Friday, June 16, 2017

Comedy of errors

So, I had my meeting with the student. It was short, but fairly productive - Monday we should have a manuscript to send in (she is doing a bit more writing on it this afternoon). And Wednesday we will (finally) set up the summer experiment.

And then. I decided I wanted to go to Sherman, but first, I thought, I better talk to the mechanic about my car's battery - it's supposed to be a heat index of 103 today and while being "stranded" in Sherman wouldn't be as deadly as being "stranded" in the field on that hot of a day (because I could go into an air conditioned store while waiting for help), I figured I'd rather avoid it by either getting a new battery, or if the guy reassured me it was OK, I could just go.

But it was busy out there. (Yeah, bad on me for trying to get my car looked at before a summer weekend). The head mechanic was all "Why didn't they write down the cold-cranking amps? They're supposed to write down the cold-cranking amps!" and said he'd get someone to check.

It was about 11 am at that point and I was starting to get hungry. I had planned on running down to Sherman and maybe going to the barbecue place.

Anyway. The underling came back - "The battery terminals are all corroded, I'll have to clean it before I can check."

I groaned, and said I really needed to grab lunch (I don't get hungry often these days, but when I do, it comes on fast and it can get BAD if I don't eat something nutritious) and I didn't fancy the thought of sitting for an hour while they processed the cars in before me.

Also, I had noticed my watch had stopped - the battery had been running down. And because one of the little ways in which I am compulsive is that having a stopped watch bugs me - and bugs me, like, a LOT - I wanted to go and attend to that. So I said I'd come back later.

I ran to the Walgreen's, because it was close. But I couldn't read the battery size on the back of the watch. And none of the tools I had in the car worked to open it. I asked the woman at the checkstand if I could borrow a small screwdriver

(At this point, I was bordering on "hangry," with a side of "it's way, way too hot out" with a side of worry about what the stuff is going to cost in re: my car)

"We don't have one. And we don't sell watch batteries."

"I'm pretty sure I bought the last one here" I said, while looking at the wall of small button-type batteries arranged RIGHT BEHIND WHERE SHE WAS STANDING.

The young guy in the photo department waved me over and said, "Let me try to open it." He was very nice about it, worked for maybe 10 minutes, finally said, "I'm just scratching the heck out of the back, I'm sorry, I don't want to try any more"

I thanked him for his efforts. (Even though I could feel the vague "urge to kill, rising, rising" in me, I was still polite to people. Because it's not their fault it's 103 degrees out and I haven't had lunch and my car is on the fritz)

I thought I'd go home and try myself. (The dude suggested I go to wal-mart, and I was like "I really don't want to go to wal-mart" and he laughed and said "I hear you")

On a whim, I turned down main street and went to one of the FEW businesses still open there - a jeweler's. I asked the young woman behind the counter if she could help. She looked at the watch (which probably cost about 10% - maybe even 1% - of the watches they sold) and kind of shot me a despairing glance. "I'll TRY" she said, and disappeared into the back room.

And I stood there, very still, trying hard not to look like riff raff with my $25 Eeyore watch and the fact that I was wearing no jewelry other than my old, old high school class ring* and my Medic-alert bracelet**

(*I got into the habit back in high school and don't feel right now without it, even as I think I maybe should replace it with something less outdated for me)

(**warning of my sulfa allergy)

She was gone a little while but then came back out - "I fixed it!" I was elated, because I'm attached to this watch. She did say it was hard to get the back off (no fake).

Upside: it was only $10.

So now I'm home. I'm eating up the last of the five-cup salad I made for Monday's CWF salad supper and I've made some smoked-salmon-on-rye open-faced sandwiches. Not QUITE Cackle and Oink's barbecue, but at least it's reasonably nutritious.

(The smoked salmon I get comes in little foil packets from the natural-foods store. It's lower in sodium than most but has the unfortunate appearance - and smell, when you first open it - that reminds you a bit of cat food. But low-sodium beggars can't be choosers).

So, the trip to Sherman is scrubbed for today - I have to go back out to the monkey-fighting mechanic's after I eat and find out how bad things are. I'm less upset with this than I was a few minutes ago - driving home I was thinking about how I had PLANNED to pick up a spare skein of the salmon-colored yarn for that pony I'm working on. And then I thought, "Well, between this and the near-miss accident this morning*, this is an omen you shouldn't go. You could either, if you run out of yarn, just ABANDON the project, or you could make striped legs, which would look super stupid and would annoy you forever and you wouldn't love the finished project then because it would always remind you of this bad day" but now I'm more like, "Eh, maybe I can get the yarn next week, if I even need it." (It's possible I will still have enough, and that would be a win.)

(*Someone pulled right out in front of me, from a gas station, as I was driving in this morning. They would have side-swiped my front passenger side had I not hit the brakes (no one was behind me, fortunately) and laid on the horn. I don't know WHAT was up with the person - fairly late-model luxo-boat car, windows so deeply tinted I couldn't see the driver, and they were going about 15 in a zone posted for 30. I don't know if it was someone just at the very limit of "shouldn't be driving any more," someone who was drunk or stoned (at 8:30 am?), someone on a cell phone, or what. But I wasn't happy).

One other consolation: since I can't have barbecue for lunch, I decided to put the pork I bought yesterday in the crockpot to see how it cooks up. I am hoping that Pruett's meat is as good as people are telling me.

I might also just get an ice cream cone or a small milkshake from the Braum's that's next door to the car place. I don't know.

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