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Thursday, September 20, 2012

...And Furthermore

~An Update of sorts to “…And Laugh” dated September 18th…..

I suggest skipping to the next post before returning here to glimpse these most recent macabre developments…

So anyhow it has become increasingly apparent that inanimate objects (-in particular Automobiles) and me have some innate problem in the development of “healthy” long lasting and fruitful relationships. Actually in retrospect my ability to maintain any realistic normalcy in basic fundamentally social interactions is likely questionable too –but for now let’s just stick to cars in order to retain some focus, some succinctness….

In case you choose to first read this instead of taking my advice and skipping below for some relatively important background information regarding these most recent developments of the last 48 hours, I’ll try and relate a quick (-impossible for me) synopsis to get us up to speed-:

My Honda has had some fairly unacceptable misfortunes over the last several weeks and my ability to make entry and egress has become a bit cumbersome. The driver’s side door (up until last night) could only be opened from the inside because of a recent “mishap”, the front passenger seat can only be opened from the outside (another relatively recent set of unfortunate and “bizarro” circumstances), and my driver’s side electric window has been stuck in the “up”, (thankfully-), position. Confusing, I know, but if you knew Me, it would all make perfect sense in some fashion.

Ok so here we are in the almost here and now and I can restart this tale from the most recent albeit confounding set of events that took place essentially yesterday and the day before          (–Yay).:

So anyhow we encountered a very heavy rain event over the last 48 hours after perhaps a week of very pleasant and mild weather. By heavy rain I mean “squall-like”, as in –Oh I don’t know….picture the movie “The Perfect Storm”, -the one w/George Clooney about the Andrea Gail boat that uh, well that didn’t fare so well either I guess you could say.

During this fairly heavy and cold cascading damp soaking personal nightmare, and because of the way that my driver’s side door now hangs from the unfortunate “accident” that I participated in, moisture (-read LOTS of WATER)  poured in the gap in my side of the car overnight while I was asleep. When I entered my Honda to leave for the morning, (-gaining entry by 1st opening the front passenger door and reaching in to use the interior driver’s door handle to get that open and then, of course, walking around and getting into the driver’s seat w/out having to climb in through the passenger’s side –which would look even more “dorky” –as if that’s possible!), I had to use a towel to wipe the rainwater off of both my driver’s side seat as well as the driver’s side door and armrest as both were completely soaked. New morning chore accomplished, I started her up and took off down the mountain to get a cup of hot coffee and start my day.

When I arrived at “Dynamite Coffee” I let myself out of my door from the inside (this doorhandle does work!) and upon removing myself from the car I made a point not to close my door completely so that I wouldn’t have to use the dorky move previously mentioned in order to gain reentry. Ok again –in and out of said Coffee Shop, no prob, open driver’s side door to get back in w/out too much personal embarrassment no prob, still raining like something out of a dramatic movie –check.

It’s still morning,  got my coffee, back in my machine, I decided to light up a cig and head into work  –so far  –so good….

As I lit up and began rolling towards the highway I decided to roll down the rear passenger window (electric) along w/my sunroof to let the smoke out as I drove –I’ve got a roommate that I take care of and since he doesn’t smoke I try to be relatively considerate about the lingering tobacco odor (-hey what can I say –I’m a classy guy!). Well anyhow it’s still raining like Hell and now I’m getting cold with all this rolled down window space so I flicked the butt out of the sunroof (-my ashtray no longer “works” either –I told “you” to read the post from September 18th first but does anyone ever Listen to Me?). I pressed the switch to close my sunroof (switch located on the dashboard ~check) and then I began to catch a faint whiff of an odor that I couldn’t immediately place. I smelled this almost indiscernible “fragrance” and I just could not for the life of me make the neural connection necessary to place what it was right away. I turned down the radio to see if maybe I could focus better on this “thing”, well then all I could hear was the sound of the wind and rain rushing in through my open back window so I reached over to my driver’s side armrest control panel and went to press the button that raises the back window. It was then that it hit me as I was trying to pull all of my limited powers of observation into focus and figure out what the hell this familiar odor was. It was the scent of ozone, the scent of a shorted out electrical connection, the aroma of all of my power buttons, at least the ones embedded in my driver’s armrest portion of my car going through their Death-thrawls!....So here I am in this Marx Brother’s mobile of a car ~a Clown Car at this point really, and it’s pouring down rain and I’ve been getting soaked anyhow because of the gap in the door on my side because of recent personal appendage threatening events related to the “accident” from the week preceding, and now the @#$%* back passenger window is stuck in the down position too because of some freaky “Thomas Edisonian S@#t!” …..Oh Well, Right.

