Thus, to get my 2 1/2 readers caught up, here are the matters I will broach in the next couple of weeks. I tell you so that you'll know, as well as to have a constant reminder to myself:
1. I was forced to purchase new tires for my truck.
2. The current presidential administration's socialist tendencies started to work for me.
3. Our refrigerator began an ugly, untimely demise.
4. My young bride found gainful employment.
I will begin with the story of my tires.
I started toward home one afternoon, after making a stop at Emerachem, the company which provided off and on temp employment for me in 2009/10. My buddy, Chuckles The Chemistry Clown, had a proposal for some possible weekend work he needed done, and -- being the sole breadwinner -- I was entertaining the possibility. After Chuckles, Tony and I hashed out some details, I mounted my truck and headed down I-40 in a westerly direction.
I had just passed under the Lovell Road bridge, when I heard a funny sound coming from the vehicle. After a couple of seconds, it was clear that one of my tires was flat, so I engaged my right turn signal and limped to the side of the westbound entrance ramp at Lovell, cursing the fact that I had a flat tire and no cell phone.
The lack of modern technology has been a point of pride with me for the last decade or so, and I crowed often that "I get into my truck to get away from the phone," but, just then, it wasn't really working for me. I am, however, fairly self-contained, and I know how to change a tire. What I didn't know was how to disengage the spare from beneath the truck. So, I read the instructions in my 18-year-old owner's manual that came with the vehicle, got my jack out, and let the spare down from the rear. About the time the tire reached the correct level, it occurred to me that this particular piece of equipment had never before seen daylight. The tire was the same age as the truck, and a victim of dry-rot.
However, cock-eyed optimist that I am, I filled the only sort'a solid tire with Fix-A Flat, and began removing the lugs from the flat at the left front. This is when I made another discovery. I could not remove the tire, no matter what I did. Push, pull, beg, reason; none of these things worked. And I still had no phone.
After about 45 minutes of struggle, I gave up, grabbed my glucose monitor, locked the truck and started up the entrance ramp to Lovell Road. I stopped at the first business that presented itself, Bojangle's. This is where my luck finally began to turn, somewhat. I went to the ordering line, which was empty, and explained to the guy behind the counter the edited version of my plight. He directed me to the left end of the counter, and handed the land-line receiver, which had dialing buttons on it. I called home, no answer. I called my young bride's cell, no answer.
I told the counter-guy that I was going to the men's room to clean up a bit (I had been crawling around under and beside the truck, of course), and if I could use the phone again when I returned, I would then order some dinner. He -- whom I judge to be in the same age-bracket as myself -- said, "No problem."
So, I got cleaned up as well as could be accomplished in a fast-food restroom, then sojourned back out, where counter-guy happily handed me the phone again. I got 'hold of my young bride this time. I explained the edited version again, and told her where she could find me. She was, at the time, in Sweetwater, and would drop off groceries at home, then rescue me from the situation. It might take a while.
There was food, my truck was locked, there was a roof, and I had my glucose monitor and my i-Pod. I got a cajun chicken sandwich, fries and a drink, plugged into Kathleen Madigan, and ate dinner. A while later, here came my Prius, and I finally started back toward home. When I got there, I discovered -- once again -- that I am stupid. I had left my monitor sitting on a chair in the restaurant.
The internet provided me the telephone number, and --lo and behold -- counter-guy answered the phone. I explained my new situation, and he said, "A diabetic kit? I've got it here, in the office." He should probably be a fireman.
I retrieved my kit the next morning (BTW, the country ham biscuits at Bojangle's are superior), and arranged to have my truck towed to Toyota of Knoxville for the installation of four new tires (they were, pretty much, shot), for which I paid with my VISA.
But that's a story involving our current president, and I don't want to give anything away. Until next time, keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and get a damn cell phone!