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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Red letter week.

Last Wednesday, as I was chasing some errant plastic for the recycling bin, the stairs to the deck pulled away from the deck proper.

Depositing me violently on the ground, ripping my right thumb open in the process. Could be worse--better me than my wife or any of the kids. Plus, my mother in law was visiting for our weekly dinner, and that could have been catastrophic.

Wait, it gets better.

Thursday, I get into a minor fender-bender on the way to work. My front end is cracked open, but the car performance is unimpacted.

I think.

Thursday evening, as I leave work, I notice, can't be...

Yes, it is. A flat tire.

OK, I've changed my share in my lifetime. I pull the kit out of the trunk, get the tire jacked up and apply the tire iron....

Which for some #$%&ing reason doesn't fit the @!&*ing lugnuts.

I suppose it's still a fine prop for a violent revenge fantasy involving used car salesmen. The sympathetic parking lot attendant lends me his, but since it's for a Ford, it doesn't fit.

Wait--I have a socket set! One of the sockets fits! I start trying to remove the lugnuts.

Only to discover that the @!&*ing lugnuts have been ratcheted on by the air wrench. The Incredible @!&*ing Hulk couldn't loosen those bad boys. And believe me, I was achieving Hulk status by now.

I drive to a nearby gas station on my unbudgable flat and inject two cans of fix-a-flat. I get home.

Friday, I take the minivan to work. It's behaving...sluggishly.


Not both at once.

Saturday, we drive to the communal penance service as a family. The van stalls out thrice, the last time as we are heading into the parish parking lot. I resolve to get it towed to the car repair emporium where I am greeted like Norm in Cheers. My wife's aunt and uncle generously transport Heather and the kids home. The guys at Cheers reassure me it's probably just a bad fuel pump, which makes sense.

Sunday, I am preparing to be the family representative at Mass. Once again, the tire is flat.

Not this time, you bastard.
I have an extra can of fix-a-flat.

I nurse the vehicle to a local gas station, where they offer to check my tire and patch it. Worst case scenario, sell me a used or new tire.

Ends up a new tire--they show me where my old one is spurting air like a slashed artery.

Fine--no more worries about Bleedy. But I have a bad wheel bearing, which explains that unfortunate vibrating and clunking I'm hearing in the Sex Panther.

Sunday, I go to work on the steps. The wood is so rotten that my carpentry nails split the relevant wood.

I hand-hack a stump off a 4 by 4 and ram it into place up underneath the errant step. The stairs sorta work. I'm going to have to replace the entire thing this weekend. Drills, nails, and a partially useable thumb on my dominant hand:


Monday, Cheers reopens. They assure me in the morning they'll get back with me as soon as they figure it all out. Probblee a couple hours, in our shared Michiganian.

More than a couple hours pass. My with increasing ambiguity. But I'm capped out at $210 for the analysis, so what the hey.

Today, sidelined by the increasing clunking (the Panther is also in the shop), I get a call from Mr. Malone.

Bad engine bearing. The cheap--cheap--fix is $2500.

On a minivan with 160K+ miles that looks more and more like Clint Eastwood's bus in The Gauntlet every day.

Mmm, yeah-let me get back to you on that.

Looks like we're shopping for a cheap used van. ASAP.

Boy, that Blog Award I'm getting on Wednesday sure is going to be welcome.

Right? RIGHT.

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