It's not about the house.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rage, Rage!

Remember that whole thing about making mirth out of misery? Well, I did it. I remembered how it's done, and I sat down, and I did it. I spent three freaking hours writing a (if I do say so myself) hysterical (three-paged, single-spaced in Word) blog post about how poor old Chuck (TFT) is not long for this world.

You remember poor old Chuck (TFT), right?

Yeah, I wrote this whole thing about how he has bursitis in his rack & pinion. His belts groan at the indignity of being waked up in the morning. He growls in places where he's supposed to purr. And, worst of all, he's got no giddyup left in his tranny.

I said, when I wrote before, that it's the tranny that has us bracing for the knacker. If it weren't for that, we might have fixed the other things. But we don't see any sense in throwing $400 down the steering mechanism only to have him give up the ghost the next day. Hell, I've only been putting $20 of gas in at a time, so as to not risk wasting the price of a entire tank. No, we're just wobbling, squealing, groaning and not-giddyupping, holding our breath and waiting with white knuckles for some big thing to go POW.

I went on to say I think his starter motor might be stopping, too. For a couple months he's been making that grinding noise every time I crank him up. You know that grinding noise your car makes when you forget it's already running and you try to turn the key? (Your car, which is obviously quieter than my car, who would not for one coughing, groaning, squealing second let me forget that he was on.) Poor old Chuck (TFT) has been grinding like that every time.

I explained that I haven't been worrying about the starter motor, though, because to do so seemed a bit like Sundance hanging off the Canyon edge and saying "I can't swim!" It's the tranny seizing on the expressway that's gonna kill us.

(I added a parenthetical in here somewhere about how I didn't know why I kept  saying "tranny" instead of "transmission." And how I thought I might be trying to pass for a nuts-adjusting townie. Or a nuts-adjusting Chinatown whore. One of those.)

I went on to say how I drove into Beacon Hill on Sunday morning to feed my Lady's cat (she was in the hospital; she's home now; I'll tell her you were asking), and when I came back out and turned the key, all Chuck (TFT) would say was click-click-click. I assumed the starter motor blew, and I didn't know whether to have him towed to a service station or a junkyard, so I decided to get him towed to my house. I have AAA plus, which gives me a 100-mile towing radius and unlimited service calls, so I figured I'd get a ride home with the AAA guy, talk to Johnny, talk to George, and then decide.

Smart, huh?

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention again that Dennis from D&D towing was The Nicest AAA Guy in the World. He showed up all full of smiles and sweetness and light, towing rays of sunshine and baskets of puppies. Well, I'm lying about the puppies, but you know. He asked me what was going on, I told him about the click-click-click, and he said "The question is: do you want to be towed?"

I said "Oh, yes. I want to be towed to my house, please."

And he said "No, I mean, pretend I have a magic wand and I can wave it and fix your car: Do you want to be towed?"

I said "Oh! Yes! I mean no! Can you -- you can fix it? Yes! Fix it, please! I don't want to be towed!"

And he pulled out the jumper cables.

That's when I remembered the reason a car makes click-click-click noises instead of starting: because you left your headlights on again and killed your battery. And by "you" this time, I did mean "me." There was a time (okay, a couple decades) when if I drove at dusk or in a rainstorm, there was pretty much a 50/50 chance I'd leave the lights on. Haven't done it in a while, though. And this time I knew I hadn't! Because first of all, it was light out, and for a change it wasn't raining, so I didn't even have my headlights on. Second, I was only in there for five minutes, so even if they had been on it shouldn't matter. And third, the reason I haven't left my lights on in a while is because Chuck (TFT) ding-ding-dings his little heart out at me when I try to hightail it without tucking him properly into bed.

Poor old Chuck (TFT).

Well. Like I said. AAA guy explained that batteries don't last forever. He asked me how old this one was and I said "um..." He said yeah, that wasn't a good sign, and how long did I think I had the car? I said "Four years!" Which I totally made up, but I was too embarrassed to admit I didn't know that answer either. Hell, I thought Chuck (TFT) was a '96 until I happened to lay eyes on his insurance policy the other day and discovered him to be a '95. That was embarrassing. When I called for the road service I said to the AAA dispatcher "95 -- no, '96 -- I'm not quite sure, to be honest." But at least I got the make and model right. I used to always say "You know, the kind that's like a Dodge Caravan, but it's not a Dodge Caravan?" Dispatcher would venture "Plymouth Voyager?" and I'd Lucy Van Pelt his unsuspecting ass: "THAT'S IT!!!!"

So. What did I say next? Oh.

I said that this was still a decision to be made, but less of one. A battery only costs a hundred dollars, give or take. We didn't have it, but it did seem ridiculous to junk the car for want of a battery when old Chuck (TFT) might have a whole three or four dozen miles left in his tired tranny.

