Monday, September 29, 2008

The End Of The Innocence

Another interesting day.

This morning I found our old carbon monoxide detector in a box in the garage. Being the impulsive disorganized ever-conscientious person that I am, I immediately found a home for it...heeding the warning of “not closer than 20 feet to the residential furnace” piece of random information that somehow infused itself permanently onto my already-overloaded-with-virtually-useless-information of a brain.

Within approximately ten minutes, the thing was shrieking…and I’m thinking “What the hell…?

Suddenly, I was convinced I felt a headache coming on and felt what I believed were the first stirrings of some kind of chronic inflammatory disease, as my muddled brain tried to recall everything I’d ever read about carbon monoxide poisoning.

My next thought was “Whom do I call? Is this, like, a 9-1-1 call? Or, is this an oil company call?”

This question (spoken aloud to the dog) was met with silence but I thought I detected a decided lean to his little doggy-walk….surely a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Before alerting the oil company, I had the foresight to run downstairs and check the family room for a detector….surely the previous people must’ve had one, right?


And it’s mute.

I rip it from the ceiling, sure that the batteries are completely DOA. I run back upstairs and test them in my handy-dandy Radio Shack battery-tester (no home should be without one of these things). All read fully charged.


Then I remembered that I had an unopened detector in the garage (don’t ask, ‘cause I honestly don’t know why), so I dug it out and threw fresh batteries in it. I even went so far as to place all three detectors next to each other and sat down to watch the show.

I know this does not surprise those of you that truly know me.

I figured that either the dog and I would pass out during this experiment, or we’d get to the bottom of it. Sure enough, the two battery-versions remained silent and my older (more expensive, I believe) plugged-in version began screaming in that ear-splitting way that detectors do.

At this point, that niggling headache hit the road and the threatened pelvic inflammatory disease was completely forgotten. The old detector found its way to the garbage and after an hour of quiet, I figured I was golden.

I headed out to get my car inspected, as today is the 29th of September…and I’d left myself a whopping 2-day window before being illegally on the road. This is actually pretty good for me.

I even remembered to bring my laptop, as I’d broken the 500 unopened email self-imposed “oh-God-I’ll-never-dig-out-of-this” limit in my inbox. I have to admit, I don’t think I even know 500 people and I’d like to go on record as saying that Macy’s really needs to scale the emails back a bit. Geez…I mean, I love seeing Clinton Kelly during primetime in a national teevee ad but last I checked, my bank account did not have enough to cover one week of his salary…so Macy’s is gonna need to find another means to drum up the funds needed to provide his paycheck.

You know I love you, Clinton….but I love my living expenses more.


I pull into the local car inspection/oil change/car wash place, conveniently located a mere ten minutes from my new abode. I pulled into the designated lane for those that are not looking to wash their cars and waited for the guy to inquire as to my needs. It went like this:

Him: “Hey.”

Me: “Hey.”

Him: (One eyebrow goes up)

Me: “Guess. C’mon….you can do it.”

Him: (Glances at inspection sticker) “Inspection….”

Me: “And…?”

Him: “…and….oil change?”

Me: (Smiles) “DING DING DING!!!”

Him: “Leave the keys in it. Go check in through that door.”
(Calls to other guy “Silver car is oil change and the all-day-deeluxe inspection.”)

Me: (Yelling without looking back) “Nooooo! I want the instant one! Just give me the stupid sticker…I’ll stick it on myself!”

As I enter the paying/waiting area, my gaze is met by two sets of surprised eyes, as the two women behind the counter say “Oh no, you didn’t just say that to him!”…and I’m realizing these people do not know me at all.

I roll my eyes and say “Fine…we’ll go the legal route…whatever.”

I then settled in with laptop and began reading and deleting…(actually much more of the latter). Fifteen minutes later, the guy returns:

He: “The car’s fine on inspection, except you’ve got a bulb out that illuminates your license plate. I can’t pass you without that bulb. I can replace it for ten bucks, or you can go buy one at the auto parts store for $2, but then you’ve gotta come back here for the inspection.”

And he smiles……

Da bastard!

I told him to do it…but not before we shared a meaningful look that said:

From him: “Don’t mess with the guy who inspects the car.”

And from me: “Duly noted.”

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