Feeling a little nervous here
Posted by Euroranger on September 16, 2009
So far my blog has several posts that keep touching on really detestable subject matter. Politics, race, 9/11, the United Nations, child abuse, rednecks and Ohio State (first time I’ve EVER cheered for USC to beat someone). Surely a more repellent series of conversational subjects has never been assembled. It’s depressing and really a buzzkill. Let’s switch to something we can all agree on: religion. Oh, I know, religion is a very controversial subject. Protestants against Catholics, Jews against Muslims, Deists versus atheists, sane folk versus Scientology, everyone versus Moonies. This time though, I believe I’ve dug up a religious-affiliated subject that everyone can agree on. A subject we can all come together and nod en masse over. A point of religious faith so absolute and concrete in its nature that it’s patently insulting to even refer to it as faith. It’s more a more established doctrine like science…perhaps it could be called “Faithience”.
Naturally, I refer to the established article of existential fact that God (not just my God…almost certainly, your God too) hates Euroranger. This is not a moment of self pity. Not a moment of weak self-indulgent moaning over my mischance. No, dear reader, this is a recitation of the past several days happenings in and around my afflicted life and the resultant introspection (and maybe a little self-indulgent moaning inspired illumination). This is the collected list of miseries visited upon me over the past seven days by a vengeful and spiteful omnipotent deity who, if he/she/it felt like it, could probably put me out of my languishing distress with but one well placed arc of heaven-sent lightning…if it didn’t mean I might die from it and therefore deprive this all-powerful treacherous ill-humored being of its obvious amusement. The supernatural architect of my continued low-level suffering is magnificent in its sublime manipulation of events that continually caress my very existence much as an alcohol bath in a stucco bathtub would be. However, as of late, it has gotten sloppy and revealed itself to be petulant and spiteful…enough so that I can now discern its designs on my well being. I’m not sure that’s a mistake mind you. I sometimes think it likes knowing that I know…so I get all jumpy and anticipatory for the next shoe to drop. Mind you, I had no idea anything wore so many shoes but I doubt nothing anymore.
Let’s start with last Tuesday. It was seven days ago today that I discovered my old cell phone had grown legs and disappeared. Things disappearing in this house is a pretty regular occurrence actually. I am the proud owner of dozens of half pairs of socks (half pairs meaning “one” of course). I am equally the proud owner of several half pairs of shoes. I am an avid reader and own several book series. I discovered book 3 in a 6 part series the other day is now AWOL. These are books without pictures (of no interest to my children) and are alternate reality (of no interest to Mrs. Ranger) and are nerdy enough even to me (of no interest to any random non brain damaged stranger who might gain entrance to my home). They all sat in a row on my bookshelf: volumes 1 through 6. As I look at the bookshelf now, 3 is missing and there is no telltale gap. No, the books are jammed in there tightly together yet there is no 3. I only actually discovered this as I had just finished reading 1 and 2 over the intervening weeks…so I was all ready to read 3 only to be vexed by its mysterious absence. However, while the missing book is annoying in itself (can’t finish a story I already started), the cell phone is a complete bafflement. It was only recently retired in favor of my new phone but this phone was one of those cheapy pay-as-you-go things and it still had around 3 months of airtime left and I had determined that I would leave it in the truck in case of emergency. Even if the time ran out on it, I can power it up, whip out my credit card and buy time right there on the spot so I can make a call if needed. A very handy little thing to have indeed. So, it was bound for the glovebox of the truck until I found it missing from my desk drawer. Or most of it anyway. You see, the back plate (the part covering the battery and sim card) was still in my desk but the rest of the phone was gone. I immediately suspected my daughter (9 years old and a real life level 3 thief…a thief in name but isn’t very good at it and frequently gets caught). However, she has practically no access to my desk, didn’t know it was in there, didn’t know I had retired it…and, well, I have no proof so I had to let her out of “the pit” after 3 days of her not breaking. So now I have just a phone back and no phone.
