Shortly before Christmas an invitation was issued by the Boy's parents, so the duck feast was scheduled for a brunch feast, allowing us time to drive from Chicago down to the parental units for later festivities. With all the plans laid out, it was really just a matter of waiting for the day to arrive.
The day itself was a quiet affair; we had gifted each other before the day in question. He gave me a beautiful camera (Narcissism Power!) and I gave him more alcohol-laced monk bread than you could shake a stick at. We were both equally pleased with our horde. Chicago had just had a smattering of snow on Christmas morning (nothing serious, barely an inch), but it was rather chilly. We bundled up, got into the vehicle and hit the road for the duck restaurant. A tactical decision was made to leave the monkey and the werewolf at home. Neither of us thought it would be a good day for the mammals to wait in the car.
The roads were nice and quiet on Christmas day, and just a little snow fell as we wended our way toward the city. About halfway to our destination the car started to make a funny noise.
“Do you hear that?” I asked. (I freak out about every creak the vehicle makes.)
“It doesn’t sound like nothing.”
A few seconds later the high-pitched squeal that had gotten my attention stopped. All right; it was probably just some snow or ice on something that had burned off. We continued on our way, enjoying the view of downtown growing as we raced toward duck. Just north of Randolph, the squealing started again. I looked at the Boy, worried, but he waved me off.
“Oh shit!” He pulled the car over. We had just passed the nearest exit and were sitting on the side of the road on LSD. The engine was still running. Good. What had caused the oh shit?
“Waeyo?” Because we never stopped speaking Korean at each other, I asked what was wrong.
“This,” he pointed at the panel that said we were overheating and the battery light was on.
“We can try to push forward and just get there,” he suggested.
“Let’s pull over.”
“We can make it.”
“Take the next exit.”
With a bit more discussion he finally got us off the road, around Chicago, just off of LSD. Being off the road of course meant the requisite look under the hood. That is what people do. He stood in front of the car for a few minutes with the hood up, then let the hood go to before sitting down next to me.
“There is an engine in there.” This was about as far as most of our car knowledge went.
“Maybe you should look under the car, see if anything is leaking?” I was clearly well trained in what to do when a car broke down.
He leaned out and looked under the car.
“We aren’t leaking anything.”
“We also appear to have lost all the belts.”
I called up the Bard and the Electrician, at first thinking to get a ride from them, but then seeing taxis made a new plan.
“We are stuck, but we’ll take a cab and meet you there.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah; it's no problem.”
We jumped out of the car, into what now felt like a freezing city and hailed the first taxi we could get to head up town.
If nothing else, the day would be interesting.