This week: Life with a Geriatric SUV Edited by: Ẃeβ࿚ẂỉԎḈĥMAS
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Dear Sweet, Ruby, you just passed a safety inspection! Now I'm stuck in a town in New York that sounds like it's named after a lobster dish.
|Hello folks, welcome to another edition of the Comedy Newsletter. This newsletter is a combination of Oh, No’s and humor, borderline hysteria I should say. However, whenever WebWitch is involved, crazy, unexpected things happen. And, when they happen it always ends up being material for my Comedy Newsletter. |
It's always stressful trying to close the Northern Command Center and head to the Southern Command Center for the winter. There's just so much to do. 'Tis the life of a snowbird. At least it's what this snowbird does because driving is preferred over flying and shipping the car, most of the time. This time maybe a fly down with a car shipping would have been ideal? No. The problem would have eventually caught up to me and needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Along with the stress of making sure everything is set for the plumber to winterize the old money pit so no pipes freeze, I had to be sure everything important was packed in Ruby, just in case.
"WebWitch, why are you packing these can goods of tuna, and beans? There are some can goods in Florida."
"Just in case, Web-Lock. These are emergency supplies."
"I don't think we need more than we usually travel with and it weighs down the vacuum bag and might not stay as tight as they usually tend to be."
"I just have a feeling I need to take it along."
On the road, I do a mental check of everything in the car before leaving the town. All was accounted for, at least in my mind's eye, which lives in a very imaginative world.
Everything was moving along at a good pace. We got to our first rest stop in New York, taking turns one of us going in first to use the restroom then the other. I came back to the car and saw these flashing amber colored lights in the back of the car.
"WW, remember those garden flame-looking lanterns you didn't want to leave up North all winter under the snow?"
"Oh, my gosh, the solar lamps!"
I threw them into a clear plastic container right as we were leaving and forgot they'd been exposed to sunlight for a good amount of time! I went to the trunk and grabbed one of my emergency black contractor bags I brought along and tossed the lamps inside and buried them upside down in the back of the car. Phew! One crazy crises that would have got us pulled over, nipped in the bud.
All was good for a while of traveling until Ruby started making grinding, vibrating noises. At first we questioned the pavement causes the roughness of the drive, but then I heard Ruby crying out in urgency. I asked WL to pull into next rest stop or gas station exit. Thankfully a couple miles down the road there was a gas station with a convenience store. The pavement there was smooth and the car was still driving rough so I knew AAA was in my future.
I asked the cashier what town we were in. He told me Modena NY and printed out the address on a receipt to tell AAA.
Now picture this, it's a Sunday evening, repair shops are closed. I place a call to AAA and a recording asks me if I'm calling from Massachusetts. I said "no." They asked for a state, I said "New York" "Did I want to hang up and save time by doing it online since all available agents are busy helping others? "No!" Folks, I wasn't hanging up that phone until a human came on. And actually, one responded within a minute after disposing of the bot since I was doing an out of my state call. I was told if the car's making noise the service guy can't do anything but bring gasoline, or jump start a battery. All other problems require a tow to a service shop.
I thanked her and then asked about towing the passengers as well.
"Oh, I'm sorry, there's only room for one other person in the tow truck and that's discretionary, the driver can refuse."
"Ma'am, I'm in the middle of nowhere. My car is packed to the gills because I'm a snowbird heading to Florida. There's no way an Uber driver can fit all this stuff and get a couple passengers to a hotel we don't know of, somewhere close to where ever the car will be towed. I said I'd need to find the first hotel I could and then call back for a tow once I have a place to stay, since the shops are closed until Monday."
"Okay, call us as soon as you get to a hotel. Don't drive too far if your car's making noise. Please stay safe out there."
The French Connection:
After I hung up I got out of the car to use their restroom. A French Canadian trucker came along and saw we were in distress. I described the noise and tried to bring back my years of French classes in Parochial school to listen to what he was saying. Of course I understood clearly when he pointed to the right front wheel. I believe he was trying to say a bearing or brake issue. I said, "At least the tires are new!"