On we go to last Wednesday, and I am starting to give up the search for my missing book. I have turned the house upside down (which to me means I walked aimlessly from room to room waiting for the reclusive book to leap out and bite me as I wandered past) and decided that I wasn’t going to play its game so I gave up. I am an excellent giver-upper and my give-up skills are L337. All ph34R my L337 give-up sk33lz such that I’ve been mistaken for having a southern French accent on more than one occasion. So, now that my next book is gone and lamented, I decide that I must turn to another of my distractions to take up the slack of my time lest I use it to useful and productive purposes. I turn to my old standby: television. Television never lets me down. Television is always there in a pinch to vanquish any silly thoughts of productive downtime. However, as my impeccable grasp of southern French would allow me to say “au contraire” (French for “nuh uh”) I found to my horror that despite our owning 3 televisions, only 1 is actually getting a signal from our satellite dish. Up til around last Tuesday, all 3 were functioning just fine. I recall this with clarity as I watched and remarked upon the oddity of witnessing zombie BILLY MAYS hawking the Awesome Auger on TV and wondering aloud if they dug his coffin socket with one. I then wondered what his wife and children thought of people still trying to make a buck selling those pieces of crap and using the recently departed BILLY MAYS to hawk them and a second one for FREE…just pay shipping and handling. Must be surreal seeing the guy on TV and knowing that, even though he’s worm food now, your house will never stop echoing from his shouting as long as you have a functioning television. Anyway, with book gone, I am down to 1 functioning television…and I have 2 children and a wife. Between the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and whatever hellspawned network it is that airs Real Housewives of Atlanta I cannot avoid viewing a program that is apparently designed to make me look on suicide in a favorable light. Television has effectively abandoned me as I cannot seem to figure out how to make the two stubbornly unconscious TVs come, lazarus-like, back to life. This brings me to my next afflicted device: my cordless phones.
They don’t work. They USED to work but now the only place they work is if we step toward the bay window in our front living room or physically out into the front yard. The same is happening to our cell phones as well. It’s as though a no phone zone has been declared at my house. The cordless nature of the phones is important as the televisions which will require my standing in front of whilst I talk to the nice girl from Dish network who will ask me a series of approximately every inane question known to man are only reached by a cordless device. The one nearest my desk phone which is corded…that one works fine. Naturally.
This brings us to this past Thursday. On school nights my children go to bed somewhere between 8 and 8:30. Which means after I fasten the last velcro restraint tuck them in, I can go watch television or a DVD. Last Thursday I sat down to do precisely that. I had that Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness (yep, irony of the title isn’t lost on me either) and had started to watch when I decided I wanted some kind of snack. At emergency snack times like these, Euroranger reaches for the microwave popcorn. A light delicious relatively low calorie snack that has the added benefit of ease of preparation and impossibility of being stale because no other person in my home knows the super secret method of actually rolling the goddamned Doritos bag up and clipping it with something and I’m never the first person to get to open it. So, off to the pantry where Orville and I rendezvous (more southern French there) and then a whirlwind trip to the microwave…
…where I am accosted by the most alarming sound I’ve ever heard a household appliance make (and I’ve heard teaspoons being ground to shavings in a garbage disposal). The souls of the technologically damned wailed at me while my imminent tasty snack sat on the little revolving dish inside the infernally howling machine spinning blissfully away in a counter clockwise motion. There are sounds that, when rendered in a home, trigger a deep seated visceral instinctive response in man. Hearing actual arcs of electricity sparking behind the upper grille of our very stylish brushed aluminum microwave (to match the fridge, stove and dishwasher) is a member of just that elite group of noises. I instinctively sprang into action, yanked open the door to save my unpopped but surely fatally irradiated kernels of tasty Nebraska grain goodness and bellowed my spontaneous reflexive war cry: “Goddamn it! What the fuck did you put in the goddamn microwave?!?!?”.
Yer damn right, I blamed everyone else.
So, DVD with snacks was out. The event was so traumatic I didn’t even attempt to finish the movie. Our microwave is now kaput until the nice man comes back sometime next week with something called a “mag tube” which he assures me will cure all our problems. Oh, if he only knew how much of the iceberg lurks unseen.
