Monthly Archives: August 2012
This one time, at band camp….
No, wait…wrong story.
This one time, when we decided to rent an SUV for a road trip…
Yeah, that’s how it starts.
Hubby and I were going to meet our son, daughter-in-law and grandson at a lakeside resort in Arkansas one year when they were living in Kansas, and we didn’t get to see much of them.
(boy, how that changed in a hurry as they moved back to Texas and in with us shortly after this trip and lived in our house for a year)
Not really wanting to put any more miles than was necessary on our aging Chevy Pickup, we decided to rent an SUV for the trip.
I went online and chose ‘full-size’ from the SUV menu at Reasonably Priced and Close Car Rental Company.
We went to pick up the vehicle only to discover that ‘full-size’ applies if you’re Mary Lou Retton and Willie Shoemaker.
We are neither.
It was a Ford Esss-cop-ay they gave us, and hubby – who is 6’2” – couldn’t see out the windshield unless he slouched down in the seat.
Since he was doing the driving, and slouching really wasn’t conducive to a not-painful trip, we said no thanks we’ll go elsewhere to get a bigger SUV since you don’t seem to have one.
That’s when the Helpful Customer Service Agent said they did have a larger SUV, but it was considered a ‘premium’ vehicle and would cost more.
I said no thanks…we’ll get something bigger elsewhere for the same price as your ‘full-size’ vehicle.
I wasn’t trying to be a hardass. I’d already called around and found a Chevy Trailblazer for the same price at Another Reasonably Priced and Close Car Rental Company.
I thought the HCSA was going to tackle us as we walked out the door. “Fine, I’ll let you have the premium SUV for the same price as the full-sized one, then.”
We looked at each other and agreed.
We were given a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was very roomy and identical to the one that son and daughter-in-law had purchased that same year. Even down to the color.
We got a thirty-second tutorial on bells, switches, gauges, and where to locate the spare tire.
We are both experienced drivers and really didn’t pay much attention to the tutorial.
Later, I wished we had. Boy, how I wished we had.
But, then I wouldn’t have had this amusing anecdote to tell you.
We drove the Jeep home, packed it and left the next morning.
It was raining lightly about three hours into our nine hour drive, so hubby turned on the wipers. He also managed to turn on the rear-window wiper at the same time, though he said he didn’t know how and figured the two were connected.
When the rain stopped, hubby turned off the wipers.
The rear wiper kept going.
He pushed another button and the lights came on.
The rear wiper stopped, and the windshield wipers came on.
“I don’t think we are making progress” I said, stifling a giggle.
Random. Lever. Manipulate.
The radio came on and the wipers went off.
Except the rear wiper. It kept going, and now the window was dry so it was squeaking each time it swiped across.
I don’t think there’s a more exquisite torture.
Forget waterboarding, forget sleep deprivation, just put the person inside a Jeep with the rear wiper stuck on during a dry spell. They’ll tell you anything.
Random. Cussing. Followed by more random lever manipulating.
The radio came on, the rear wiper stopped and the dome light came on.
By now the sun was setting and we’d been at this for hours. We were nearing our destination, and hubby’s patience was at an end.
“Leave it alone.” I said as he reached for the switch to turn off the dome light.
“I can’t, it bugs me.” He said, flipping the switch only to find the headlights going off and the dome light staying on.
Also, the rear wiper started again.
So, now we’re in the backwoods of Arkansas, on winding roads, in the dark, with no headlights.
Finally, we had to admit defeat and pull out the 575 page manual – not one of those pages explained how to turn off the rear-window wiper (the source of all this mayhem), I kid you not.
“Feck”, hubby exclaimed – well he didn’t say ‘feck’ but you get the idea.
Hubby punched the same button he’d used to plunge us into darkness, and the headlights came on.
The dome light stayed on, and I glared at him as he reached for the dashboard knobs again.
“Don’t.Touch.Anything.” I said through gritted teeth. “Let’s just get where we are going, and we can ask son how to turn this stuff off and on since he has the same vehicle.”
