Every now and again, or actually quite often, I'm reminded about how little I know about the world around me. How I just function in my tiny narrow splinter of the overall pie that is this planet. Regularly using machines and inventions I have absolutely no clue about their inner workings. Or very vague overviews that I never really put to the test.
I was driving to an appointment the other day when my car did an a most alarming thing. Driving over a major bridge it began to scream at me. Not audibly but in text. The world had been perfectly normal one instant but in the next I was looking at my dashboard doing this!:
My car had never screamed at me before.
It completely unnerved me.
My stomach sunk into my shoes and my veins turned to ice. Things had been fine a second ago! Why? Why this, now? Didn't my car realize I HAD to get to this appointment? I was on a bridge. I couldn't just pull over. I began to try and subdue the panic inside. How bad was it really? Maybe just an internal computer glitch? Right? My car was just mistakenly crying "wolf"! I'm sure I could just keep going to my appointment. It was only 7 minutes away at this point. Car, you're just going to have to tough it out. We can talk about this later. Suck it up.
I kept driving. The motor sounded normal. The temperature gauge stayed in the middle. Everything was fine.
Except for the screaming.
Then I began to notice the distinct smell of melted plastic. That's not good. The car WASN'T just crying "wolf". This was real. This was happening right now! I was now a mere 3 minutes away from my destination. C'mon car. Keep it together. We can get there!
I was coated in a sheen of sweat. I kept imagining pulling into the parking lot and this would happen:
Thankfully I made it without bursting into an apocalyptic ball of flames.
I turned the key off and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I went to my appointment as if nothing had happened. There was no indication on my face that I'd just challenged the Reaper and escaped without a scratch.
Later I spent the next 15 minutes just figuring out where the latch thingie was to open up the hood. As I peered into the sophisticated machinery of my vehicle I saw that the coolant tank, which had just recently been replaced, had a hose clamp-mijigger that looked loose. Coolant was lightly dripping from the connection point. Aha! That's the culprit I deduced.
I put the hood down and proceeded to drive the short distance home. Ignoring my car's screams as I went.
I then left the car in the driveway for the next week to punish it for scaring me so.
Once I felt it had learned it's lesson I topped off the coolant tank with water and brought it back to my mechanic's where they securely sealed the clamp-mijgger up.
Everything has been running smoothly since.
Some days I have no idea how I have managed to live this long on this planet. So little knowledge for having spent so much time here.