|Right. I'll just jump in the car and head home!|
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.