Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

I Retract My Previous Tweet

I take it back. I was upset, OK? Never tweet when you’re upset. I’m writing this blog post to make up for it. See, a whole blog post. That definitely outweighs a tweet, right?

Last week, my 1996 Altima died. The starter seemed to be firing, but the engine never turned over. We tried jumping it, but that didn’t work. I called a tow truck and then tweeted about how upset I was with the universe.

hey universe, I would love to go a full 6 months without a car dying. #kthxbye

Snarky, huh? Even stuck the childish #kthxbye in there. Blaming the universe is kinda like getting upset with God, in a scientist’s mind.

But, it’s been a week now, and I’ve had time to think about it and I now realize how lucky I am. Not just in general, because that’s certainly true and something that I remember every time I come home and see my beautiful wife and kids. But, how lucky I am that my car died. Let’s look at some details. The car was in our neighborhood’s parking lot when it died. I was coming home from work and saw Mala and the kids playing at the playground, so I pulled into the parking lot and played with them for a while. When we got in the car to go home, the car wouldn’t start. The car was dead in a parking lot, in a safe neighborhood, walking distance from our house. Just think of all the other places that it could’ve died. How lucky that it died in that location, where it was easy for a tow truck to access, where it was not in the way of traffic, where it was safe, and most importantly, where it was easy for everyone to get home. The kids enjoyed just about every moment of the experience (just like Kavi did when our RAV4 died in much more stressful circumstances in NYC last fall).

The tow truck came, did a little testing and then dutifully towed the car to my mechanic and dropped the key in their dropbox. They found a distributor filled with oil and some worn out spark plugs. The fixes weren’t cheap, but they weren’t too expensive (using rebuilt parts). I was driving again about 48 hours after the car died and life is back to normal now. Again, how lucky is that?

I was also thinking about the previous time that the Altima died. I remember writing this affirmation in my journal, while I was waiting for the tow truck back in September 2008:

Late entry. This was written on the day that the Nissan’s battery died. Everything will be fine. I will find out later how this will be a blessing in disguise. This car will give us another 2-3 years of great service.

It’s now been 2 and a half years since then and the car has been steady and reliable throughout that time. How lucky can a guy get? The Nissan is pushing 140,000 miles and it’s not the most convenient car with the 2 carseats taking up the whole back seat, so I think it’s time for a new car, but how lucky that I have the luxury of taking my time to find one?

So, Thank you Universe! I look forward to the next lesson that you’ve got in store for me.