Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hey, Mr. Truck Driver, Do You Want Your Part Back?


Last week on the hottest day of the heat wave, I installed an air conditioner and achieved temporary hero status with my wife. Yes, there were problems. I'm not a Home Improvement-type, and I failed to put in the two brackets on the inner window sill, because I couldn't get two of the screws out of the unit after it was in place - the window was too small. A couple of days later, I went to the store and bought an L-shaped Philip's screwdriver, that allowed me to get in and finish up. I put one bracket in but I could no longer locate the other one. My style in these matters is sort of like that informercial, "Set it and forget it", except I set it down and forget it. I'm sure I'll find the other bracket someday, on some surface in the house - and by then it will probably be snowing. Oh well. The days when I fret about stuff like this are long, long gone. Besides, I had achieved cool air during the heat wave, and upgraded the amount of time it would take to snatch the air-conditioner right through the window from 10 seconds, to around 1 minute and a half. That is progress. But I was still one vital bracket short. This is why I was so concerned the next day when I heard a giant crashing, tearing sound coming from the house right where the air conditioner is. My first thought was the window frame had failed and the damn thing had dropped out to the ground. I had a weak frame and a fairly heavy AC unit, so that made sense. It sure sounded like that's what happened from where I was in the basement. The second thought was that someone was in the process of stealing it, so I came up from the basement ready for battle. Rounding the corner outside I saw the unit still in place. Continuing on to the front I saw a huge semi-truck stopped for a moment with a bunch of branches lying in the road. As I got out there, the truck took off. I immediately concluded that the truck had hit the branches and somehow the sound had transferred to right next to the air conditioner. It wasn't till much later when my wife said she had tried to call several times and got nothing, that I figured it out. Both my phones were dead so I went outside. The truck, which was as tall as they get, had caught my phone line, ripping it down from across the street all the way to my house where it yanked a book-sized box from the wall and took off. The violently-removed box was a mere three feet from the new air conditioner which led to the confusion. The only thing that didn't happen was the scene in the comedy where you're on the phone and you get yanked against the wall. Qwest came out the next day, and by then someone had taken the branches from the street. I regretted that as I wanted them to flesh out my story for the repair guy. Not to worry - I was just telling him about it when we looked down and found one of the lights from the semi-truck lying on the ground. So if the truck driver wants it, I've got it here for you, and Qwest would also like to discuss the stuff you tore out and took off with, including about 30 yards of wire and some kind of box. By the way, if you think my reputation with the home improvement stuff isn't well-deserved, my next-door neighbor later reported that he heard the tearing, crunching sound, and also figured my air conditioner had dropped out the window. Since it's still there, and the phones work again, I'm calling this one a win.

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