… or I'll punch you in the face!


Behind the Scenes of a FML

July 3rd, 2009 . by Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this…

But there are so many little details that put the “F” in this F My Life that I need more than 140 characters to fully flesh out all the suck.

The day started off ok. I spent most of the day editing a new episode of TANcast and getting it posted. After I was done, I hopped in the Babbmobile and headed down to do my show in San Juan Capistrano. On the way down, the battery light came on in my car.

“Uh oh”

But then it went back off…then it came back on…then went back off. I hoped it was some random glitch and pressed on through the glacier passed traffic that LA is famous for. I noticed that whenever I was hitting the gas the light stayed off. That sucked because, as I mentioned, I was driving on an LA freeway…so I was mostly hitting the brakes not the gas. But, as they say, the show must go on…even when the show is just some skinny mulatto making Star Trek jokes…so I pressed on to the gig.

The gig went pretty good. A crowd of around 200 people laughed at me…for the right reasons (I think). Sadly I only sold 1 CD after the show. (A sad reminder of my poor business decision making skills).

So I hopped in the car after the show and immediately I noticed a strong smell of a cleaning product of some sort. I thought to myself, “Wow…they really like to keep this parking lot clean.” I got on the I-5 Freeway and headed for home and of course the light came back on every time I hit the breaks. I said to myself, “Well you have officially got to take the car in tomorrow…that sucks.” But I didn’t have any idea of the suck that awaited me.

A little while down the road the light came on again…but my foot was firmly on the gas. What a splendid new development! Now it didn’t matter if I was hitting the brakes or hitting the gas, the light wouldn’t go off. I didn’t want to stop because I was still a good 40-50 miles from home. So I just hoped what ever was going wrong would wait until I made it home. Then the anti-lock brake light came on…followed closely by the air bag light. Now my dashboard is lit up like Vegas and I can feel the car acting funny so I decide to pull of at the next exit. That exit turns out to be Harbor Blvd. For those of you unfamiliar with Southern California…that’s the exit for Disneyland. Yes my car died in a gas station walking distance from the Happiest Place on Earth.

I call AAA and while I’m waiting for them I decide to look under the hood in a feeble and futile attempt to diagnose/fix the problem myself. When I open the trunk to look for tools, I discover that the cleaning product smell I detected earlier was because the container of liquid laundry soap I had in my trunk had leaked all over my trunk and the many items contained in said trunk. Oh well…I guess I was done with those CDs and business cards anyway…*sigh*

Then the AAA truck gets there and as he prepares to give me a jump start, I describe what happened…he then stops and says with a grin, “Oh….you’re gonna need a tow.” Never have I encountered a person so happy to tell me bad news. “Guess what…your dog is dead! Yippie!”

So Captain Schadenfreude tells me that I more than likely have a blown alternator and will need to have the car towed to a repair place. Still being 40 miles from home, this is not exactly the best news. So the tow truck comes, hauls me to a Pep Boys and then drops me at a hotel near Disneyland. The hotel costs $57 for the night. I made $55 at my show. I’ve already lost money and the car isn’t any closer to being fixed.

The next day, I walk my sad ass to the Pep Boys still in the clothes from the night before. They have to not only replace my alternator, but also my battery which I JUST had replaced a few months ago. So my total expenditures for this trip are now around $400…for a show that I made $55 on.

When it was all done I drove back to the freeway and as I passed Disneyland, I realized I was too sad/tired/defeated to even be enticed to visit my favorite place on the planet.

After LA holds Michael Jackson’s memorial service, maybe they can hold one for my hopes and dreams as well.

6 Responses to “Behind the Scenes of a FML”

  1. DeanNo Gravatar Says:

    Definitely an FML, but at least everything was fixable. Was driving down 101 to work when I heard a “funny noise”. Ended up that I had thrown a rod (insert automotive penis joke here).

    Towing charge = $80
    Replacement car = $8000
    Topping Babb’s FML story = priceless

  2. Tim Babb (TANcasts #1 Host/Editor Fan)No Gravatar Says:


    Sorry, Dean

  3. Murray (TANcast's #1 Aussie fan)No Gravatar Says:

    I can say that I know the pain of having a shit car. I regularly grit my teeth, cross my fingers and wish – not for a better car, but for a colleague to not get a new car, because I am one early-80s vintage hatchback away from having the stand-out worst car at my work (and that includes the 17 year olds).
    The process of buying the most recent car added to the family (the “good”/”nice” car, which I leave for my wife and kids) took a year, in which I spent several days every holiday and about 30 weekends doing tours of car yards looking for just the right bargain. I got my once-in-a-year bang-for-buck bargain (confirmed by a mechanic) and the car has still cost me over $3000 in the 18 months since I got it. And that’s the “good” car.

  4. Princess Edamame - MelanieNo Gravatar Says:

    Subaru, man, get a Subaru. We have 3. And we don’t even live in Colorado, and we aren’t college professors. Reliable, no problems, just routine maintenance. The newest is the first-year Tribeca B9, and it has over 80,000 miles. The other two are 5 and 6 years old (WRXs, 1 sedan, 1 wagon), and each has over 100k. They’re rocks, man. Rocks.

    Knock wood…

  5. JoNo Gravatar Says:

    OK, here’s my FML which all started with “can you smell petrol” 🙂

    No, I couldn’t smell it, but decided to go to the garage anyway. My friend needed a lift so I said I’d drop him off along the way. We were driving quite happily when all of a sudden the engine died. Preparing to pull over I looked in my rear-view mirror but all I could see was thick black smoke. I pulled over into a bus stop, and as I stopped I saw flames flickering over the bonnet. I pointed to it and we both shot out of the car. A man came running out from one of the houses nearby with a bowl of water: he threw it over the bonnet but it didn’t do much! After standing around for a bit watching my car go up in flames and not really knowing what to do, I decided to go back to the car and grab my bag from the back seat and the car keys from the ignition (!?!?!). Someone called the police and fire brigade (don’t know who, I was in shock and was just wandering around in the road with my keys!). The police blocked the road, a reporter came and took pics and the fire brigade finally managed to put out the inferno that was my car. The tyres had melted into the tarmac, so when the tow-truck came to recover it, the car had to be yanked and dragged out of the road! The burn scars and the skeletal remains of an umbrella that fell from a melted front door pocket remained in the bus stop for at least a year or so! Lesson learned: if anyone smells petrol, don’t keep driving the car!



    Do I win?? ;D

  6. JoNo Gravatar Says:

    Damn, that was supposed to be a winking smiley . . . 😉

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