“Good idea.” Hubby said as we started off again.
In the silence, save for the ‘squeak, squeak’ of the rear wiper, a few minutes later I hear hubby giggling…then guffawing..and I joined in.
He reached for the dash again and pushed more buttons.
The wiper stopped and the dome light went off. We got to the resort with no further chaos.
The rest of the trip our Jeep stayed in the parking lot and the wonky wiper/lights/radio system was forgotten until the day we left for home.
We got on the road that morning, joking about what random electrical malfunction we’d have next, but nothing happened 3…4…5…6..7 hours into the trip and we’d forgotten all about it.
We were an hour from home when……
I didn’t see the actual crash, but I imagine it went like this…
I drove up just in time to see both drivers emerge from what was left of their vehicles.
One woman collapsed in the median, and the other stumbled in front of my car and collapsed on the grass next to me.
She’s the one I rushed to.
I work in an industry which requires first responder training. I’m not only trained, I’m a trainer.
Also I’m human so I will naturally stop to help anyone at anytime.
As I got to her, so did two other people wearing scrubs.
Being me, I took charge.
“Are you a nurse or doctor?” I asked each in turn. One woman said she was a medical assistant and the man said he was a lab tech.
I pointed to the lab tech and said, “You go help her.” And gestured to the woman now sitting up in the median. He did as I asked, sprinting across the road.
“Did anyone call 9-1-1?” I asked to the rapidly growing crowd. Two or three people nodded that yes they had.
The medical assistant was kneeling in the grass next to the other driver and speaking in Spanish. I asked her to stay because I don’t speak Spanish, and I thought we might need some translating.
After a few exchanges, the driver said, “I speak English.” We asked her if there was anyone she wanted us to call and she had the medical assistant call her husband. As the MA spoke to her husband I held the woman’s hand.
She was sobbing and complaining that her chest hurt and she couldn’t breathe. Judging by the impact and damage to her car I wasn’t surprised.
She kept trying to get up and we kept telling her to lie still.
It was 95 degrees, and I had positioned my body so that I blocked the sun with my back. It was getting hot, but I was so focused on this poor woman I hardly noticed. I just knew I wanted to keep the sun off of her.
I asked her if she had any passengers.
No was the reply.
“My car, my car, it’s so messed up.” She sobbed and getting panicky at the pain and constriction she began saying over and over how she couldn’t breathe and had to get up.
I was pretty sure that her “getting up” would immediately lead to her “falling down”…unconscious.
I took her hand and stroked her hair, “Honey, it’ll be alright. It’s just a car and you are going to be okay.”
She continued to sob and said, “My chest it hurts so bad, and my car, and I couldn’t stop..the other car, she just kept coming. I tried to stop. My chest, my chest..”
“I know it hurts, believe me. I’ve been in six of these bad boys and I understand.”
Suddenly, she stopped crying and stared wide-eyed at me. “Six? Really?”
I grinned and said, “Yep..the last one was in January of this year.”
She grinned back and squeezed my hand. The relief on her face was noticeable as she relaxed a little. After all, the woman holding her hand had survived six crashes..surely she would be okay.
I heard the ambulance as it was coming towards us, so I said, “The paramedics are here and I’m going to leave you in their very capable hands now, okay?”
“Yes, and thank you very much. You are an angel. God Bless.” She said, giving my hand a final squeeze.
As the paramedic got out of his rig I turned around to talk to him for a minute. “She’s complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing.”
He patted my shoulder and said, “Thank you.”
I got into my car and headed home, and that’s how my workday on Monday ended.
From the awesomesauce that is The Meta Picture, I bring you some rules for life:
My phone rang as I was busy doing absolutely nothing (and it was awesome) Sunday afternoon.
Baby Girl: Mom, what kind of snake is black and grey?
Me: Most of them,why?
BG: Well hubby just killed one, and we were wondering if it was poisonous.
Me: How big was it?
BG: Tiny, like less than a foot long.
Me: Did it have round eyes?
BG: (yelling to hubby) Did it have round eyes? He says he thinks so.
