Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fun Continues

About ten minutes after I posted the last, I was on the phone with Verizon customer service (don't ask), and the phone died.  So did the computer to which it was attached.  And everything else remotely electrical in the house.  Great.  Power failure.

(On the plus side, I can't exercise!  No getting on the Elliptical when it isn't plugged in.)

I think the very first thing I ought to do is take a shower while there's still some hot water left in the pipes.

This, in fact, is an absolutely brilliant thought -- unless you, like me, have a tankless water heater.  There is just enough hot water left in the pipes to convince you to get yourself wet (and covered with soap and shampoo) before the icy cold water comes in and mocks you.  

"Why," I wondered "would I be perfectly happy jumping into a cold swimming pool, but my entire body rebels at the ice cold shower?"  I wondered this a lot.  I continued wondering it until I was shivering, wrapped in a towel, and not using a hair dryer.

Figured I might as well get a start on the day.  Test drive a Prius and all that.  The Eclipse was in my garage -- I know the garage door opener won't work, but it has a manual override.  I pull the tab to manually override, and haul the door open.  It rolls partway back down.  I haul it open and push upward as hard as I can.  It rolls partway down again.  

Maybe I'm not pushing it hard enough.  I get a ladder outside (as the door is partway open), stand on the ladder, and push the bottom of the door as hard as I can up onto the track.  It goes as far as it can (I hear a thud) and then rolls partway down again.  This is not good.

I call the garage door customer service people.  They actually have a live human being answering the phone, but all she can tell me is that she can put me down for a service call tomorrow.  Her door, she cheerfully reports, stays up when she manually shoves it up there.  I thank her and hang up.  I dig up my owner's manual to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong.  Nope.  Door should stay up.  Door won't stay up.

(I am now sweaty and greasy from all this door shoving, but if you think I'm taking another shower, you're f*cking crazy.)

I consider asking a neighbor to help me hold the door up while I back the Eclipse out of there, but nobody is in their yards and I'd feel like a moron knocking on a door for this.  I consider the ladder.  I push the door up and then let it fall lightly on the top of the ladder.  The ladder appears to hold it.  Of course, the ladder is in the center and I'll need to put it off to one side if I want to back the car out, but the experiment looks positive.  I pull the ladder back into the garage and make sure it is, in fact, taller than the car.  It is.  By at least a foot.  I am, for what is probably the one and only time in my life, grateful that I've rented this stupid Eclipse, as I don't think any other car would have been short enough to get out of my ladder-propped garage door.

I place the ladder in its position and crank up the Eclipse -- I have visions of catastrophic ladder failure and the garage door smashing down on the top of the rental car on which I declined the damage coverage -- and back the damn thing out of there as fast as possible.  Victory is mine!  I quickly remove the ladder and close up the garage.

Off to the Toyota dealer, where the salesdude lost interest in me in record time....

Salesdude:  Can I help you?
Me:  Just looking today.  Wanted to take a look at the Prius V.
Salesdude:  Looking to buy or lease?
Me:  Buy, but not right now.
Salesdude:  Will you have a car to trade in?
Me:  Yes.
Salesdude:  What kind?
Me:  Ford Escape Hybrid.
Salesdude:  Is it here?
Me:  No.
Salesdude:  Do you want to go get it so we can get started?
Me:  Not today.
Salesdude:  [disappears into a puff of smoke]

There was, obviously, no test drive.  I can give you impressions of the car's interior (seat is lower than the Escape, and higher than the Eclipse -- but what isn't?) but that's about it.

Off to a traditional barbecue with friends, which I left early on account of having emailed my next-door neighbor to see if the power was back on, and received a reply that their power never went off.  Afraid the problem was isolated to my house (weird, as I had checked the electrical panel), I drove home to check things out, and happily discovered my power had come back on.  (And based on the wrong time the clock was blinking, the power had come back on about 15 minutes after I'd left the house.)  Fed the cat and went to see Spider-Man, a perfectly acceptable way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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