Right. I'll just jump in the car and head home!
By Tuesday evening some of the soreness from the weekend's activities had subsided enough that I thought I should get out and do some cleaning up. I got my work clothes on and reconnected the side porch bib sleeve and got the garden hose hooked up. I hosed off my mud-caked bike shoes that had been slowly rotting on the porch and got them drying by the fire. I pulled the bike out of the barn and did a proper cleaning and lube on that. Then I tucked in to the inside of the Subaru. After Mudslinger, the nice off-white upholstery looked like it had fallen victim to some Spring Break mud wrestling. Sadly, it wasn't "Girls Gone Wild" so much as "Jonathan started to die from hypothermia and was losing muscle control" that left all the mud streaks on the seats, doors and ceiling.  I hadn't planned the getting out of muddy kit part of Sunday very well. Aside from ruining the upholstery in the car, I may be the first person in human history to injure themselves removing a sock.
I hit the inside with some industrial grade upholstery cleaner and vacuumed out all the flora that followed me home from Bloggett. A bit of Armor All on the dash and it didn't look too bad. I was feeling proud enough of my cleaning prowess to push the mower around a bit before I went in to make dinner.
By ten I had finished dinner and talked to Carolyn who was still down in California.  As I headed upstairs to bed I looked out the window toward the barn. The Subaru's brake lights were on. Great. I went back downstairs and out to the car. I set the remote lock and alarm. The lights were still on. I got in, turned the engine over, turned the lights on and off and got out. They were still on. I got back in and set the emergency brake. No luck. Panic started to rise. I asked the car why it was doing this? I actually have pretty good luck doing that with my computer at work. It didn't tell me and the lights stayed on. I yelled at the neighbor's dogs to shut up. They didn't and the lights were still on. I was rapidly losing control of my world. I thought about disconnecting the battery but that seemed like admitting defeat. Instead I stomped inside thinking if I ignored it, it would feel guilty and turn its lights off.  It didn't. I yelled at Ink since she's responsible for most of what goes wrong around here (unless there's poop involved. Then it's usually Eber.). Having run out of material things to blame, I grabbed my iPad, launched Google, tapped "voice" and shouted "BRAKE-AND-LIGHTS-AND-STUCK-AND-ON-AND-SUBARU-AND-OUTBACK!".
The microphone icon pulsed. There was a second of silence during which I realized with some horror that I was yelling Boolean operators in my search string, which means I really am the geek everyone says I am.
The iPad went "Ding!"
It really went Ding.
A second later the screen was filled with search results from all manner of Subaru forums. I tapped on the first one, posted by someone who had been suffering the same problem far longer than I had, and was sounding a bit unhinged. The first answer calmly stated that there was a switch on the steering column that turns on the brake lights. It often gets flipped when you clean the car.
I walked outside, got in the car and reached through the steering wheel.
There it was.
I flipped the switch.
The lights went out.
I sat in the dark for some time pondering the kind of mind that would think a switch for turning your parking brake lights on and off was a good idea. Probably the same kind of mind that would invent a wall switch for the light in your refrigerator. It scared me to think I share the world with minds like that. I got out of the car, yelled at the neighbors dogs to shut up one more time, went inside, and went to bed.


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