Me: Can you take a picture and send it to me?
BG: (giggling) Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Hubby pulverized it. I mean, it’s like in a half dozen pieces out there.
Me: Why the overkill?
BG: Hubby said it was following him down the sidewalk and chased him into the garage.
Me: (laughing at the image this conjured up) I highly doubt that. Anyway, it’s dead now but small black snakes are usually garter snakes and are harmless. Besides they’ll eat all those spiders and the mice you have out there.
BG: Well now I feel bad, and sad, and dammit hubby leave the snakes alone!
Me: Next time, only kill it if it’s in your house or has the triangular shape to its head, or you can hear and see the rattle.
BG: Great! Mice, spiders, snakes, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!!
Me: Who you gonna call?
That, that is why Baby Girl and I get along so well.
*walks into room and picks up small box from floor*
Well, I’ll be damned.
Here’s my crazy.
I spent all day yesterday looking for it and it was right here all the time.
Just goes to show you the old saying is true….it’s always going to be in the last place you look.
Which reminds me.
George Carlin once said that saying “It’s always in the last place you look” was monumentally stupid.
He was right.
Think about it.
Okay, if you didn’t..and I’m sure you did get it because my readers are brilliant…of course the whatever you are looking for is always going to be in the last place you look, because who finds something and then keeps looking for it?
I mean, once it’s found don’t you stop looking?
Unless, like me, you find something and then thirty seconds later lose it…say, in your other hand or on top of your head…and then resume the looking until you see something shiny and forget what you came into the room for, but you better fill the cat’s food bowl or deal with the consequences of a very angry hungry kitty, and damn the litter box is full again, what’s for supper?
Heyyyyyyyyy…here’s my keys…it’s always the last place you look…
From my Inbox today, a solution to the debt crisis in the United States:
From: DR KEN OMA [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 5:47 AM
YOUR FUNDS $2.5M USD HAVE PACKAGE IN THE BOX AND THE AGENT HAVE LEFT WITH YOUR PACKAGE SINCE THREE DAYS NOW.HE MISPLACE YOUR ADDRESS.SEND IT TO HIM NOW IN USA,YOUR NAME PHONE AND ADDRESS.DO NOT LET HIM KNOW THE PACKAGE CONTAIN FUNDS.
Contact Person :Robert Carloni
DR KEN OMA
This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by MailScanner, and is believed to be clean.
Note the original message was sent to ‘undisclosed-recipients’….I’m guessing millions of people in America are due $2.5M each, so carry the 2, add the .5, and yup…it’s trillions of dollars out there waiting to be claimed.
Now, if everyone would just follow my example, as evidenced in my reply……..
Yes, send money to:
The White House
Attn: President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue W
Washington, DC 20500
Our country is deeply in debt, and I’d like to think my donation of $2.5M will help.
A Patriotic Citizen
UPDATE – After the above merriment, I got this reply and my reply to the reply is posted below…the..reply…
From: DIPLOMATROBERT CARLONI [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 8:56 AM
Subject: RE: XXXX
I WANT TO INFORM YOU THAT YESTERDAY,I ARRIVE IN USA AFTER THE LAST DELIVER I HAVE IN INDIA ,SO THEY DEMAND THE US CUSTOM CERTIFICATE,BEFORE I WILL ALLOW TO PASS THE NEW YORK AIRPORT WITH YOUR PACKAGE.
I ASK THEM,THEY SAID THAT YOU HAVE TO GET THE US CUSTOM CERTIFICATE,FROM THE PACKAGE ORIGIN AS THE US LAW FOR ANY PARCEL/PACKAGE THAT IS COME IN TO USA.
I CALLED THE COMPANY DR KEN OMA AND THEY SAID THAT IT WILL COST YOU THE SUM OF $250.
SO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE CONTACT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO THE COMPANY NOW AND ASK THEM HOW IT WILL BE DONE AND HOW YOU WILL SEND IT TO THEM.
