I went to Boston to help my brother move to Detroit. They had more than one car to drive out and had asked for some help. A day before the trip to Detroit I took the car out to go sight seeing around Boston. It was winter time and everything seemed to be going fine. I drove all over town and ended up down near Boston City Hall. I found a parking space on the street and noticed that when I was pulling into the parking space that the car was overheating. It was steaming. The radiator was venting steam from every opening along the edges of the car’s front hood. It was a full size Ford Crown Victoria which probably meant a big overheating problem. Immediately I became concerned that I might have accidentally driven the car in the wrong gear or something really stupid like that.
I got out, opened the hood and it was really overheated. It was steaming and steaming from everywhere around the motor. Oh no , I thought I had better call triple A. Right in front of where I parked was a big pub house. I went inside to use the phone and called Triple A to have them come out and see if I needed to be towed. I also realized that if I had broken the car that the planned journey to Detroit the next day would be delayed so I frantically called my Brother’s in-laws and told them the problem and that the AAA tow truck was expected in 45 minutes. I looked out the window and the car was still steaming.
Since I did park to spend some time walking in the area and I had a good 45 minutes to wait or more I went for a walk around the City Hall square and then returned back to the car. It was still steaming after something like 20 minutes. It was steaming as much as when I first left it. I opened the hood of the car again and took another look and started to wonder how hot that big old car was and then I noticed the steam was also coming out of the passenger area and probably also from the trunk. I looked under the car to see what the hell was going on and noticed that I had happened to park directly over a steam vent from the City of Boston’s age old steam heating system. The car was not over heating I was an idiot.
I ran back in the pub and called AAA to cancel and then called the in-laws to tell them that I had not originally noticed that I parked the car over a steam vent. The in-laws up in Swampscott , thought that was a lot funnier than I did mostly because of how frantic I had become thinking I may have caused the car to overheat somehow.
It never dawned on me that Boston had a steam heating system. I wonder if it ever fooled anyone else in the same manner? The in laws, i hear still enjoy telling this story. At least I also find it funny.
I wonder if someone like Albert Gore would find a similar situation just as funny if he won a Nobel peace prize for trumpeting hysteria about an over heating planet he believed was suffering from global warming when it was really caused by parking the earth over a Boston steam vent? It took me over 20 minutes to figure out what was really going on.