So far this has been a better year for me despite the National Disaster known as the U.S. Government. I am thankful that we're not in a war, that the economy hasn't been obliterated, and that people aren't fleeing en masse for foreign shores, but let me try to think of positive things to be thankful for.
2. JMS Books - I think their agreeing to re-publish my work and my non-Gavin Atlas work has made a huge difference in my mood.
3. Daria - She's a really good friend even if I haven't seen her since about 2010 or so.
4. All the utility people who helped restore power during Hurricane Harvey. Emergency workers, first responders, med techs.
5. John's house - I don't like living in the surburbs, but it's comfy. It's big enough to have John's dad stay here for months without really big issues.
6. Stuff from my trip w/ my mom. - Lake Bled in Slovenia, the port in Malta, the harbor in Montenegro, the city of Mostar, Bosnia, and getting to see Albania - a country that was not possible to visit when I was a kid. Crazy and amazing.
7. my parents - glad they are healthy and happy to have us over for Thanksgiving
8. K - glad I still make her laugh
9. my doc. He's really awesome.
10. the fun time I had w/ John in Portland, Oregon. :)
...try the ridiculous. I PROMISE YOU this has worked twice.
Monday. Headed home from my mom's house and stopped by Walgreen's to get a prescription. When I tried to leave, my car would not start. This is not infrequent over the last few months and the main reason I need a new vehicle after 18 years. After a bunch more attempts, I thought about calling AAA, but more than once this year, the car started without them needing to do anything besides turning the key.
1) Go away for a length of time that would be reasonable for a mechanic to show up. For example, ask Walgreen's to give you a flu shot since you happen to have more free time than expected.
2) Come back to your car, whistling innocently, and perhaps mutter in a voice deeper than your own "What seems to be the problem?"
3) Continue to pretend to be an expert who can easily make the car's owner look like an idiot by suavely putting the key in the ignition, turning, and
HAH! Car. I got you! You started, you sneak!
True story. And I did it once before. I'm sure there's some sensible automotive motive for the car's behavior, but since I don't know it, I'll go with "My car is a mischief maker."
Also, I'm going to need a character to do this at some point.
My mom says I'm not remembering this 100% accurately, but it's pretty close. So for all intents and purposes, here is one of the silliest non-fiction stories I know.
Scene: May 1991. A bus tour around the UK, first night at a hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mom stopped by my room to drop off laundry soap, and the door's locking mechanism broke. We could not get out.
I called down to the front desk....
Me: Hi, this is room 309. We're apparently locked in. The key card was giving me trouble before, but now the lock seems to have given out completely.
Front desk: No problem at all. We'll send someone right up.
(Three minutes later, a knock on the door)
Fix-it Man: Em, hello? So you got in your room all right, then?
Me: No, see, we can't get out. It won't open.
Fix-it Man: What? Oh! I thought you were locked out. (Tries to key-card the door. Won't open. Tries again. Jiggles handle.) Goodness, you certainly are locked in. Let's see now. (More jiggling and tinkering sounds). Well. I'm not sure I can fix it from this side. Be back in a jiffy.
Mom: He's not sure he can fix it? Will he have to break down the door?
(10 minutes later, there's a tapping sound at the window. It had to have been a bird because this was the third floor. The hotel couldn’t possibly have had that big a ladder. We pulled back the drapes. There was the repairman.)
Fix-it Man: Why, hello! Terribly sorry to pop in on you this way. May I have a look at your door?
(Meanwhile, my mom called my dad back in their room since he must have been wondering where she was. A minute later there was a knock at the door.)
Mom: Hi! We're fine.
Dad: So you did get in? I thought you couldn't. (Jiggles door handle.)
Mom: No, getting in wasn't the problem. How could I call you from this room if we couldn't get in? We can't get out. (mumbles) He never listens.
Fix-it Man: Och, men! We're all like that, aren't we?
Dad: You're locked in? (More door jiggling.) What? That doesn't make sense.
Fix-it Man: (to Mom) Common misconception, isn't it?
Mom: Radhe, we have a repairman if you need proof.
Fix-it Man: She's not avoiding you, good sir! I'll have her back to you in a mo'.
Dad: A repairman? Well, how did he get in?
(Mom explains. Fix-it Man uses the room phone to call down to the front desk asking for a specific type of screwdriver to be brought up. Five minutes later, there's a knock on the door.)
Young lady: I have the screwdriver.
Fix-it Man: Oh! Em, thank you. But did I mention the door wasn't opening?
Young lady: Oh, you did. I thought you were all locked out. But then how did you get in?
Fix-it Man: Well, the room is equipped with a window.
Young lady: Oh, quite right.
Fix-it Man: Then could you be a love and bring 'round that screwdriver?
Young lady: Certainly. Of course.
(Three minutes later, another knock on the window)
Young lady: So sorry, may I come in? (If memory serves, she managed the ladder in heels.)
(A few minutes go by, and the new screwdriver hasn't helped. The fix-it man gets back on the phone.)
Fix-it Man: (Speaking into the phone) I'm afraid I'm going to need to cut around the lock if we're to free our prisoners, but I wanted permission before I started with the saw. (There’s a pause and then the repairman hangs up.) Right. The manager says to carry on and break you out. On we go. Freedom will soon be ours.
(Two minutes later, yet another knock on the window. A man in a suit has appeared.)
Man in a suit: Hello! Terribly sorry to bother you. I'm the manager, and normally we don't check in with our guests via the window, but I wanted to apologize for this inconvenience. Are you quite all right in here?
* * *
So...the minor trouble of having to switch rooms resulted in one of the fanciest dinners we've ever had, compliments of this very nice hotel and a misbehaving door lock.