This is the extra steep stairway to the perms – a few times up and down these and my knees will hurt for the rest of the day. At least it’s got good handrails. Some of the stairways have old wooden handrails which throw off weapons-grade splinters – which, of course, renders said handrails useless.
I’d also like to apologize for the disappearing act – I’ve been having car problems.
Not normal car problems, but car problems so teeth-grindingly annoying that when the tow truck finally drops me off at home all I can manage to do is drop to my knees, shake my fist and scream a word so bad I’m actually afraid to type it.
The problem is that they can’t figure out what, exactly, is wrong with my car. It’s started dying for no reason and the mechanic determined that it was a bad fuel pump, which he replaced. The car ran fine for a couple of days and then died again – at a location 30 miles from my house. At 10 pm.
I had it towed to the mechanic (who was, of course, closed at 10 pm so I had to have the tow truck driver drop the car in a parking space in the street and push it in the next morning after they’d opened), who determined that they’d installed a bad fuel pump and put in another one.
The car ran fine for about a day, and then died again. At 2 am on the way home from work in the middle of a busy street. A kind policeman used the push bar on the front of his car to push me off to a side street and said pushbar tore off the rear bumper cover which might have really irritated me any other time but I was just too tired and beaten down to care.
Then, they decided that the aftermarket fuel pump was the problem and ordered one from the dealer.
The car went 20 miles before dying again, but at least this time it was during business hours. Okay, it died 40 minutes before the mechanic closed for the night, so I had to beg the auto club to get a tow truck there quickly and we barely made it.
At this point the mechanic sighed heavily and admitted that he hadn’t a clue what was wrong and was planning on opening the hood and replacing damn near everything he saw.
To date, they’ve replaced the fuel pump relay, the oil pressure sending something-or-other, a couple of other doodads and have scraped a shitload of carbon out of something called the EGR valve. At this point, he thinks he’s got it fixed, but he’s going to keep it and use it as his daily driver while I’m out of town in an effort to put this whole nasty mess behind us. For now. He’s a nice guy and he’s trying his best, so I really do hope that he doesn’t get stranded in bumfuck in the middle of the night.
My friends and co-workers have been well-meaning but spectacularly unhelpful in informing me that I need a new car.
Tell me something I don’t know.
I know with every fiber of my being that I need to buy another car. I know it every time I cross my fingers and hope I’m going to get home. I know it every time I get stranded in some gas station parking lot in the middle of the night. I know it when I walk into the rental car place and the guys that work there greet me by name.
The problem is that until our friends at SAG get this strike business resolved, I can’t afford to buy anything more involved than groceries.
If the actors walk and I’m out of work for another four months, I’m going to be so broke I’m going to have to put McNuggets on layaway, so buying a car right now is completely out of the question.
I have to work tomorrow and the rental places are all out of cars (fucking holidays), so I’ve got to hitch a ride with a co-worker, which I hate because I always feel like I’m putting someone out.
The lack of car has foiled my plans to overeat at a few holiday parties Sunday, but on the bright side it gave me an excuse to turn down an invite to a screening of a truly dreadful movie.