I roll in and tell them that I think it has something to do with the fuel lines due to the chugging, but they determine it's the battery. Yay! Not a fuel pump. Awesome! Saves me however much money a fuel pump would be. They install the battery (had to order it as they didn't have the size on hand at the shop) and I wound up having to get the higher "quality" battery, but whatever, maybe I won't have to be here in 2 years for a new one, perhaps I'll make it to 3 or 4 years before a new one. $145 paid to the nice men and away I go.
I start up the car and it's doing the chugging thing again. I figure, "Hey, it's probably all 'Yaaay! Electric juice! So overjoyed! Can't hardly hold in my enthusiasm!'" So I back out and head into traffic. And...it dies. *head steering wheel* In traffic. Thankfully, I was able to get out of the way of traffic and be in a turn lane in the median. While I'm cranking the car, there is a lady opposite me who wants to turn right (I'm in the left turn lane facing her) and she is frantically motioning to me to decide which way I want to go as I have my hazards on.
Now, from what I remember, or you know, the common knowledge of hazards is that it is a warning that there is a vehicle ahead that is either disabled or not able to be at the speed limit or just "Hey! I'm here! I'm a car! Get used to it!" you know, whatever. I guess...I guess she didn't learn that? So, I persuade her in between trying to turn the ignition over with my own hand signals that she can safely make her u-turn. I can only imagine the conversation she has with her friends later: "So, this chick is just sitting there with BOTH BLINKERS ON! I was TRYING to figure out which way she was turning. I mean, how do you even GET both blinkers to turn on? It's crazy!" And I'm picturing the face of one of her friends when the realization hits them that she is very probably stupid.
Right, back to the story. Some guy sees that I'm having a problem and trots across traffic to help out. We pop the hood, but can't figure anything out, so he says he'll push if I steer. Now, he said to get in the car and all I would have to do is steer. I can't let some dude do that all by himself, especially pushing my fat ass as well as a one ton vehicle. So, I help push while I steer. Another dude getting off the bus sees us pushing across three lanes of traffic and helps out. Seriously, people rock.
Here is where the fun starts. I realize that the car is moving really fast and I need to stop it. We are on the side street at this point. I say to myself, "Self. You see this all the time on the television and the movies. Just hop in and hit the brakes."
Can you see where this is going? I think you can. After being dragged about thirty feet at 5 MPH I realize I should probably let go of the steering wheel AND move my other leg out of the way so that the back wheels don't run over it. I am imagining how badly my left leg is shredded and how much I want that to stop happening anymore. I let go and tuck in and the dudes run in front of the vehicle and get it stopped. And now I can't stop laughing nor can I stop gasping for breath. The adrenaline is pumping and I am amazed at my utter fucking stupidity in thinking that I am a freaking stunt woman.
The second guy makes sure that I'm ok and continues on his way. The first guy stays to make sure that I'm all right and waits for me to catch my breath to make sure I have a way home and everything. I tell him I'll be walking back to the Big O (remember the Big O?) to let them know that the car is dead even after the new battery. He starts in with some sort of sob story and I just stop him before he really gets started and hand him $20. Dude. For real? You just helped me push a car across three lanes of traffic. You just stopped my car from careening into a ditch (or the wash, or another car) while I was trying to play stunt woman. Take the $20. I don't care if you are the CEO of Safeway, I have to give you something for helping me out. And, you know, karma and all that. I go on my way, he goes on his way.
I get back to the Big O and the service writer sees me walking and says, "What happened?" I tell him that the car died and that I had to push it across three lanes of traffic, and it almost ran me over, but hey, it's right over there if you want to go take a look. Two of the mechanics go after getting the key from me and the dude says, "Man, the battery was dead. This sucks. I'd be so angry right now." I told him that there was no point in getting angry, it isn't going to solve anything. I just need the car fixed.
Guess what? I need a new fuel pump. HA. HA. HA. HA.