So we're heading on vacation in a few days. A real vacation - somewhere very far away - our nation's capitol to be exact. Which means that we're either stupid or insane to pile three kids age six and under in one mini-van for approximately eight hours (yeah, who are they kidding on the time estimates?) to make the journey. I'm fully anticipating lots of complaining, bickering, whining, kicking of seats, and probably some screaming as we make our way north.
And in anticipation of said journey, I felt we needed to get our van checked out. It was due for service, the low tire pressure icon was illuminated on the dashboard, and it had been making this strange popping noise for the better part of about three months.
It was the random popping noise that concerned me the most. I mean, I didn't want to be half-way to Virginia and have the engine fall out in the middle of the highway - would you? So we made the appointment, dropped the Odyssey off at the Honda dealer (it's still under warranty at right at two years old) and waited what I was sure would be dire news.
Deonne checked with the service manager around 4:00 - and surprise! Everything is fine! Your van will be ready today by 5:30 sir. Really?!? What about that weird popping noise? It should come as no surprise that Deonne neglected to ask about this - so I made him call back to inquire/ensure that the problem had been resolved. He called me back shortly thereafter - saying something about tightening-things-down and lubricating and torque and a bunch of other terms I don't understand. Said that after the technician did all of these things, he drove the van around and couldn't reproduce the noise so all is well.
Fine. Great! Then let's go get the van! So we do. Pay our bill. And no sooner do I get behind the wheel and up the slope in the parking lot to the adjacent road then I hear the popping sound. Again.
PERFECT. Well it's approaching 6pm now - we have to hungry boys in tow - and no time to deal with the issue. So Deonne calls back - talks again to the service manager - who says to bring it back first thing in the morning so I can drive around with the service technician and show him what I'm hearing.
Fine. The dealer is only about 30 minutes out of my way - but fine. I'll play along.
So the next morning I head over to Lexington. AGAIN. Arrive and speak to the very kind service manager - who connects me to the overall service DEPARTMENT manager. He gets in the van - and we drive off. Immediately, the popping noise. SEE. I'm NOT crazy - THERE IT IS. He has a puzzled look - says - keep driving. So we do. All around the frontage roads between the dealer and the interstate. The popping/metallic banging noise occurring all the while - but really happening when you take your foot of the gas and decelerate.
So he has me get out of the car so he can drive. We drive around some more. He hears it. He can easily reproduce it.
And I'm happily sitting there thinking 'great - at least SOMEONE can hear this - I'm not the crazy lady who fabricates noises.'
Then. And THEN. He stops the van. Says, 'I think I know what it is.' Opens the passenger doors. Sticks his hands under the rear middle seat. And pulls out THE CUP.
The cup that's been missing for about three months or so.
I said 'no way - that can't be what's causing it - can it' totally feeling like an idiot right now.. and thinking there is NO WAY that could be the problem - Deonne and I dug out the crap the kids accumulated under there weeks ago. To which he bangs the cup against the metal framing that holds the seat to the floor of the van.
Um... yep. That would be the sound I've been hearing. For the past three months. Every time I've decelerated - and sometimes accelerated - the cup has rolled back and forth against a metal bar. Pinging and popping with each movement.
I asked him 'how much will that diagnostic test set me back?' He kindly smiled and said 'we appreciate your business - no charge ma'am.' I replied 'well, I'm sure my stupidity will be appropriate fodder for the service guys for quite some time.'
Yep. I had the service department manager drive around for about a half an hour to diagnose an extremely rare vehicle ailment.
A lost sippy cup.
Oh, parenting is humbling, isn't it?