“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.”
I got in the car.
I pressed the POWER button (the car being a Prius, starting it is more reminiscent of powering on a computer than turning on a car).
Nothing good happened. All the dashboard lights came on, some flashing alarmingly; the screen did not turn on; the engine did not turn on.
For a bit I just sat there and though, “You know, if I was taking a bike, this wouldn’t happen. The batteries never die on my bike.” Then I called AAA, and within 45 minutes a nice guy had come and given the Prius a jump, which is happily all it needed. The little 12V starter battery had drained down somehow. As I drove around aimlessly — the engine had to run for 30 minutes, not something the Prius does naturally; I drove up lots of hills — I realized that I was wrong. The “batteries” on my bike can run down, if I ride too many miles and my legs don’t have time to recover. I’ve had plenty of days I get on my bike and my legs start exhausted, and don’t get any better over the ride. Another potential equivalent experience is getting a flat tire on a bike, but bicyclists don’t generally need to call in help to fix that problem. Also this is maybe the 2nd time we’ve had to jump the car since we bought it in 2006. I can’t even count how many flat tires I’ve had in that same time.
In any case, it was funny how at a loss I was at first when the car didn’t start. It made me realize how little I know, or care to know, about how the car works. Just so long as it goes when I need it to go, that’s all I care about. It also says something that I felt weird driving to drop my bike off for a tune-up. I looked into all sorts of other options, and none of them really made any sense (3 bus transfers plus walking a mile just to get home from dropping my bike off? Give me a break!), so I did it the normal American way.