Monday, December 18, 2006

When you hate the food that comes from a pipe you will turn to drugs to help you sleep

I am buying my mother-in-law a book for Christmas. Barnes and Noble had to special-order it for me last week. The guy told me it would be in on Thursday so I gave them a call that morning. They told me they had until Friday to get it in, so I checked again on Friday morning. They told me that they were still unloading trucks and that it was probably there. So Friday at 3:00 pm I showed up at the store. They said they were STILL unloading and that it might be Monday before I could pick it up. That night I got an email saying I had 3-4 days to pick the book up so I went back on Sunday.

My wife and kids were going to wait in the car. I said, "This SHOULD be fast but it probably won't be." My wife asked, "Why not?" I said, "Because I will go inside and they will say they have the book but they can't find it and then I will have to stand there for half an hour while they try to figure out where it is. Blah, blah, blah." My wife started to get mad at me. She said, "You always do this. You always think something is going to go wrong before you even know. Just go get the book."

I came back out about half an hour later. My wife asked, "Did you get the book?" I said, "No. They said they got their shipment in but the book must not have been with it. They said maybe it would come in on a second part of the same shipment tomorrow and if not then they will have the book overnighted."

After that, my wife was quiet. I knew she was waiting for me to say I was right and she was wrong. Instead I said, "I don't act like this because I'm negative. I act like this because THIS IS MY LIFE. Everyday. Everyday and everything that can give me problems DOES give me problems. I'm not negative, I've just figured out the pattern."

And it is true. At least I just come to expect life this way. Like last weekend when I woke up, my wife always has plans to go places and run errands. So we were heading out to the Honda Odyssey. Huh, the keyless entry doesn't seem to be working. No, it appears the battery in the van is dead. OK, I will just push the van backwards a little bit and jumpstart it. Hmmm, apparently you cannot shift the transmission into neutral when the battery is dead. OK, I will just bring our other car really, really close and jump start it. Now let's just get these jumper cables hooked up. Why is the alarm to the van going off? Maybe it is something with the panic button. No, we've pushed all the lock and unlock buttons available and the alarm keeps blaring. Now who is this? A neighbor?

"COULD YOU TURN THIS ALARM OFF? I SUFFER FROM MIGRAINE HEADACHES AND THIS ALARM CUTS RIGHT THROUGH THE WALLS OF MY HOUSE..."

"That is what I'm trying to do."

"YOU SEE. I SUFFER FROM MIGRAINE HEADACHES AND..."

"I'm trying to turn it off."

All I could do was kill the battery again. The neightbor said "Thanks" and went home. But five minutes later I started the van again and drove through the nieghborhood with the alarm screaming. I drove it behind the elementary school to see if I could get it figured out. I wish I had a manual to the van. Eventually the alarm turned itself off but remained armed so anytime you lock or unlock or open or close a door it would go off again. So I tried to drive it to the Honda dealership with the alarm blaring but the dealership was closed. The alarm turned itself off again. I drove it home and managed to get out of the car without setting the alarm off by getting out through one of the rear doors.

I checked the chatboards online to see if there was a solution. There were a lot of people who had this problem but the only answer seemed to be to take it to the dealership and, even then, people had horror stories about the dealership just basically telling the owners they must be retarded and that it must be their fault. I checked a website that specializes in car alarms and they suggested that there may be a button under the dash that resets the alarm so I went outside to look.

This time, when I used the keyless entry to unlock the car I discovered the alarm had disarmed itself and now the car was normal again. Now that it was 6:00 pm, my day off was ready to begin. Except for the radio. Honda radios disable themselves when the battery supply is cut and you need a special code to reactivate it. When we bought our Honda Civic from the dealer he gave us a sticker with our code on it and said, "PUT THIS SOMEWHERE SAFE. DO NOT PUT IT IN THE GLOVE COMPARTMENT." After a day of driving the van with no stereo I said to my wife, "Look in the glove compartment (of the van) and tell me if there is a sticker with a number in there." "HERE IT IS," she said. Stereo functional again.

This Christmas is killing me because we don't have time to do anything. A couple of nights ago I pulled out some Christmas lights and plugged them in, knowing full well that I don't have the kind of life where you can plug in Christmas lights and expect them to light up. I need two strands of working lights. One strand worked and HALF of the other strand worked. I put them up anyway on the stairs to our porch. Lastnight I went to the store to buy another fully-lit strand to replace the half-lit strand with. The new lights don't turn on at all. I replaced the fuses in the lights and still, nothing. My wife prefers to hang lights with tape but of course they fell down the first night. I tried to put them back up with nails from a picture hanging kit. The nails fell out, too. I got a call today from Barnes and Noble telling me my book was there. I will see if that is true, as soon as I get a chance.

The $1000 ambulance bill, driving home in midnight snowstorms and a TV with a volume button that changes the channel are a nuisance. The little things are driving me batty. Day after day. Every single day. So if you cut me off in traffic and run a red light and slam into my car (for the 3rd time in 5 years) don't be surprised if some crazy bastard wants to hit you. Because being awake is swimming around in a lake of the undead. And the undead are like a bunch of friends who demand constant attention. But thinking of that will hurt my brain and I need my brain for later on. I need to get to work so I can relax with Britney Spears' cha cha while having the crap beat out of me by a bunch of sleeper sofas.

3 comments:

Native Minnow said...

but sleeping is a gateway drug to being awake!

Anonymous said...

Calgon, take me away...except the bottom of the tub would probably break and flood your basement... :) Actually, that would be one of the best Calgon commercials ever...

Sorry life sucks lately...

PMDahlgrenFamily said...

I still enjoy reading your blog. Sorry life is not going so well for you this holiday season! Tell Ethan and the rest of your family hello for me!

Mrs. Dahlgren