I wasn't really expecting to spend the other morning stood by the side of the road, watching my car going up in flames.
Yet, there I was.BEST. TUESDAY. EVER.
Don't ask me how it happened. I have no idea. Although, there are clues to be found in that the fire started at the back of the engine, near the top where all the fuel-related plumbing can be found.
All I know is the car began juddering, lost power, and after pulling over and opening the bonnet I found flames licking up the engine bay.
Now, it's common sense to (a) NOT open the lid to the engine bay and (b) move a large distance from your car if it catches fire. Everyone should know this. But fuck that noise, that's my fucking car, and the flames were small, so I had to do something. I had a giant bottle of water in the back in case I ever ran out of wiper fluid or needed to top up the coolant for some reason. So I grabbed that and doused the flames, sloshing it down the back of the engine. Where I saw the pollen filter catching alight, I tore the plastic housing apart with my hands and put that out too (any damage I did was going to be better than fire damage).
This actually worked... for what, five minutes? Then it just reignited while I was on the phone to the AA. And I had run out of water. So, I dialed 999. Out of desperation I had a go at using wet stuff (leaves and things) and even had a go at blowing it out like a candle (which in hindsight is friggin' hilarious... and stupid) but it was a lost cause. I put the lid down to try and stifle the flames.
The only remaining option was to ransack the car before the fire got too big. I probably looked like the world's worst car thief to passers-by but let me tell you, never has a car been emptied so fast, nor a head unit left a dashboard so quickly
(yep, I even ripped the radio out).
There have been two major responses I've had from telling people "my car caught fire". The first is "oh, but you're lucky really, I mean you're still alive!". I dispute the validity of this claim, because I was also alive before
my car burst into flames. That, at best, represents a net zero change in luck. Besides, factoring in the fact my fucking car caught fire, we're probably trending downwards in the luck department.
The second more reasonable response is "what... while you were driving??!". Well, yeah. That's how I know it caught fire, 'cause I was, you know.. there
when it happened. I mean, I'm sure people say much the same thing if they come back to their car to find it had been
on fire or was still
on fire. But it still struck me as interesting that people still want to confirm my presence at the time.
So yeah, that was my Tuesday. Hope yours was better than mine!