24 hours in the early 1990s; Quotidian Weirdness

At 8 am yesterday I got a message from my friend about her car accident complete with three horrifying photos.

Messaging ensued between the three of us who were having lunch together.

Then I noticed the drain in my bathtub was beyond slow. I called a plumber. He said, “I hate to come out and charge you all that money when you might be able to fix it with Liquid Plumber. It’s very dangerous, but it will probably work. Bathtubs are usually hair and soap. And get a coat hanger. Stick that down in there and see if you can loosen the clog.”

Well, to give him credit, he was out here last month.

“Damn,” I thought. “I have to go to the store. But which store?”

I half decided to make the long trek to Alamosa where choices would be better. Got in the car, closed the garage door, and headed out.

In downtown Monte Vista I was rear-ended. I was stopped at a red light, fourth car back. A Dodge Ram clobbered me. I watched it in the rearview mirror as time did the slow down thing. I pulled over, turned on the flashers and got out.

It was a kid. 16, maybe 17, but a child. He was terrified.

“Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m fine, looks like my car is fine.” In California that means “So long! Lucky me!” And you drive away, exchange information if you want to but you probably don’t, especially if there is no way you are at fault (or for the very unethical, it’s a sure bet it was your fault).

Cars were coming and almost hitting his.

“Did you turn on your flashers?” I asked.

“Oh, I’d better,” he said. He was shaking.

“You’re in high school?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

I kind of laughed. “Listen, it’s all right. It’s really OK.”

“Did you see the guy behind me?”

I had. A guy in the midst of making a marginally legal left turn against a VERY orange light.

“I was trying to get out of his way.”

“I know,” I said. “It’s really OK.”

“Do you want to go see my dad? He has a body shop.”

There was no way out of this. I followed him to his dad’s shop. The dad was pissed/scared at/for his son. I said I didn’t care.

“You should let me fix it,” he said.

“How? It’s just two little divots in the plastic where the screws from his license plate hit my bumper.”

“Could I pay you?”

“Well, OK.”

“How’s $200?”

Honestly, I could use the money but no. I said, “You know, the truth is, I don’t care. I’m fine, your son is fine, his truck got more damage than my car did. You have a really great kid. I’m not in the least upset by this, but I might not be thinking clearly, either, so let’s talk in a couple of days.”

“I will call you,” he said. I think he thinks I would not even call.

We looked at the bumper on his son’s truck. It was kind of unhooked from its bracket and the hood was pushed down. Now we know what happens when a Dodge Ram tangles with a Ford Focus Hatchback. I wouldn’t have bet on my car, but there it is.

We exchanged info and I went to the store for three things: drain cleaner, milk and cream. The dairy department was completely torn up. It was being replaced. I had to ask for those at the cash register. The drain cleaner didn’t work. Things got worse.

Events reached a crescendo when I tried to call the plumber but the phone was dead. The internet was also down. I drove to the library to use their wifi and still the phone didn’t work. When the UPS guy came later he said, “No one’s phone is working, except ATT. Get ATT.”

That’s how things stand. I hope when I get up tomorrow and want to post this on my blog, it will be working.

And we are definitely between fall and summer. The mosquito truck is still spraying on Thursdays, but there’s a cold west wind.


Back online. The plumber showed up at my front door this morning after calling the number I called him from yesterday and learning it was the library. I don’t know if the phone is working, but I’ll probably find out.

Paltry problems compared to what thousands of others are going through today. Be safe everyone.


12 thoughts on “24 hours in the early 1990s; Quotidian Weirdness

  1. So I called the doctor instead of the vet and maybe you called the library instead of the plumber and who KNOWS what’s working anyhow? At least you didn’t get the library and explain all about your drain while they patiently listened. It’s the kind of thing that can keep you out of the library for years to come.

    I would not have bet on your Ford Focus either. Go figure.

    Sometimes, you need a LOT of Liquid Plumber — like two or three full bottles of it. Then the hot water. THEN the wire coat hanger. I’ve gotten really good at this particularly repulsive job. Yuck, blech. Amazing how hideous old hair and dead soap can look in the drain.

  2. Good gosh, Martha! You are OK? How is your friend from her accident? Please stay home. Walk the dogs. Let the car sit for a couple days….

    • I’m fine. My neck is a little stiff but like I’d been on a bumper car ride or something. My friend is fine. I went over and saw them today. They were very, very lucky, and so I was I because I like them very much and my life would be sorely diminished without them.

      I hope (assume) you’re somewhere safe and dry and above sea level?

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