Monday, September 15, 2008

Day Off

Against my will, I was up and about early on a day off. Sunday evening my car's exhaust began sounding like a teenage boy had gotten to it. A trip to the local Tire-Muffler-Alignment shop revealed that the appropriately named Flex Pipe - meant to allow everything else to shake without completely disconnecting - had flexed one too many times and broken off. $82 for a new one to be installed in a little over an hour; not too bad by today's frightening car-repair standards.

The wait (which was optional; the store owner offered to let me drive his vehicle home and come back later, but I didn't have anything pressing to do) gave me a chance to take in the ambiance. Fox News on the TV; fortunately I was the only one there, so I could turn that down before intestinal cramps set in. A stack of Automobile and Outdoor Life magazines for perusing; I'm not an outdoorsy guy but Pat McManus is always funny. A Golden Labrador named Bob that has a classically gentle disposition (only getting excited when a pickup with two other dogs in the back pulled up) and is always amenable to a good scratch. Registration forms for a local fishing tournament at the counter. All in all, a classic South Dakota repair shop.

This temporary downtime forced me to drive the wife's car, which reminded me how vehicles become molded to fit the person who usually drives them. The (non-powered) outside rear view mirror has settled into the setting for her and resists adjustment. Likewise the driver's seat has become comfortable where it is and would prefer to be left alone. The fact that it's a Dodge while mine is a Ford contributes to the feeling, as all the controls are just a bit different, so a reflexive reach for a knob or lever frequently doesn't produce the desired result. Then there are the contents; Grandbaby-related items such as spare diapers and a frame into which the baby carrier/car seat locks, which always reminds me of the canvas baby swing my parents had for us, which could be unhooked from the frame and hung over the back of the car seat for transporting baby. Different times indeed, although as a toddler I survived a car accident in that swing with only minimal injury.

I'm clicking between The Price Is Right, where Drew Carey seems to be settling in as host, and CNBC, where the various commentators are competing to find out who can get the most excited about the Lehman Brothers/Merrill Lynch hooha while another investment honcho says his company will come out of it looking like one of the Price Is Right models. That's the way it seems to work; once one of those outfits sinks low enough the government saves it and/or another company makes money disposing of the carcass. It's hard to get too worked up about it.

Well,off to roam the information superhighway (how's that for a flashback term?) in search of silliness. It never takes long.

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