So last night after dinner my roommate and I were leaving the partially skirted singlewide castle where we dwell (-another story for another day perhaps) and as I waited for him to gain access through his front passenger door and kindly open the driver’s side door from the inside (remember!) –he decided to insert some further “humor” into my embarrassment of having to wait for him to open my door for me by depressing the door lock button also embedded in the driver’s side armrest. Upon depressing said button, the door locks immediately went into this convulsive ratcheting up-and-down rapidfire spasm TicTicTicTicTicTic….Well because this too is electric and somehow interconnected to the wiring in the armrest there,  Guess what?…My  driver’s side door is now completely locked out,…Completely, as in I furthermore can no longer gain entry or exit from this particular, and to Me, important accessway!                                          (-Yay!).

Ok so now with this most recent bit of karma I ask my roommate, who is now actually stuck in this Car Monster (*Remember he cannot get egress from his interior door except from the outside door handle!) –I tell him to sit still while I walk around to his side of the Car, open his door from this “position”, ask him to please step out of the vehicle so that I can gain access to my seat via the now open front passenger way.                                                                          REALLY~

So anyhow off we go to this function that he attends in the city. Said function lasts approximately an hour or so give or take and we go through the previously described Clown Car routine of getting in/out/in/in (Use your imagination and you’ll be able to see this in/out/in/in visually in your head –let me help …roommate opens his door getting In, he gets Out, I climb In through his side, he gets In ~special Right!)  Finally situated in the HorriCar we crank it and get on the highway that takes us both back to my aforementioned vinyl sided palace in the “Hills”.

As I get off the freeway exiting down this rural road that is no more than a mile from home base, I see a car approaching rapidly from behind w/his bright lights on. Blue lights soon add to this crescendo of visual overload after what has been a most interesting evening. I pull over into the parking lot of a country convenience store and kill the motor.

As the policeman gets out of his car to approach mine on the driver’s side I roll back the sunroof. He steps to the door where I am sitting and motions for me to hand him my information –by respectfully rolling down my driver’s side window I’m guessing. I peer out at said policeman upwards through the open sunroof escapeway and at the same time make a horizontal finger slicing motion back and forth across my neck area trying somehow to indicate that rolling down my window wasn’t likely to happen any time soon as I stuck my other hand gripping my license vertically through the sunroof attempting to hand it graciously to him. As he took the ID from me via this open roof portal he asked me how long my car had been so damaged and what had happened. –Got A Minute?  Returning to my car moments later after no doubt checking my vibrant civil and criminal history, the officer obviously trying to be somewhat respectful of my car’s sad physical shape, elected to approach said vehicle from the passenger side. When he got around to that side w/my ID in hand I again made some sort of nonverbal gesture now referring to this his newest attempt at gaining access to my attention. “Sorry”, I said as I related that my passenger window would neither roll down nor open from the inside –I took a leap of faith as I continued with my current woeful tale by asking the kind officer if he would possibly not mind opening the passenger door from his side so as to gain rapid access and hand me back my photo ID in the least further embarrassing way. He complied, shaking his head slightly as if in disbelief at my current predicament. –He kindly suggested that I get my shattered rear brake light cover fixed in the Very near future and gave me what I guess could best be described as a “Pass” –kinda “GoodFellaesque-style” and sent us on our harried way.

Well that’s it, so Far at Least, of course the day here so far isn’t even half way over yet which as far as I can say still leaves plenty of time for Future possibilities that may be hurtling My way and Yours even as you finish reading this horribly ill-composed piece.

~Good Luck To The both of Us



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

...And Laugh

These last few months or so I’ve been responsible for taking care of a young man who happens to have some substantial challenges in his life. Terrific guy and who among us can truly say that we are without the need for help in some form or another from the others in our daily migrations within our often, at times, chaotic existences….

At any rate, several weeks ago my friend and I were travelling in my car on a Saturday towards one of the movie theatres here in the western “hills” of North Carolina where we now both live. As we approached our destination that afternoon my cellphone rang w/a caller ID which indicated that it was a friend calling not for me but for my current travelling companion, who, at the time, was napping. As I swung into the theatre parking lot I nudged this sleeping person awake and handed him the phone w/his buddy holding on the other line. ~Now I probably should mention that at times I can be cheap and that my cellphone and network carrier reflect this abhorrent quality of mine~ ,upon gripping this sub-standard cellphone of mine and uttering hello my service dropped this seemingly important incoming call. –Turbo semi-wakeful Agitation descended so quickly at this distressful occurrence that I barely had time to slip into a parking space before trouble began brewing within the very tight confines of my car. Thinking fast on my feet I stopped, parked, got my phone back and related to my companion that perhaps we could redial the recently “dropped” call from the movie parking lot area with better results and hopefully regroup our collective composure by absconding from our vehicle for a more suitable reception area. As I made my way out of the parked car and moved around to his side to try and get better reception I noticed with some degree of  my own personal agitation that he was gripping the interior door handle and frantically attempting to open his door in order to get out quickly. As I observed this unfold in the slow motion way that seems to only happen when things are about to go completely awry I blinked once and the next image that my brain processed was one of him red faced and even more angry than before holding what just moments before had been my interior-connected door handle (plastic housing and all) in his clenched right hand! –Yay.

