In The Zone.


After last night’s dead battery adventure, I decided to take care of the issue with a visit to my local auto parts store. But before I could do that, I had to have some breakfast of coffee and key lime pie. Hangin’ with the Yaq Pack (Cognac Drinkers…lol) sucked me dry of energy. Honey, cooking was out of the question.

SO…I get to the auto parts store and stand in line for about 10 minutes. Now for those who’ve never been to an auto parts store, let me help you with the visual. When you first walk in, the smell of new tires and mechanic odor hits you right in the nose. Look to the right and aisles of auto stuff are lined up neatly against a wall. Turn to the left and checkout lanes guard long rows of batteries, brakes and other stuff I can’t identify. I’m sure it’s all auto stuff though.

Now, walk past any lane with a customer if you can. Auto store checkout lanes are not typical. Sometimes people come right up to simply purchase something they already have in their hands. Most times though, it’s a process of having a lay person try to describe what he or she may need to the guy behind the counter. That guy (non-gender based, guy can be male or female) will then type something in the computer that will come back with a price and a description. The guy and the customer then have to have THE discussion. “What is that?” and “How much?” are typical questions that come up. Anyway, just try to find an open register.

In this case, I had to wait about fifteen minutes because all the guys were busy…only to be told that I had to go to a different location to have my battery tested. Hmm…no problem. The other location was about five minutes down the same street. Hopped back into my truck (it cranked on the first try…yay!) and drove to the other location. This is where the party starts.

So, I have to wait again. I do, patiently.

When it’s my turn, I ask the guy if he can check my battery. He’s cool and says, “OK”. It takes him a minute to find the tester. The last guy didn’t put it back where it should go…and it was a thing.

So, we get outside. The battery needs a charge. I’m like ‘cool’ how much is that?  He says it’s free and I secretly celebrate in my head.  Then he asks me something about a fast charge and a slow charge. I’m like ‘huh?’

Let’s just say that I opted for the fast charge of about thirty five minutes. The slow charge was 6-7 hours.  Who chooses the slow charge? I’m no car guy but I’m like if I have a choice, I’d rather not be waiting around for a day to get my battery juiced up.

Well, so now I have a half hour and some change for neighborhood exploration. Another thing about auto stores. They tend to be located on busy streets…in non-luxurious neighborhoods. I didn’t want to go too far and I didn’t think it was safe to cross traffic. There was a little ‘urban’ strip mall a block down with a sign that said ‘Jamaican Food’.

Cool food adventure!

No. No. No.

Not really an adventure but a journey of sorts, nonetheless.

So I walk in and every table’s dirty. It seems that I just missed the lunch rush…but I’m not sure because the place never got busy while I was there. Typical set up for West Indian restaurants in Florida. A lone lady behind a glass serving area with a cash register and several different traditional (I assumed) dishes. I was third in line. When I walked up, the guy in front of me just stepped to the side. I wasn’t sure why he would do that but whatever. The dude talking to the lady behind the glass must’ve been trying to get his Mack on because it was taking him a long time to order. They had about ten things on the menu.  Either he was a slow ready or a long flirt. I didn’t care. Finally, it was my turn. The guy on the side waved me ahead so I went.

I ordered Kingfish…and it was good! I had to eat it quickly and only after saying a prayer because the tables were all still dirty. Since I had a good bit of time left to head back for my battery, I found a semi-clear space. I kept all of my food inside the plastic bag and had a bottled drink. Not my finest hour it was not the most interesting thing about my visit to this ‘café’.

A crackhead came in as I was eating and watching Steven Segal’s, “Above the Law”. Why were we watching “Above the Law”? It was not making my eyes and stomach happy. Le sigh.

Monsieur Crackery made some kind of scene that included something about the owner. I don’t know. I was just trying to eat without freakin’ out from the combination of bloody shootings, crack drama and filth that was surrounding me. Now, the only thing that made this situation bearable was Pam Grier…and she didn’t make an appearance for a while.

When my time was up, I tossed my tray in the trash and bid the Lady Behind the Glass a good day.

When I get back to the auto store, of course the battery needs more charge. So now I’m like, “Does this mean I need the slow charge?” The guy says, “No…but you should let it charge for about another thirty minutes.” I’m like, “Damn.”

I really was not up to another urban outing so, I sat in the car and fiddled with my phone for a while. My windows were up and it got to hot. So, I did what no lady should ever do.

I opened my door to let in air. I am sitting in my giant truck with the door wide open. Mother would not approve.  I can almost hear her admonishing me for being so ‘country’. We’re from Georgia. Country is in my blood, Mama. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

After another thirty-five minutes, the guy walks out to the truck. The battery charger has only boosted the power up a tad…and I’m thinking I should’ve gotten that slow charge. Then I realize, I’m at an auto store and they’re in the business of selling batteries. Dang it! That free charge malarkey is just a marketing ploy.

I’m over it.

So, I have the guy put my battery back in the truck. It cranks right up! Yay! I may have to buy a new battery but it won’t be today. Off to Publix, the next stop on my Saturday adventure.



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