May 19, 2005

Childlike or childish?

Long night last night--church, then back home, dunk Cat in the tub with the promise that I would read her a story after I got home from the GROCERY STORE. Nine pee-em, and I'm headed back out to pick up vittles so we can have supper tonight. But before I do that, I have to look at Reba's car--customer complaining of lack of A/C cooling, power loss. Thinks power loss might be low transmission fluid. ::sigh::

Went out and in the pitch black of the driveway cranked it up and saw the first problem with the air conditioning. Reba has a bad habit of putting the vent control on the spot that makes it blow on the floor and through the dash. When only half of the air gets up in the top of the cabin, it certainly can feel like it's not putting out the cold. Switched that to the dash vent. Air coming out is ice cold. Problem one solved (although my later explanation to her of why was met with puzzlement and a denial that she had moved the knob. Instructed customer to not touch the knob, and check it frequently for movement from intended position.)

Next, the trans fluid. Basically, I knew what I was going to find. She reports power loss, going UP THE STEEP HILL to our neighborhood, with the car filled with FIVE PASSENGERS. Sure, it's peppy, but any little 110 horse box is going to feel sluggish in conditions like that (and with the A/C on.) But she said it felt like it was slipping or something, so I obliged with a check underhood. Got my big flashlight, popped the hood, propped it open, grabbed the dipstick, wipe, insert, observe. Full. Wipe, insert--"Do you need some help?!" AHHGHHHH!

Scared me witless. The young guy from next door had come up, and with the engine running and a total absorption in the task at hand, I hadn't noticed him until he was right beside me. I told him he nearly scared me to death--I think he thought I was mad at him or something, but I thanked him for coming by and told him I was just checking the transmission fluid. In the dark. When most people are about ready to watch the news and go to bed.

Wipe again and insert, observe. Full. Wipe once more, insert once more, observe once more. Well, the thing's full. Customer advised that trans fluid is at recommended level.

Then on to the store--you know those bagged salad kits? I found out that they sell the pieces to those things, and you can make your own salad! Who knew?! Lettuce, mustard, worcestershire sauce, ground beef, Diet Coke, more stuff. Pay, home, unload. Find Cat in bed, with book, lights on, asleep. Poor pooter. Kissed her and turned off the light, made the rounds of other children to see what stage of getting into bed they were in, went back downstairs to do some dirty laundry. Really, REALLY dirty.

I had a pang of deep guilt for all the messy dirty towels and such I'd left stacked in the garage from my recent Volvo-primping session, and I thought I really needed to clean them. Went out, got them and walked back to the laundry room with them without closing the garage door, got them put in with tons of soap and hot water and Shout, and then went to close the door to the garage.

Cat's scooter was there, leaned up against the ladder. I turned the light off, and was about to turn around, but something about the shiny clean look of it, and her extreme joy in playing with it made me wonder.

Should I?

I mean, I might break it. I do weigh more than an eight year old, you know.

But, if I broke it, I would get her another one.

But, still, that's not really the right thing to do. She loves her little scooter and would be angry if I hurt it.

But, if I maybe move to the very front, and maybe don't go far...

I grabbed it and placed my foot on the front, right by the handlebar tube, and pushed off across the kitchen floor. Smooooooth. And quiet. All the way to the doorway to the den. Turn, step, gliiiiiiiiiide. Man, I wish I'd had one of these as a kid. Once more! Turn, step, skimmmmmm. Turn around at the kitchen table, and back to the back door. Boy, that was fun.

I quietly put the scooter back out by the ladder, just as it was before.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 19, 2005 10:25 AM

Congrats on the instalanche. Now if only Lileks would come over and comment, now THAT would be something.

Awww, ya big kid, go ahead and buy a scooter for yourself so you can have some fun with Cat. Be sure to "accessorize" it with a Mercedes hood ornament, dual exhaust and faux diesel fume streaks. And fuzzy dice.

Posted by: MarcV at May 19, 2005 11:22 AM

Possumblog is one of my must-read stops every day. Terry's warm and loving homelife serves as a model for my own, and his pithy, entertaining writing style is something I could only wish to be able to emulate. I just wish there were a line of Possumblog figurines that I could collect instead of the Simpsons.

[*Not actually James Lileks]

Posted by: James Lileks* at May 19, 2005 11:35 AM

Oh, Marc, James*, you two stop going on like that or I'll start blushing.

As for the scooter, since I had to pass on the Merc, I will have to lade it with Volvo badges and moose stickers.

[*Not really James Lileks.]

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 19, 2005 11:37 AM

Hmmm, sounds like you might be ready to swing with the big boys (and girls). Drop me a line sometime, darlin', we could use your unique POV.



Posted by: Ariana at May 19, 2005 01:50 PM