Thursday, January 06, 2005

Frozen Shut

It was ridiculously cold this morning, so I ran out to let my car warm up a little before heading for work. I know, I know, I'm just asking to have my car stolen. As it happens, my car was frozen shut, so I barely got the door open in time to leave for work. Theft problem solved.

My car is a little Mazda Miata (a black 1990 Limited Edition with red leather interior that The Wife has dubbed "The Batmobile," but that The Girl has renamed "Speedy," although it isn't, really) that I have not yet wintered with, so I hadn't encountered this particular problem with it before. The door latch is a little capsule of metal that does not afford much purchase for yanking on. I tried the driver's side, and then tried the passenger side. The passenger side felt like it unlatched, but the door wouldn't budge, so I gave up and went inside to get some hot water. It took two attempts, but I got the driver's side door to budge just enough to get my fingers around the edge of the door, and then I pulled it open. I got in and started driving.

After about five minutes on the road, the car had thawed enough that the Door Ajar buzzer started going. Apparently, I had unlatched the passenger's side door earlier, and it hadn't latched back. Unfortunately, it started just at the moment I was entering the freeway; there's about a five-mile stretch that is nothing but freeway merges and river crossing, with no really handy exits for pulling over and doing the Chinese Fire Drill thing. I just kept driving, hoping the door wouldn't fly open before I could fix it.

So finally, I get pulled over, open and shut the passenger door, run back to the driver's side. My door doesn't want to shut on the first try, but it catches on the second. The buzzer is still going, and I'm running late. No time to stop for breakfast at QT.

I drive the rest of the way to work with that idiot, buzzing whine cutting at my ears like a dentist's drill. While I'm waiting at the last intersection before my building, I try opening and shutting the door on my side again. The buzzer stops. I finally get to work cold and hungry, with my ears still ringing.

I feel better now. Thanks for asking. And no, I'm not looking forward to driving the Batmobile on snow.

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