Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I’m not ignoring you; I’m just looking out for my health.

There was an article in the New York Times recently about the health risks of blogging. In particular, it causes premature death. Yes, death. Please read the attached article before you go on. There will be a quiz, so don’t scan, or pretend like you read. This is 30% of your final grade.

Some of the more smart-alecky members of the class are probably asking “Ok, so that accounts for the last 3 days of bloglessness, what about the weeks that went by before this article was written?” Well, to you I say details shmeetails. If that’s not good enough for Toooooommmmm, I also recently began transcending time and space. Does that satisfy you? It’s a little hobby I started dabbling in during my month-long stretch of free time. Yep, nothing quite like a random act of not-using-your-noodle *cough* Dodge *cough*Aries’ *cough* are *cough* bad *cough* cars *cough* to free up a month of your life for things like taking advantage of Einsteinian Spacetime.

Also, I am sad to inform you all that the Indiana Event alluded to in the previous paragraph will not be appearing in the next edition of Harper Publishing’s American History: A Textbook. “National Significance” is not as easy a standard to meet as you might think. I know. I was shocked to. If Two North Dakotans, a handful of strange Michiganians (Michiganites? Michiganers?), and the Indiana State Patrol isn’t enough, I don’t know what is.


Besides pondering all that stuff, I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks connected to the hotel I stayed in last night. Why you might ask? Well, I was TOLD my automobile would be ready for me yesterday. So I arrived yesterday, expecting to be seated at the helm of my noble vessel later that day. When I called the body shop, they assured me it would be ready to go by 5:00.

“That’s not so bad,” I thought to myself. “I have a book with me that I wouldn’t mind knocking off a few chapters of.”

127 pages later, and very near to 5:00, I received a phone call. “oh goody, my car is ready!”

“Mr. Storm?”
“Yeah, hi this is Todd from the body shop. You’re not on your way over here right now are you?”
“I was actually just about to call a cab. Is my car ready?”
“Ok, uh where are you right now? Are you in Gary?”
“…Yeah, is my car ready?”
“Ok, listen, uh your car, well, it isn’t going to done today, so what I’m going to do is come pick you up and take you to a hotel for the night. Where are you?”
“A restaurant off of Broadway.”
Ok, if you could go to the south corner of 5th and Broadway, I’ll pick you up there. It’s real easy to find, there’s a police camera mounted on a pole right there. I’ll be there in 12 minutes. Oh, I drive a new, Ford 350. it’s red.”
“uh, ok.”

Now, while I certainly appreciated the complimentary pick-up-and-take-to-a-hotel gesture, I found it odd that I had to go stand underneath the police camera. That seems like a location where crimes would probably occur more often than, say, the corner that the police camera is AIMED AT. That particular block of downtown Gary, Indiana, as it turns out, is not exactly Sesame Street. It didn’t help any that an angsty adolescent wearing a dog collar and a very metal-filled I-know-something-you-don’t-know grin walked past me. Twice. It also didn’t help that many Gary-ans own red Ford pickup trucks. So 12 minutes went by and a red Ford stopped at the intersection. I started to walk toward it and it drove away. Not Todd.

When Todd finally did arrive, he explained that there was some variety of latch on my vehicle which is not doing as it should i.e. latching. When I asked the mechanic how long it would be before a new latch could be put on my car, he explained that my car was a very “unique” vehicle. That is Auto-Shop-ese for:

“What were you thinking when you bought this thing?! Don’t you realize how impossible it is to find parts for the 2004 Grand Prix?! It’s probably the worst year of the vehicle you could have possible chosen because everything before 2003 was a different body shape and in 2005, Pontiac changed a bunch of the parts it used, your latch included. In other words, we have to find an identical 2004 Grand Prix. Moron.”

Auto-Shop-ese is an economical language.

No, my car would not be receiving the crucial latch until sometime tomorrow (i.e. today). A latch had been discovered in Michigan and was being FedExed to Gary. ETA 11:00 AM. These things happen, I guess. No point in getting too worked up about it.

Todd dropped me off at a very nice hotel. I know because it had an atrium which attempted to create the illusion of a tropical getaway. They played a $2.99 soundtrack of exotic animal noises (some of which people would find rather alarming in an actual tropical setting. Jaguars do not make soothing sounds). The pool was set in the middle of an artificial grotto complete with cascading waterfall, cabana awnings, plastic plants, two too-tiny hot tubs, and fiberglass rock formations which were exceedingly climbable despite the “NO CLIMBING” sign. Overlooking the tiny facsimile oasis was the Tiki Bar. Yes, this would do nicely. In a chintzy environment such as this, I could forget about latches AND Gary, Indiana. But first, food!

The restaurant in the hotel was an Irish pub. I had no idea Ireland was so jungle-ish. I must visit someday!

So after an evening of pampering myself and determining my SleepNumber (35), I awoke expecting to have my car waiting for me. It was not. The latch never arrived so they had to drive to somewhere to go get a different one.

So, here I sit. In a Starbucks. Waiting. My phone is turning itself off randomly. Indiana hates me. There’s no other way to dice this one. None.

3:52 PM: Huzzah! My car is ready. Allegedly.