Okay, Chuck (TFT) (I wrote), I'll give you this one. But if I spend a hundred dollars I don't have and then you up and die on me, I'm going to rip that beating battery out and make you eat it while you do.

And then I ended it like this:

To be continued...

So I wrote all that stuff, only it was better, because when I wrote it the first time I hadn't already spent three hours writing it and had not yet been forced to realize my entire day was shot and I wouldn't have a chance to work on the other thing because it's 6:00 now and I'm still not done with this one. I wrote it all, edited it, it was perfect. And then...

You know how, when you get old (which I will be in two weeks and two days; Very Old), you sometimes get up and go in the other room and then you stand there, still feeling the momentum, the urgency, of your forward motion, and yet groping around vainly in your brainspace for it's cause? You find yourself standing before the open refrigerator, say, with no clue what you went in for. You're not even hungry! And why is there a jar of pickles in your hand!?

Well, I did that, only on the computer. I wrote the entire three-page, three-hour post in Microsoft Word, I hit ctrl-a to select all, I hit ctrl-c to copy, I clicked over to Firefox... then I read Beardonaut's blog, a few things on Slate, the new Miss Manners, and then decided I had noodled around on the web Long Enough and it was time to get my brainspace back to work. I clicked on Word, opened my MASTER DOCUMENT, and closed the unsaved, untitled, three-page, single-spaced one in my way. It asked me did I want to save it first, and I said "Why bother? It's already on the web!"

Seriously, people? Not till I decided to see if anyone had left a comment yet did I discover I had never posted. And then I screamed so loud I hurt my throat.

I sat here at my desk saying "I can't do it again! I won't do it again! I'm not going to!" Then I ate a big fat piece of toast with piles of cream cheese, felt marginally better, and remembered that the lost document was but the first part of a multi-parter. And it was funny. Miserable. But what a hoot.

So I sat down and spent three more hours doing it all again.

Tomorrow's supposed to be twice as long as today, though, right? So I ought to be able to get myself all caught up.

I finished this at 6:48 p.m. We're having pork chops for dinner. Johnny's cooking them. I'm going to go sit on the couch and read about Sarah Palin.


Sparkle Plenty said...

1) Oh, man. BLECCH to car troubles. And double BLECCH to losing your post. I believe you, too, suffer from the awful consequences of "clipboarditis" (there's a better word to come up with for this and I'm too lazy to do so). I'm eternally cutting text, parking it on the clipboard, and wandering off--literally or figuratively--leaving the text haplessly stranded. Then, I cut MORE text from somewhere else, forgetting I already have text on the clipboard, go to work on a doc again, and paste in an account number for a creditor or somethin'.
2) Pork Chops? That HAD to get the day back on track. Ooh la la!
3) Blog Crossover: Of COURSE you may have a drunken elf. In fact, I'm thinking you will get several drunken elves. I'd send them to you right now, but I need some leverage in order to read your completed book.

Cat said...

You probably could have still pasted your post. Your computer will remember what you've cut until you copy something else or shut the computer off.

ege said...

Sparkle -- Yay!!!! As soon as I'm done I'm holding you to that! George! George! George!

Cat -- Oh, I tried, but I'd already gone back to work. What I got when I pasted was "a whirlwind of fluttering papers and spilled beer." Which, funnily enough, is pretty well what I got in real life, too!

12ontheinside said...

Hmm, perhaps you should have just gone with the whirlwind of papers and spilt beer theme.

Cat said...

I love that and I agree with 12. The one-liner would have made for an interesting riddle contest.

Sashimi said...

"In Word, go to Tools, Options, SAve and see if Autorecover is turned on. If it is, go to Tools, Options, File Locations, and write down the location of your autorecover folder. Word creates 'temp' files of the documents you are working on. These are often left on the hard drive even after you delete the original document. Try finding .TMP in your Windows\Temp directory or your Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Temp directory (or possibly in the directory where you normaly save your files). You can try opening the .tmp files using notepad. "

Not personally tested by me..but this one's just as good, so I wouldn't bother! :)

ege said...

Yeah, um, I tried it. Unfortunately, see, what I neglected to mention in this re-tread post was the temper tantrum in which I switched off my computer without properly shutting down because I secretly hoped it might take an express wormhole to hell. And apparently if you do that, you lose all your autorecovered items.

Trust me, it's gone. But it doesn't matter, because if I found it now I would only have to see how not-much-better-than-this-one it really was.

Now I'm off to write part two!



ege said...

PS Cat & 12 -- Hm... it has been a long time since I did one of those, hasn't it? Hm...