I got back into the car and called my son. I asked if he could hear the rough idling of the engine and should I take a chance and drive her a few miles or so to find a hotel. He said one thing that eased my mind, "Mom, if the car is making noise idling, and the wheels aren't rotating, it's most likely not a wheel issue, it's probably something in the engine or a connection to it." And then he about any oil leaks I can see. That was a frightening thought, because a car vibrating like that could be due to oil depletion and the resulting thrown rod through the engine. Now that's something I do know about engines having myself thrown a rod in my youth.
With the oil check out of the way, he said drive to the closest hotel and get her towed. It was a necessary chance we needed to take. Inaction wasn't going to work.
We drove slower staying in the right lane and close to the breakdown lane just in case something went awry. Wouldn't want anyone around me hurt due to some flying wheel or exploding engine guts! Although the speed we were traveling did get some attention. I don't think it was a smile and a wave, either. Got to love those New Yorkers when they see Mass plates. It's all about Red Sox vs Yankees, folks. The rivalry is real. And the funny part is I'm a Yankees fan. But how would they know that?
A Town named after a Lobster Dish:
About three miles up the road in a place called Newburgh, the I-84 exit showed up. Perfect! We planned on picking up 84 and heading to PA. Hotel signs were showing and we exited. The exit was curvy and Ruby complained even louder with her nasty noises. However, we did make it into the hotel parking lot and I told the desk clerk that it may be for more than one night and that AAA was coming to tow the car.
hat car we had just been packed merely hours earlier was getting completely unpacked. Everything was staying at the hotel. I had prepared meals ahead of time, had a microwave, lots of adult beverages and ready for all of it, and I Iet my son know I was safe. Then the waiting game began. A couple hours later Carlos, the tow truck driver showed up to take Ruby away.
Oh, Carlos, what have you done?
I met Carlos and showed him my ID. He looked at it then looked at me. I jumped right in and said. "I look much better in persons!" Then Carlos mumbled something I didn't expect, he said, "No, no, no!"
I knew he was not English first language and was trying to express that my driver's license photo was not bad. So, he opened the door for some witchy responses.
"Oh, so you're saying I'm uglier than my driver's license photo? Nobody's that ugly. Gee, thanks. Now, you've taken a perfectly horrible evening and turned it into something even more terrible than even I could imagine. I, am uglier than my DL photo!"
"No, no, that's not what I meant. I meant that the photo is fine and you are a lovely woman. You look good in both."
"Too late, Carlos, the truth is out there now. I am a beast and even my precious SUV, Ruby can't wait to escape me. I'll remember you, dear Carlos as I take notes for future reference."
Please, lady, I meant no disrespect. By the way, what do you take notes for?"
I take notes because I'm a writer. Also, I edit a comedy newsletter coming out next week. I'll be sure to include you and the insults thrown at me."
By now, Carlos started to see the humor in my words and knew he was being set up as material for the newsletter. He started laughing along so loudly with me that the hotel desk staff came to the lobby door to watch and laugh along with us.
There was something I didn't notice when he arrived, another person in the tow truck with him. Carlos went over to the passenger and asked him to come outside to meet the crazy lady. A visibly nervous man was standing before me. Carlos said "This is my friend, Xavier."
"Hello, Xavier." Then I turned to Carlos and asked, "What does your friend do?"
Carlos said, "He doesn't do anything."
"Wait a minute. You're friend comes along to help you, but he doesn't do anything. And you -- you insult me by telling me I'm uglier than my DL photo. I ask you, what good are both of you in a service industry?"
Carlos says to his friend, you see, you see, she's a funny lady!" By now, even shy Xavier was laughing.
Carlos had Ruby loaded up on the tow truck and was ready to part when I called out to him. He stuck his head out the window and I said, "Carlos, be gentle with Ruby. And don't touch her anywhere you shouldn't be touching her!"
That was taken in the good humor it was offered, folks. I knew I wouldn't hear anything about Ruby's issues until Monday, a regular work day. I called the service garage and asked them about her. I was told one of the mechanics called in sick and Ruby was lined-up for an examination the next day.
