Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The MIL & The Tortoise

Well, the breakdown of machinery continues around the big house. Oh, it’s loads of fun having one thing repaired only to have something else go “kaput”. It’s as thrilling as a red ant enema.

My truck Roxy was in the shop when I had to pick up some prescriptions and groceries. So, I took the Taurus that the MIL has been driving. It’s pretty much her car, but since she rarely leaves the house it’s up for grabs for anyone that needs a vehicle to drive.

For me, it’s not that fun to get in and out of. For a man of my girth, it’s like crawling in and out of a fox’s den. It drives good, but the windows can’t be used right now. Why?

Because we didn’t have the good sense to tell the MIL about the switch that keeps windows locked. The switch is just past where the elbow naturally rests on the armrest. So, when she was out and about picking up prescriptions, electronic smoking devices, “Linda-Ritas”, and cheap little bottles of Sutter Home wine she rolled her window down and apparently triggered the window lock switch with her elbow. So, when the “up” button didn’t work, what did she do?

She did what any old lady with a lack of working knowledge of what her vehicle does… She wrestled it like that bear and Leonardo DiCaprio in the film ‘The Revenant’. My wife and I got a kick out of thinking about the MIL getting out of the car and wrestling that window with nothing to show except for a window pulled out of its track and sweaty clothing.

I pulled off all the interior to see if I could get it back on track myself, but there were some cross panels that hindered my progress. Instead of messing something up that I don’t completely understand, I gave up. I had the window in a fixed position and decided to unplug the electronics to keep her from doing it again. So, she can’t go in drive-thrus.

But last week when I was out fetching my prescriptions, I noticed an issue when I got to one of my two destinations. Steam was rising from the passenger side of the hood. If NASCAR has taught me anything, rising steam from an engine is not a good thing. I checked under the hood only to find out that figuring it out on my own wasn’t going to happen. I called Bait for a hand and he came running with some water. We got it back home and from the smells, he pinpointed the problem as a busted water pump. So yeah, just another piece of machinery that has decided to cause us problems all at once.

But there was some good news… My truck Roxy was ready to be picked up!

I took the “Tortoise” to our mechanic yesterday with the MIL giving me a hand. She FLAT OUT refused to drive my wife’s Honda CR-V. She didn’t want the responsibility of driving the newest car in our stable. I didn’t want her driving the “Tortoise” because if it were to have problems in transport, I thought she’d go off the rails into a panic. After all, this is a woman that panicked after bumping into a car in a CVS parking lot.

Yep, she hit a parked car with someone in it. She backed up and, in a panic, got out of the car before putting it into park. The “Tortoise” backed right into a truck as she’s desperately trying to get back in to stop it. Thankfully, the “Tortoise” only hit the trailer hitch and there was no damage. And when I arrived on the scene from 4 blocks down the road, she was visibly in a panic.

The incident is referred to as the CVS Demolition Derby here around the ‘hood.

But she managed to get it to the mechanics shop without any issues that would cause panic to overtake her.

I finally got a glimpse of her driving, and it wasn’t great. My stepsons have told me a few things and I thought they were exaggerating. Well… They weren’t exaggerating. The MIL loves to hug that yellow line and spent about 30% of the drive on or over it on the way to Hire’s Automotive about 5 miles away. Her speed was erratic as well. It kept varying between 5 MPH to 15 MPH under the posted speed limit. She never got anywhere close to the posted speed limit.

When we got into the entrance she just stopped. I had to pull the CR-V in sideways behind her to get out of everyone’s way on Highway 150. I’m in the car shouting, “What are you doing?! Why aren’t you driving in?!”

She was making hand gestures as I’m hitting the horn in order to prod her into moving forward. Then she appeared to be getting out of the “Tortoise” so I hit the horn again. That worked! She moved forward, got into the lot, and parked the car.

For some reason, the pallet factory right next door was confusing her. She thought we were pulling into their lot. So yeah, I lost a small clump of hair dealing with that.

If I ever have to ride with her, I’m going to be rich! I’ll stick a lump of coal between my butt cheeks and by the time we get to our destination, the pressure from all the clenching will produce a large diamond.

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