Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm giving thanks I survived Thanksgiving

We drove down to Southern California for Thanksgiving: a day and a half in Riverside, two days in Irvine, and a day in San Diego. It feels like we (okay, Mike) spent most of the vacation driving, but it was worth it: we hung out with family, ate impressive amounts of decadent food, and even did some hiking. Also, this was the first Thanksgiving I spent with my nuclear family since 2003, so that was lovely. All in all, it was good.

Except for when our muffler fell off.

It was midnight and we were driving away from my aunt's house when we heard a funny dragging noise and then, just a minute or two later, a loud thud. We all jumped out to investigate and I took a picture, of course. That's the muffler, rusted clean through.

We didn't feel like getting it fixed right then, so we did the drive back from San Diego with no muffler. The car had been noisy for a long time (that's the thing about a rusty muffler, you see), so that wasn't a problem. I was worried about the carbon monoxide issue, though--would it kill us and HOW WOULD WE KNOW?!?

(I know with most newer cars there's not really as big a risk, but my dad had a friend who died of carbon monoxide poisoning, many years ago, so I'm probably more paranoid than the average bear about this.)

So I'm sitting in the car, six hours into the drive back, and fretting more and more about carbon monoxide, so much so that I finally decide to look up the symptoms. Here's the list I find:
  • Irritability
  • Headache 
  • Loss of focus
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Claustrophobia
  • Unexplained panic
I read the list of symptoms and realize I have every. single. one. of. them. I am going to die! Quick, quick, roll down the windows! And then I realize I was premenstrual (irritability), under-rested (headache), working on something really boring (loss of focus), eating only pretzels and Bugles (nausea), while sitting (shortness of breath) in a car (claustrophobia) that might be killing me silently (unexplained panic). Oh.

How clever of carbon monoxide, generated by a car, to mimic so precisely the exact symptoms of a road trip!


Genuine Draft said...

Before you said it was a muffler I was wondering why the two of you were getting your picture taken with a miniature butter churn. Apparently I need to brush up on car anatomy.

word verification: antsph, which I assume is either ants per hour or a measure of ant acidity.

Th. said...


That's how CO's lasted so long.