So, with no book and no interest in television during the day (I cannot watch Spongebob…the insipidness is toxic) I actually made efforts to do yardwork. We’re now on Sunday if you’re keeping score at home. Once every week (or so…depending on how much patience Mrs. Ranger has with my sloth) I mow our yard. Now, I was away for an extended period a few weeks back and Mrs. Ranger had one of our friend’s sons cut our grass. She gave him $20. He gave me a string trimmer with no string…which I discovered only after having pulled out the Guinness World Record Extension Cord, the trimmer and several trash bags and a rake. Once foiled in doing my normally meticulous task of edging and such before mowing I uttered a hearty “fuck it”, put all that gear away and grabbed the mower. One hernia and much laborious tugging of the starter cable later I ease the mower onto the most visible portion of my lawn…only to experience the sheer delight in finding that the mower deck had been lowered from my normal setting of “genteel refined lawn” level to “strip mining for fucking coal” level. I had the neighborhood’s only low rider mower and a scalped strip of approximately 3 passes on the yard before I realized what it was I was doing. My front yard now looks like a drunk five year old with a backhoe mowed part of it. It will take approximately 2 weeks to recover from this and I have entertained inquiries from my neighbors 4 times so far in response.
An yet, this isn’t the end of the mower story. After resetting the mower deck to its proper height I finish the front yard and move onto the back. The back is going fine, it’s not too hot, it looks like I’ll get finished before rain comes when…you probably guessed by now…the mower starts to, well, smoke. I shut it off…or try to but it throttles down very slowly and eventually ceases making any sign of productive life…because I don’t consider belching clouds of smoke from the small 2 stroke engine compartment to be really qualifying as either “productive” or “life”. The smoke eventually stops because I assume everything worth burning has already been immolated and I resignedly push my former lawn champion back into the garage leaving my front yard scarred and my back yard half mowed. There is a small engine repair place down the street and I can simply toss him in the truck, carry him down there and get him fixed good as new…or get an official death certificate which will force Mrs. Ranger to allow me to go to Lowes (a place which the combination of me and a credit card is normally forbidden).
The next evening after I finish work (Monday evening…yesterday) I grab the mower, toss it into my dad’s truck (at my house while the folks are away motorhoming their way across Ontario for 2 months), hop in and turn the key. The Ford fires right up, I put it in reverse, look over my shoulder…and the truck stalls and dies. After uttering the grammatically incorrect phrase “what the fuck?” I try the key again and again Ford fires up…and again, after removing my foot from the gas, Ford sputters and dies. I try this a few more times as I hear what I swear sounded like faint laughter from the sky and all I manage to do is confirm my suspicion that the truck is now a more or less fixed object in my driveway for the time being. It was after all these tribulations that I made the immediate decision to not transfer the mower to Mrs. Ranger’s Honda minivan as she very much likes that vehicle and having it spontaneously explode in the garage would be an enormous tragedy if she weren’t given the opportunity to consult my life insurance provisions immediately prior.
So, here it is Tuesday and I’ve been fortunately charmed to have made use of both the coffee maker and toaster this morning without incident and my computer throughout the day…all without apparent omnipotent comedic intervention. While you likely sit there and shake your head and cluck smugly to yourself that I just spun a fanciful and fictional yarn for you, I categorically declare that all I have related above is true in every detail. I have even left out the part about the magically disappearing fingernail clippers which I purchased the day before as well as the oddest mechanical malfunction afflicting not one but three doors in my house (the little spring loaded bolt thingy no longer extends into the corresponding hole in the door jamb…as if THAT isn’t an obvious parody of future biomechanical misery this God has in store for me).
I cannot think of another time in recorded human history that anyone has had such apparently random and obviously connected adversity visited upon them. The odds of all these things happening to one soul, in such a brief window of time are astronomical enough that they’d cause even Carl Sagan to go “dude…that’s a big ass number”. Surely, these events are the work of a holy divinity who is hecka pissed at me for something. I don’t know how many signs there are that herald the arrival of the Apocalypse but at the rate things are going around here, I’d keep an eye on the local newspaper headlines for confirmation of the End of Days…at least localized to the Woodstock, Georgia area.
My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.