The ROM didn't retire because he wanted to have places to be at 8:00 a.m. But before he made his decision to step down, he had made a dental appointment for 8:00 a.m. this morning to make up for the appointment he missed the day after Charon, the car he named after the vehicle that transports souls to the afterlife in Greek mythology, broke down in the HOV lane of I-85.
He could have changed the appointment, but decided to stick with it because of some fuzzy logic regarding discipline and commitment. So after a restless night (he only got a few hours sleep because he was so worried about sleeping through the clock radio and not waking up on time), the alarm went off at the appalling hour of 6:30 a.m. After breakfast and the amount of oral hygiene appropriate before a dental appointment, he got in Charon to head off to the dentist.
Except Charon wouldn't start. Turn the key and . . . nothing. Try again - nothing. Make sure the car was in park - nothing. Step outside and get back in for another go at it - nothing. He suspected a dead battery, but had no idea why it had died. It seemed to the ROM that for some unfathomable reason Charon simply did not want him to ever get to the dentist again.
It was at that point that he thought of the still incomplete application on his desk for AAA roadside assistance.
He waited an hour until the nearest towing company finally opened, but when he got through to them, they were booked until after lunch. The next call to the next closest wrecker worked out better, although they wanted an astronomical $167 to tow him the half mile or so from the house to his preferred service station. But at least they were available to come by within the hour, and when they finally did show up 90 minutes later and saw Charon siting atop the steep driveway, they said they'd have to come back with a dolly and trailer for an additional $89. But the ROM was in no position to negotiate, and wound up paying a total of $256 to get his car to the repair shop.
As he suspected, it turned out that Charon's battery was dead, and he learned that the reason it died was a faulty diode in the alternator. A new battery, a new alternator, and $750 later, Charon was repaired. He walked the half mile to pick her back up from the shop rather than spend still more money on an Uber.
But driving back he decided that as long as he was in auto maintenance mode, he'd get the oil changed. Another $42 spent.
The ROM rescheduled his dentist appointment for their next available opening, which wasn't until mid-September. However, he made the appointment for 2:00 p.m. rather than the dreadful hour of 8:00 a.m.
But he wonders what Charon is going to do in September to keep him from ever getting to the dentist again.