Saturday, June 14, 2008

Whatever you do...don't mention the war....



Its been a long week. Its actually Saturday, so I have some other fun and excitingness from my day off with The Old Folks if I get to it, but this was Thursday's fun. (Note, this was written Saturday but I was in a cranky mood and didn't get it done and now its Tuesday. That's the rodeo, kids.)


First of all, it was hot. Now, its summer. That's to be expected. But here in the land of Winter Which Never Ends, we tend to have a sense of entitlement, as though bearing such a long season of frigid unpleasantness entitles us to a summer to dabble our toes in creeks while flowers bloom in the low humidity.


Instead, we had a weeklong heatwave in the upper 90s that has abated somewhat, leaving us clammy, chafed, and in danger of wildfires. We are not amused.


Yesterday I had some appointments in my extreme western coverage area. On those days it isn't unusual for me to drive more than 200 miles from place to place. I don't mind this anymore; it was an adjustment but now I just chew whole packs of Orbit and enjoy being alone with my soothing, pleasant, not at all obsessive thoughts.


Did I mention the A/C in the company car is broken?


After successfully maneuvering around the three detours along my route I was on final approach to my first appointment, a nearly three hour drive from home. Five minutes from my destination I drive through a rare pocket of actual cell service long enough for my phone to come alive. Of course, the customer, who badgered us for the first available appointment from the second she first called, has called to reschedule. Sick child. I call her and after refusing my polite begging to see me anyway because I'm so close (and I can hear the little bugger just talking his head off in the background so how sick is he really and what do I care, its not like he's going to do my taxes or something) she asks if I can come Saturday or Sunday. Um, no. We reschedule and I turn around to go BACK two counties to my other two appointments.


My second appointment is on a road so convoluted my map program failed me and I had to fall back on the county 911 readressing maps. I chose to come in from my direction of travel rather than off the main hardtop two lane. (An aside for those of you who live in civilization; I make the distinction 'hardtop' because not all the roads around here are paved, nor will they ever be. I got used to that right around the time I found and discarded the last empty Starbucks cup from under the seat in my car. )


Two miles into the hinters I see the 'No Winter Maintenance' sign. Slowly the road narrows until I am convinced that around the next bend it will simply end and my van will be surrounded by ninjas. I bottom out once. I swear a lot. I leave the cover of the forest and continue on dry dirt roads that afford the sensation of clapping erasers directly on your face for eight miles. Welcome to BFE. Population: You. But the addresses are finally creeping up toward the number I'm looking for. Occasionally, I pass someone who stares with the blank incomprehension of someone who has seen water buffalo crashing through the underbrush. I finally see the address I want and swing gratefully into the driveway. Inexplicably, I now have cell service.
I wish I had a funny story about the customer, but she was just your average cheerful German immigrant with a three story Bavarian chalet reproduction in the middle of nowhere that I chatted with on a terrace covered with flowers and hummingbirds. You know, the kind of thing one does every day. Though there were a couple awkward moments where we silently regarded framed photos of some of her family members. In military uniforms. *crickets*.
Just to set this clip up for you, Basil's had a nasty knock to the head. Its affecting his judgement. For those of you who have never seen it. What follows has been a favorite joke of my friends and I for a long time.


14 comments:

Alice said...

So what do you do exactly that you drive all over the state?

And yeah, it's been pleasant here now that that gross humidity is gone.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I am a surveyor for a moving company; its my job to walk through and count up how many boxes are needed and calculate the estimated weight of the shipment. Basically its a whole 'nother level of peeking in someone's medicine cabinet at a party, only I get to look in every cabinet, closet, and cupbord, and get paid for doing it. Its awesome.

Plus some people are nuuuuts and they are a lot of fun.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Sorry, that's 'cupboard'.

Anonymous said...

Oh...THOSE kind of Army uniforms. How very interesting....

So are they ever gonna fix your AC or do you need to go on strike first? And I would think that your company, with the price of gas being what it is, would charge folks now if appointments must be canceled less that 24 hrs in advance. Say something like a 50 buck charge.

DA

Kimberly said...

Yeah, the A/C is getting fixed, I just had so many appointments back to back they didn't have time to get it in to the shop. Of course, now that I have a few down days its been 65 degrees here. As for charging, I'm afraid we can't, it being the nature of this business and all.

And yeah, right? I was staring at the insignia and the collar of the uniforms thinking, gosh. That looks familiar. Oh.

Jonny's Mommy said...

That is one of the funniest scenes ever. totally loved that episode. I laughed so hard I almost...well, you know. Enough about pee, poop and boobs. I know. I know!

How come your life seems to interesting but you don't think it is?

Random Esquire said...

Ha! I loved "Eva Prawn."

I'm going to start saying, "That's the rodeo, kids."

JD at I Do Things said...

You have won my heart forever by posting a Fawlty Towers clip. This one is my second-favorite eppie, preceded by "Gourmet Night." Now I must go find that on YouTube...

JD at I Do Things

Jocelyn said...

Your work seems, strangely, to keep you in touch with the amazing variety of humanity...liars, sweethearts, chalet-owners, crazys, etc. I like that you catalogue them here!

Red said...

Your "Quiero Ser Sadato" comment on SYG was AWESOME! Es mi cancion de los Ramones favorito. P.S. Soy gringa, pero me gusta hablar espanol.

Diesel said...

Those wacky Germans!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Um, no A/C? That's a special form of torture that you quite simply don't deserve. Especially not if you spend all day in the car.

MadMad said...

Three hours from home? There's not a company closer that she could call?! Wow. And I thought living six miles from Boston was far....

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Eh, the A/C's getting fixed soon. Luckily after that heat wave its been pretty cool so it isn't too bad.

As for a place closer to home...no. This here top half of PA doesn't have a whole lot of anything and our coverage area is vast.