part 5 : sesame street vs. hiroshima

We awoke, grabbed a quick shower and drove back over to the mechanic shop.  We walked into the grimy and dismal place of business, where we were not greeted by a young greasy gentleman sitting with his back to us, hunched over with his face about 3 inches away from a tiny TV.  He didn’t appear all too happy that we interrupted his Sesame Street hour.

We told him who we were and that my Father had called in a credit card to pay for the repairs.  He pretended that he could read some paperwork, had a nice deep poke around the inside of his nose, and handed us our keys.  He motioned us out the door and pointed his booger finger toward our truck sitting over in the lot.

We walked across the dusty dirt lot and Paul climbed up into the truck and put the key in the ignition.


He tried again.

Click. Nothing.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

We stormed back into the shop and asked Sesame Street Booger Finger why the fuck our truck wouldn’t start.  He looked at us like we were the stupidest people on the planet and said, “ugh, gimme the keys.”  We followed this utterly annoyed creature back out to the truck, he climbed in, turned the key,



Click click click click click.

“Well I’ll be damned,” he said.  “Lemme get my old man outta the back and see if he knows somethin’ I aint.”

I could certainly think of a few things you aint, I thought to myself.

We went back into the shop, and out walked this imbeciles Father.  He must be so proud.  He scratched his head and I watched the snowfall onto the orange linoleum counter.  He then proceeded to explain the following to us:

That he had tried to call us Monday morning when they opened to inform us that the part they got in turned out to be the wrong part, but no one answered.

Well why did he tell us when we called on Friday that the truck would be ready Monday?

Because they had the part, but were busy and going to put it in Monday morning.

Paul was watching this play out with the same trepidation one watches the final 10 second countdown of a bomb about to go off.  He was fully braced for Hiroshima, right here in Dunn.

If you haven’t already gathered, I don’t handle stress very well, and I become somewhat of a loose cannon when things don’t go according to plan.  Thank God for Paul, because he possessed the uncanny ability to make me laugh, with just a look, when I was on the verge of shattering into a million pieces.

He was my magician of laughter.  And he undoubtedly saved me from jail on this one.

So, what do we do now, I asked?

Well Ma’am, the good news is I went ahead and ordered the right part yesterday morning, so it should be here by tomorrow mornin’ and we’ll get ‘er fixed for ya right away.

Jesus Christ.

What could we do?  Absolutely nothing, that’s what.  Great, this was going to cost us another night in the motel, and more food, and there goes all of our money.  Let me tell you, there is nothing to do in Dunn, and I mean nothing.  We wound up just sitting in the motel room smoking weed because we could no longer afford the luxury of café brown.

Fast forward to 8am, now Wednesday morning.  I called the shop to ask if the part was in.  It wasn’t.  I gave them our number at the motel and asked them to please call us when it came in.

So now its 9:00, 10:00, 2:00…and my blood is literally boiling.  I stalker call there again and they tell me that their last delivery is at 3:00 so they’ll call me once it comes in.  It is now 3:30 and I have not gotten a call.  So I call there again, and I was told the following:

Ma’am, I’m real sorry but the part didn’t come in.  I’ve been on the phone with the distributor and they assured me it will be here first thing tomorrow morning.

I didn’t know which to be more surprised over, the fact that the part didn’t come in or the fact that he was able to use the word “assured” in a sentence.

This was just getting more unbelievable by the minute.  Again, we paid for another night and smoked up in the motel room.  We were starving so we scraped the last of our money to get something brown to eat.  This was just fabulous; all that we had was $20 and The Shell card to make it home on after this. That was it.  Hooray for life’s struggles!  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Now it’s Thursday morning and this whole scenario feels like the movie Groundhog Day.  But unbelievably, this time when I call the shop they inform me that they actually have the part and that they are going to put it in just as soon as they can.  But I didn’t trust that last part, not one bit.

I had had enough of this small town dicking around, so in hopes of lighting a fire under their asses, we decided to go to the shop and sit in the dingy ass waiting room and stare them down.

After 3 hours of staring at Sesame Street’s back, Father Sesame Street came in and told us that she was all fixed and ready to go.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  We skeptically, yet hopefully walked over to the truck.

Paul gave me the kind of desperate and unsure look you’d give someone when you don’t know whether to put the red wire to the red wire, or the red wire to the blue wire, and one of those decisions ends in you exploding.  He took a here goes nothin’ breath, put the key in the ignition, and low and behold the fucking thing actually started!

In fear of ever turning it off again, I ran and got into my car, and we got out of there faster than vomit from a post-binge bulimic.  Hopefully this time we were really Dunn.

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