..the ONLY kind of personal experiences I seem to have.
was the car. I just had the transmission rebuilt on Ruby the Plymouth,
and ever since I had gotten her back, I had noticed a slight--at
first--hesitation on shifting into second gear (and then with that
I-just-turned-on-the-afterburners kick), then she was lateshifting into
third, at around 45 mph (normally around 35). Not a huge deal, but she
hadn't been like that before. Call the mechanic, who says he may need
to make an adjustment to the tranny, drive it for a bit and see. Today
it's dramatically worse, she insisted on staying in first gear
aaalllllll the way to N.'s elemetary school, which causes other drivers
to look at you in weird ways. On the return trip home, she does get
into third gear, but at 53 mph, thank you--way too late. Mechanic says
OK, bring her in. I do so, and interestingly, the first thing he does
is pop the hood (isn't the transmission housed elsewhere, somewhere
darker and more greasy...?). Anyway, I start the car for him and pop
out from behind the wheel just in time to see him take off the air
cleaner housing, then make a face and step back a moment. I follow his
eyes and see...
The large armature and spring that connects the carbuerator to the accelarator pedal dangling free!
how in the HELL Ruby was even moving under her own power with that
whateveritwas hanging there like that (don't know the technical name for
that part, sorry), I don't know. To make matters worse, there was a
good-sized bolt that went to a limiter on the carb lying on top of the
valve covers, and the clip that held the armature and spring in placed
has vanished. Once he reconnects this part (as I laugh, quite frankly)
and fashions a new clip out of a metal chunk, the car runs like a
freakin' top. Go figure.
All of this got me thinking--I rarely
HAVE normal experiences with cars or other things such as injuries.
This car previously had, in the middle of Nowhere, New Mexico, snapped a
large spring in the carbuerator which caused the accelerator to stick
in 'Oh Holy God FLOOR IT!' mode, which is quite thrilling when you are
driving, thank you. Luckily J. was driving and manhandled it to the
side of the road, engine roaring at full throttle all the while. He
found a small hardware store and jury-rigged a replacement spring, which
is still functioning to this day.
Then there was the Ford
Mustang I used to own that one day, for no damned good reason (or so I
thought at the time, it was actually planning ahead) decided that the
welded piece of metal that holds the adjustable seat in place MUST
BREAK, causing the drivers' seat to rocket back and forth like an E
ticket ride at Disneyland at every minor movement. Driving was
impossible, I actually had to have the thing towed home where a large C
clamp was permanently installed, the piece that broke being a component
of the frame (great design!). Six months later, when I went to lunch at
work one day, I discovered, to my horror, that I couldn't get my seatbelt unfastened!
The button refused to depress when pushed. The clasp/release button
arrangement on the seat belt of this particular car (bucket seats) were
down too low for me to see WHY the damned button wouldn't press.
where the broken seat and C clamp thing comes back into the picture:
since I am short, I drive with my car seat all the way forward so I can
reach the pedals. The C clamp was holding the drivers' seat firmly in
it's steely jaws...I couldn't move the seat back and so loosen the shoulder/lap belt combination to escape in that way!
No cutting tools in the car, either. I would have gladly cut the
damned belt in frustration, just for the pleasure of maiming the car.
was well and truly trapped, and everyone else in the office was gone to
lunch. I sat there for a moment, trying to figure out how in the hell
I was going to ace my way out of THIS one without becoming an Amusing
Office Story, even IF those heartless bastards would stop laughing long
enough to free me.
I ended up driving over to my mechanic, who,
lucky for me, just happened to be walking through his garage bays when I
drove up. He waved as he walked by, then came over, puzzled by my
frantic waving. Once I explained to him how I was trapped, he climbed
into the passenger side of the car, peered into the clasp of the
seatbelt, pulled a screwdriver out of his back pocket and used it to pop
a penny out of the clasp! It had wedged itself perfectly behind
the button so I couldn't press it. Couldn't have happened like that in
a million years. I thanked him for saving my dignity but I saw he was
grinning as I drove away. Oh well, I'd rather be an amusing story at
his place than mine.
What about that personal injury thing? Glad
you asked. One morning when I was in a hurry to get to work, I
rewarmed my scrambled eggs in the microwave. Just for a few seconds,
not too much.
OK, too much.
I took one bite and gave it
half a chew (since you don't REALLY need to chew eggs) and swallowed.
Fatal mistake. Ever swallowed lava?
it's sweet time going down, too. I drove to work later on anyway, but
no amount of ibuprofen and sipping cold water all morning eased the
considerable pain. I finally gave up and called my family doctor, who
was nice enough to give me something for it. He DID laugh, which I did
not begrudge him in the slightest.
When I was a kid it was
stubbed toes, mostly because I insisted on going barefoot. Once I
walked down the asphalt driveway to join my mom, who was leaning in a
friends' car window, talking. Stub my right big toe. Retreat to the
house for Big Fun with the methiolate bottle (read: battery acid for
cuts) and band aids, then come back out to visit. Stub my OTHER big toe
this time. Retreat in disgust back inside where it is carpeted and
safe. My other thing was whacking my head on the large, crank-out
windows of our house that the sidewalk leading the the garage and back
yard passed under. I was juuuuust tall enough to crack my head on the
damned things, but NOT tall enough to seem them in time. My dad even
hung strands of red ribbon ("The color of the blood coming from your
head!" He chirped.) from the corners of the windows, to no avail.
no different at work...need to open the cleaning supply closet? Well,
then! The two brooms, dustmop and mop will have been leaning up against
the door, waiting for ME to open it so they can leap out and
suddenly pummel me on the head, in full view of three of my coworkers, while I flail about and try to defend myself/stuff the demonish things back in the closet
in a Marx Brothersish frenzy. That time I pulled a hat trick--THREE people laughing at me at once.
It's summer! Well then! Weather
is nice, so I leave the front door of the apartment I was living in at
the time open for a moment as I step outside to walk the three feet to
the laundy room. When I come back with my laundry fresh from the dryer,
I discover that an Alligator Lizard the size of Milwaukee is now
standing in the middle of my living room, looking ill tempered and bitey
(those damned things bite like nobody's business). I run to get a
broom, but he resists all efforts to shoo him back out the front door
and instead bites the broom briefly before dashing under the drapes.
This, at least, gives me time to form Plan B, which involves my ironing
board, my large foldable cutting mat I use for sewing and several cookie
sheets pressed into service to form a Lizard Expressway. Surprisingly,
between the Rube Goldberg contraption, my by-now determined broom (I've
wasted enough time on Lizard Boy, already!) and a bored Alligator
Lizard, it works and he is funneled back to the great outdoors, where he
is no doubt looking for a small child to bite.
Been tirelessly wrapping gifts, and down to the very last one? Well
then! As I stick the last bit of ribbon in place and stick down the
bow, I sigh, "That's it, I'm done!" The word 'done' has scarcely left
my lips and is still hanging in the air when the ribbon on the package
springs apart with an audible "thoing!, flinging the bow across
the room for good measure. I sit there and stare at it bemusedly at J.
doubles over, laughing, on the couch.
So now I reflect on how it's ALWAYS
Something Stupid, and now that SONG by the same title is stuck in my
head...at least it's a great rendition, performed by The Mavericks and
*sigh* I shudder to think what Fate has in store for me next...