CONTACT DR KEN OMA AS FELLOW:AND ASK HIM HOW TO SEND HIM THE $250 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO GET THE DOCUMENTS FROM THE ORIGIN
DR KEN OMA
AND ANYTHING YOU ARE DOING NOW,I WILL LIKE YOU TO DO EVERYTHING URGENT.SINCE I AM IN THE AIRPORT NOW WITH CUSTOM.
DIPLOMATIC ROBERT CARLONI
CALL ME +15163236968
Wow…stuck in the airport? That’s too bad. I hear there’s a nice Starbucks in there now, though.
I once went to an airport Starbucks, but it was so far from my gate I almost missed my plane before getting my caramel-machiatto-triple-latte. It would have made a bad day much worse.
Please make contact with the local office of the FBI (they’re in the phone book) – that stands for Federal Budget Infusion – as I have already arranged for a representative to meet with you.
I haven’t heard back from my diplomatic courier friend. I can only assume he’s lost in the airport somewhere.
Hope he was able to find the Starbucks at least.
Sometimes my poor hubby gets tired of my taking the long way ‘round the fencepost telling a story.
This is especially true when he’s focused on something else….like what time the game (any game) starts.
It’s not my fault, then, when these types of conversations happen at Wal-Mart.
Me: I need to get some French bread while we’re here.
Hubby: We don’t have time to be shopping for…
Me: I’m not *shopping* for bread, see it’s right here.
Hubby: (looking at the bread) What’s that for?
Me: We’re going to baby girl’s house on Sunday for dinner.
Hubby: And she asked you to bring bread?
Me: No, I’m bringing salad.
Hubby: Then why the bread?
Me: They just moved into their house, and you know how much son-in-law likes that movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”?
Hubby: Yeah, but what’s that got to do with bread?
Me: In the movie, Jimmy Stewart…
Hubby: So we’re buying bread because of Jimmy Stewart?
Me: (stopping in the aisle to stare at him and marvel at how I ever get a point across some days) Yes, yes..that’s it. I blame Jimmy Stewart.
So for the rest of you…
In the movie, Jimmy Stewart’s character – I can never remember his name, and always want to call him Elwood, but then I remember that’s from “Harvey” – anyway, his character loans money for a house to an Italian family and on the day they move in Jimmy’s wife – Mary, I think – takes a loaf of bread and a box of salt to the new homeowners and says something like, “Bread, that your home never knows hunger and salt that your life has flavor.” So, I wanted to replicate that scene when we visited baby girl and her family for the first time since they moved into their new house.
And, I did and hubby finally understood why we bought bread that day.
Hubby: Oh, I get it! Why didn’t you just say it was a scene from that movie?
Me: Harvey told me not to spill the beans…and he was buying.
Hubby stared at me for a while before muttering something – pretty sure the word “crazy” was in there – and walking outside.
p.s. George…his name was George Bailey.
As I walked into the lobby at the medical building I heard half a phone conversation between Random Woman and Second Random Person on the other end.
It went like this – or at least the half I heard went like this:
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
I pushed the elevator button, RW was behind me.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
The elevator doors open and the two of us get on.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth, nuh-uh
Up one floor.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
The doors opened.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
I begin walking down the hall with RW right behind me.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
For fear I might have to strangle her, I ducked into the bathroom and waited for a few minutes.
I cautiously opened the bathroom door to look out into the hallway.
Random Woman: Shutchermouth
I may have told you about my oldest daughter’s technology challenged existence.
I think, were I so inclined, that I could totally fill the Autocowrecks queue with enough fodder for a week’s worth of hilarity.
Exhibit One – this text conversation…
Daughter-in-law: Need prayers, hubby applied for dream job.
Technologically-challenged daughter: I have epilepsy.
T-C-D: wtf? That was supposed to say, I have epilepsy.
D-I-L: Seriously? R u okay?
T-C-D: What? Stupid iPhone, I have epilepsy.
Finally d-i-l called t-c-d, and there was much merriment. No my daughter does not have epilepsy, but thanks to a saved chat on her iPhone, the rest of us damn-near peed ourselves laughing.