that and must not have moved it from there. So I sat in my car for two hours or so with not only the radio pulling power from the battery, but also the A/C. (I had the fan on so low that I didn’t even notice it was running with all the breezes blowing through my car.)

Did I mention that I’m a genius?

Now of course this was hardly the end of the world. I was in a beautiful location with the sun shining, a cool breeze blowing and a good book to read. And since I’m currently unemployed, it’s not like there was some place I absolutely had to be. So I calmly pulled out my AAA card and called them from my cell phone. Then I picked up my book and continued reading until the tow truck arrived.

The driver took one look at my car with all its windows open and the book in my hands and said, “Lost track of time, huh?” It was a little embarrassing. But the situation was quickly remedied and we were both on our way.

Next time I should just use the ear buds.