Sunday, October 26, 2008

I smell a rat

One of the things I've had to give up to live in the Holy Land is driving a decent car. In the US our van was beginning to show its age and if we hadn't moved we probably would have bought or leased a new car. We only needed one car as Isaac took the LIRR to work.

Over here, Isaac gets a car from work. It's a very basic car, but it's new and all expenses are covered by the company. (This is a fairly common practise in Israel). But I needed a car to get around, so we bought a piece of cr hunk of junk jalopy used car for me. I figured I was up to the challenge. The car moves. So what if I can't listen to the radio? Roll down the window on my side? Reverse? (Just kidding about that last one). This is a sacrifice I was prepared to make for the privilege of living in the Holy Land.


Two weeks ago I was driving home from work, lost in my thoughts (since I can't listen to the radio, that is how I occupy myself on my drives) when all of a sudden I heard a loud, whirring sound, sort of like the sound my food processor makes. Of course, I got startled. When I turned off the air conditioning (which sort of works, but only in the morning), the sound stopped, but started up as soon as I turned it on again. I called my go-to man for this sort of thing (that would be Isaac). He of course was not concerned, and said he would take care of it as soon as he could (read: 2010).

But the next morning, when I took the old lemon girl out for her daily exercise, I noticed a smell. When I tried the a/c, the smell intensified.

Now this wasn't a gas, oil or electrical type of smell. This was a smell to end all smells.

I drove to work that day breathing through my mouth. Well, not really. The smell was very subtle unless you turned on the a/c and then you just wanted to retch your guts out. But even without the a/c on it wasn't exactly a pleasant ride.

Today, Isaac finally got around to taking the rattletrap car to the mechanic. He called me while I was out with Liat. "Guess what?", he said. "You are a mouse murderer".

Yep. Apparently a little white mouse had decided to make its home in the a/c vent. Unfortunately, noone told the little critter that the carburator of a car is not the natural habitat of rodents, and the poor thing met its violent demise because I was trying to stay cool. I don't want to venture a guess as to how the little creature got into the car, but I had Isaac make the mechanic perform a search-and-[not] rescue for any relatives or lovers looking to invest in some automobile real estate.

I heard the tough Israeli mechanic in the background laughing and throwing up at the same time.

"You killed Mickey Mouse", Isaac said.

I never did like that little rodent either.

This is not a picture of our clunker car, but it is a reasonable lookalike. Don't let its good looks fool you.

Trivia question: What episode of what sitcom does this bring to mind?

And for more great Israeli mouse adventures check out Benji's edition of Haveil Havalim.


Anonymous said...

I hear Disney World is closed for a day of mourning. It seems that you killed Mickeys second cousin Moshe mouse who made Aliyah from Orlando 5 years ago. Baruch Dayan Emet.

Mrs. S. said...

Although you probably weren't all that amused at the time...

Benji Lovitt said...

If I don't post for a few days, it's because I'm in a constant state of vomiting.

JJ said...

Oh, you poor thing! I feel your pain! I've never actually "scrambled" a mouse in my air conditioner but just thinking about it makes me woozy. Well, that's one less mouse in the world to scare me!

Batya said...

I can't stop laughing (and coughing) about it. I guess Benji chased his hall the way to your car.
As soon as you mentioned "smell" I knew. My mother's clothesdryer repairman once found the blow-dried body of my sister's hamster. I hated the creep. He sometimes climbed into the silverware drawer-----

Commenter Abbi said...

Hey I drive a clunker too (97 Mitsubishi Lancer- the ultimate Israeli car). It looks horrific - there's a dent on each side, the paint is peeling from the roof and sides and I had the get the back fender bolted in so it wouldn't fall off. But she does run like a champ, bli ayin hara, pooh pooh pooh. I even took it back to J-m for the holidays, so i'd have a car during chol hamoed because hubby had to work (of course, he drives the new hyndai i30 that looks like a bmw in a gorgeous prussian blue).

let me tell you, getting up the Castel in that thing is quite a challenge.

Amazingly enough, someone actually once left a note on my car with his number saying he wanted to buy it!

When we first bought it, we had it checked out at one of those car testing places, to make sure it was ok, which they claimed it was. I took it home from work (I bought it from someone at the Jewish Agency when I worked there), in the middle of July and the a/c, which she claimed was terrific, was blasting hot air. The next day, the temp gauge went wild, I barely made it to the garage ( i think i didn't, i had to get it towed.) Turned out- there was no thermostat!!! I completely ruined the engine head! It cost me another 4000 shekels to get it repaired.

Since then, we haven't had any problems. But what a terrible beginning. And I bought it from a co-worker!

A Living Nadneyda said...

When I was in high school I had a pet snake, which needed a steady supply of mice, especially during the warmer months. Every once in awhile the poor critters would let themselves out of the bag on the way back from the pet store... my Mom wasn't too happy about that.

Apparently, mouse and rat damage to cars is a very well-known event. See here.

Our car is starting to look like a clunker after all these years, and we bought it new... I guess it had to happen, eventually.