So…for the last several weeks and to this very day still, in order to open the passenger side door of my car it is now necessary to first open the passenger side window (electric windows!) and then stick your (his) arm out the window in order to use the outside door handle and abscond from my Honda. –Yay.

Two weeks after this initial excitement I began to notice some relatively gradual change in the speed in which my driver’s side window (did I mention –electric?) was going up and down. Soon thereafter it quit going down altogether and I have had to leave it in the up and “locked” closed position. (~This will make more –or less, sense shortly.).

Getting closer to this present time frame, just shy of two weeks ago I was involved in a one man car accident. I currently reside in a trailer park development here in the mountains (-don’t ask) and the trailers are placed  going up this rather steep hill (-read mountain). The units are also aligned horizontally to one another so as when you are ascending this slope going up you have to turn in rather quickly to the left in order to come in for a “landing” and park next to your own little singlewide castle!

Now on this particular early evening as I was taxiing in upon arrival I made a simple yet problematic mistake. I entered my runway -(read driveway) at the wrong angle and instead of hitting the tarmac (-read driveway pavement) I came in “hot” hitting the rain soaked slippery hill just next to my landing-way, on a very steep incline where gravity wasn’t favorable to stooge-like overcorrections.

My car wheels spun for purchase but a Honda ain’t a Hummer and I slipped down this fairly steep incline into my neighbor’s yard/driveway pinning my car against a tree on the driver’s side and their beat up Oldsmobile against my back bumper. As I snapped out of my current state of semi-shock induced from sheer stupidity I made a rash decision to open my driver’s side door and remove myself from this mess of a situation which I had so recently created. I opened my door just barely enough to stick my left foot out and escape when it became apparent, rather quickly, that my car was still rolling and that the tree alongside my door was pressuring said door closed quickly against my now stuck b/n the doorframe and door foot. –Problem!

I jammed my right foot back down on my brake pedal to prevent the car from lurching further backwards and at the same time I slammed my left wrist and hand against the door panel to create some space so that I could pull my pinned ankle back within the car to safety. Thankfully this maneuver was successful and I was able to rock the car back and forth enough w/gas and brake action to remove myself from the scene of the scene as it were and make some sort of apology to my hillbilly neighbors. –Yay.

-I should probably quickly add that my “roommate” had just that day moved on, rather abruptly I should add, to another living arrangement (-read, he was not in the car at the time of this incident and therefore not in harm’s way at said time) and that there were some pretty new as well as pretty unsettling financial concerns related to this piece of my day as it unfolded here.

Because of this newest, (at least to this point in my story –believe me it gets “Better”), wrinkle (pun?) and the physics that mass and velocity in regards to cars and trees and Oldsmobiles and Hondas can and do create….now my driver’s side door can no longer be opened from the outside (-read, it has to be accessed from the inside door exclusively). Also because of the mangled metal damage caused by this ridiculousness, this same said door is askew in that it hinges and “hangs” pointed up and out in relationship to my doorjam with about a 3 inch gap that now lets the air (and rain) in throught this orifice –a real custom job let me tell you.

(*Remember, if you will, that my driver’s side window no longer goes up and down).

The day after this interesting occurrence I visited a guy that I know down in the valley because I had noticed that given the way my driver’s door now hangs my interior door light that is on the door panel of the drivers side stays on all the time and I was concerned that this might be a drain on my car battery. Dave is fairly mechanical and I felt that maybe he could be some assistance in helping to determine whether or not I needed to be concerned about it.

Dave decided to disconnect the idiot button that is supposed to depress when you are normally able to fully close your car door (-mine no longer closes completely although it does close enough to stay shut while driving –Yay!). Ok so this guy disconnects this “button” –disengaging the wire that it was connected to and shuts the driver’s door to see if in fact this light will now go off.  As soon as he shuts the door my car alarm begins going off and the power doorlock engages and my car locks up! Apparently this button was also connected to the security anti-theft/doorlock operating system too (“knee-bone connected to the thigh-bone” crap). I would push the button on my Honda key to unlock the door and the door locks would unlock and then just as quickly lock back down –it was sick, but frankly funny in a disturbing kind of way! Finally we were able to get in from the passenger side door (remember –no access from the driver’s side door because of my current faux pax) and reconnect this stupid “idiot button” so that although the interior door panel light would still be continually burning –at least I could continue to gain entry via the passenger door if still only from the outside!

As I left Dave’s hose, (-he actually lives in a real house!), I lit up a cigarette. I reached over the automatic gear lever to open my car’s ashtray and as I touched it, it broke into two pieces in my hand. It Broke. REALLY –came apart in my hand from me touching it apparently~

So anyhow as I write this today my recently “old” roommate has moved back into my trailer and so that part of my discombobulated life has been readjusted so to speak. It is so funny how the things that we often take for granted can change in such seemingly dramatic ways so very quickly –both good and bad, they quite simply Can and Do and Will and you just can’t always be prepared to do much more than roll with the punches. ~Oh yea…and Laugh…never forget to Laugh…!