I went to vote this morning. Since it was cold, I drove even though that polling station is maybe half a mile away and I walk it practically every time. Voting was extremely straightforward. I was in and out in minutes. I came out and the car wouldn't start. This car has had a tendency not to start after brief stops for as long as I can remember. Also the battery has tended to build up corrosion for at least the last year.
This time, no. Usually if I just wait a minute or two in the brief stop/no start situation, it starts up. This time, there was nothing at all. I lifted the hood and looked, but there was next to no corrosion, if any at all. I called my brother William asking him to bring the jumper cables; he said he would come. Now brother Malcolm had given me a doohickey that allowed me to connect my iPod to the car. Rather, it powers my iPod and broadcasts its songs to the car radio. Go figure. Doohickey plugs into the cigarette lighter and has a red light indicating... that it's plugged in? that it isn't connected to an iPod? I don't know.
Regardless, I thought it would be worth a try to unplug the doohickey. I waited another minute and tried and the car started readily. (World's smallest dome light left on.) I called William and caught him before he set out, fortunately, and took the car all the way around the beltway to charge the battery again. All is well and I only missed about an hour of American Top 40 (by driving with all electrical accessories off). It's ok; it was 1978. We learn a new lesson: it was the doohickey. It's always the doohickey.