I prepared s fine dinner with the help of a hotel microwave and my great talent as a cook. "Now, Web-Lock, do you question my packing of emergency food supplies?"
That didn't need answering. Always be prepared is my motto.Later the next day the shop called and said my car was ready. It was an engine coil and spar plugs. Why my mechanic didn't think of checking those things when Ruby was brought in for a wellness check along with any safety issues to prepare her for the trip, is beyond me. However, my son was right about it being an issue affecting the engine, not the brakes or wheels.
Let it snow!
Since the car was returned to me too late in the day on Tuesday to get a start back on the road before dark, I decided it would be better to wait until Wednesday to get an early start and keep on driving a good distance to make up for three nights of waiting.That night it began to snow. I was actually thrilled to see the snow before leaving winter weather behind me. I watch the snow falling gently upon Ruby outside the window. It looked beautiful in the parking lot light. I felt a great joy at having "visited" snow before getting into the tropics.
The next morning the rest of the car packing that wasn't done the previous night got done. The car needed scraping off of snow. Then I heard words that resonated into my room from the parking lot. It wasn't sweet words or even words of the extra labor of trying to clean off a windshield with no devices to such as a brush and scraper for winter weather; it was words that cannot be stated here in this newsletter. I soon found out the issue when getting into the car with wet seats!
"Oh, yes, that's right Web-Lock! The AAA service station said the sunroof leaks and that's why the ABS service light went on. The light is defective due to the wetness, and the sunroof should get sealed as soon as possible in Florida."
We arrived in Florida on Friday afternoon. It was so good to be back in the Southern Command Center for the upcoming winter. That folks, was the cause of all my woes on the road for this trip Southbound. Thankfully no other problems arose. Home, sweet home, Florida!
But wait! There's more!
P.S. The day after returning home, WL needed to pick up something at the pharmacy. I stayed behind doing the unpacking and setting up the Thankful-Thanksgiving tree which would be converted to holiday decorations for Christmas once Thanksgiving was over. My phone started ringing. I don't answer the phone unless I'm expecting a call from a company that has an 800 number. So, I dismissed the call. A couple minutes later the phone rang again and I dismissed again. Immediately after that it rang, this time it was from a Maryland number. I don't know anybody in Maryland. This went on three times in a row. Hey, I'm no dummy! Robo calls are not that persistent in dialing in a row, so I answered it. A very nice woman said she was calling for WL, who ran out of gas, is deaf, has no way to reach me and could I please call AAA to bring gas?
And that's a Ruby-Dooby, doooo, wrap for this edition of the Comedy Newsletter.
Have a wonderful, safe and blessed Thanksgiving with loved ones. And keep your car seat dry and your bar wet!
Until next time--laugh hard, laugh often!
| ||Of Cows & Cars (E)|
The 15 mile country drive that taught this Dallas gal to think twice in Canyon.
#2159105 by Krista
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(((WW))) Great Newsletter, as always! We dumped Direct TV in 2015 and have never missed it. They used to mail us reconnect offers every week or so. We changed because of an arbitrary price increase. When we had the opportunities in hotels and at other people's houses, we didn't enjoy anything but streaming.
We have amazon prime, Netflix, Acorn, Paramount Plus and Britbox for the streaming and that works fine.
Good luck with leaving Dish!!!
Thank you for including my short Story, The Night Halloween Became Real, in your Editor's Picks.
As regards the television, Andrea and I have relied on a Roku streaming stick for years now. Not only is it more fun paying less for content, but we have access to an enormous range of programming, including the usual cable and satellite channels. The remote tends to eat batteries, it's true. But that's a minor thing compared to being trapped by the major service providers.
Thank you Hooves and Beholden! You both get an MB for sharing your choices for disconnecting from Cable, Dish and other major service providers!
These were exactly the ideas I was looking for to unplug from Dish.
Thanks for featuring my story, "Hallowe'en Horror".
You're very welcome!
See you next month, folks!
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