Saturday, September 04, 2010

It's a man's world.

The first time we went seining, the fuse in my cigarette lighter blew. The battery in my (nearly) four year old GPS no longer holds a charge, so I lost that device immediately. Plugging into the secondary cigarette lighter offered no alternative as both outlets are on the same fuse. I navigated home "blind" but it was alright because I remembered the area - eastern Monmouth county - from my professional days.

In asking to borrow Jeff's GPS for our second seining trip that week, I was indirectly informing him that my car needed a fuse. He had changed this particular fuse for me once before and maybe he remembered that there were no longer any spares of this type.1 His got me there but I ran into the same trouble as before on the way home. It seems his (two-year younger) GPS doesn't hold a charge either. On the third and final trip seining, I had no option but to navigate unassisted and missed only one turn which I quickly recognized and corrected.

I might be taking the kids to the Philadelphia Zoo for their days off school this week and, so, would really need my GPS. How to find an auto supply store without a working GPS? I knew of one down 130 in Robbinsville but when I drove by there on Monday, it was closed up rather permanent-looking. I had bought floor mats for my new car there about five years ago. The floor mats are long gone but I still have the car.

So the online Yellow Pages turned up Paris's near H&H Gas in Windsor. We had toured H&H's showroom more than three years ago looking at ranges and dishwashers. But since Jeff had driven us there on a blustery winter day with little visibility, I needed to click the directory listing's map to find the place on my own. So the Robbinsville store had moved to Windsor, a bit closer.

I went over there first thing this morning before I was really awake. Jeff asked me to pick up a case of 10W30 motor oil for his lawn tractor. It's a small store so I wasn't as overwhelmed as usual and I spotted the fuse kiosk immediately. I pick out the right amperage and purchased it.
That was quick.
A little too quick for, as soon as I stepped out of the shop, I recalled the motor oil. Actually, cases of motor oil caught my eye as I walked out. So, I turned 'round and bought a case, after admitting somewhat casually that I'd forgotten something.

When I got home, Jeff was eager to insert the new fuse ... and just as eager to tell me I'd bought the wrong size.
Is the oil OK, as I'm going back anyway?
I walked back in with the receipt and the unopened package and told the checker that I wanted to exchange it for the right one.
Oh, did you buy the wrong one?
Such a patronizing tone. But I fully expected it. I just left the receipt and small package at the counter and walked to the kiosk for the correct size.
Oh, you needed a mini. That's actually 81¢ more.
And whether or not that included the mandatory restocking fee, I don't know. Then and there, then, I opened the fuse panel and inserted one of the new ones, plugged in the GPS and selected "HOME."

1 I noticed that none of the fuses in use had the needed amperage, so I couldn't "borrow."

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