31 August 2011

Life With Suzie

Hey ... it's the old man here, not the nice sweet Tita. Here's the skinny. Some of you know that we have a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo. Some of you may even know the name by which I call said vehicle. It's not Suzie. If you don’t remember the name, perhaps a refresher is in order: http://gooblegobbus.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

Tuesday night, after winding down a day of construction workers running all over, dogs acting like maniacs, a smoker billowing apple wood smoke all over the place and finally trying to once again stuff everything back into the garage so that the door could be shut for the night, we retired to our bedroom for a little TV and reading.

After very little of these diversions, we decided to kill the lights and call it a day.

Some time towards midnight, Pat woke up, then woke me up. “The lights are on inside the car.” [This is one of the advantages of living in a shotgun shack. We can see our entire world, out the front window, while lying in bed.]

“{Expletive deleted},” I said, and climbed groggily out of bed. I knew that The {Expletive deleted} Car had been acting up lately, electrically. And one of “her” most annoying traits has become the inside courtesy lights staying on unless all of the doors and the hatch are very tightly closed (i.e., slammed.)

Fumble fumble fumble in the dark, looking for the keys. I unlocked the front door and padded out into the driveway. {Expletive deleted}!! Now I was hopping around with sopping wet socks having forgotten that, duh, in the rain forest, it rains … and the concrete is wet with COLD rain. [Yes, I sometimes wear socks to bed … get over it.]

Got the front passenger side door opened and slammed it. The light went out. Well, that was easy.

Locked up, stripped out of the wet socks and crawled back into bed. I was almost instantly asleep.

“Hey,” Pat said poking me, “the car lights are still on.”

“Urhuuu?” I sat up and looked. Sure enough. The {Expletive deleted} Car’s interior lights were on?!?

No fumbling this time. I knew exactly where I had thrown the {expletive deleted} keys. Pad pad pad, out into the driveway in my bare feet. {Expletive deleted}!! I’d forgotten that the construction workers had been dribbling concrete, sand, rock and all descriptions of sharp-ish things on the driveway throughout the course of their work, earlier in the day. Some of those little sharps kind of weld themselves into the bottoms of your bare feet so no matter how much hopping around you do, there’s just no shaking them. Ow! I leaned up against the car and brushed the offending daggers from my feet.

Well, the second most likely culprit of not being slammed hard enough to ensure that the interior lights go off would be the back hatch glass. Blick! Slam! The lights go out. [Come on … the sound the latch on the glass makes when you push the button is “blick”? Didn’t you know that?]

Anyway, success. Lights out. Back inside … lock ‘er up … crawl into bed. Ahhh. Peaceful sleep.



“Look.” In the darkness I could see her pointing out to the front. The {expletive deleted} interior lights were on again in that {Expletive deleted} Car.

“Arrrrrrrrgh!” I stomped outside. Now I was afraid that all of these episodes might have pulled the old battery down far enough that the car wouldn’t start in the morning. I got in, put the key in the ignition, cursed the FSM and turned it. Well, well. The {expletive deleted} engine started instantly. I ran the rpm up a bit and sat there letting the battery charge back up, shut ‘er down, got out … SLAM!

The lights went out.

“Nooohohohoho you don’t you {Expletive deleted}{expletive deleted}{expletive deleted}{expletive deleted} Car! I know your tricks you piece of {expletive deleted}. So, I waited for the lights to come back on. And waited. I hit the windows with my fist to try to jar it into the state of electrical Botherationus lightus. Nada. I bashed fenders with my ample butt. I rocked it on its springs. Nuttin.

“All right, ya {expletive deleted} … good night.”

I laid down in bed but couldn’t take my eyes off of The {Expletive deleted} Car, outside our window. It just couldn’t keep doing that. I had by now opened and closed every opening of that old heap at least twice. Next thing you know the slamming would have been waking up the kids down the street!

I think that I drifted off a little. You know that in-between state of mind when you’re not quite sure if you’re awake or dreaming or what? I was there. Are those really lights?

Now it was my turn for the jab. “Pat!”


“Are those lights on in the car?”


That ripped it.

Not that the new, calm, Pura Vida serene me would ever fly off the handle and get violent or anything. Perish the thought. But I was headed for The {Expletive deleted} Car with blood in my eye. I threw the driver’s side door open – flipped the hood release – jerked the hood latch free – lifted the hood with more than a little force … and then stood there, in the dark, holding up that hood, with the hood support rod in my other hand, wondering where the {expletive deleted} is that {expletive deleted} little hole where the hood rod goes so that this {expletive deleted} heavy son of a hood doesn’t fall on me and kill me.

Yeah, I know … plan ahead.

Finally, the hood rod slipped onto some hole or another and it seemed sturdy.

With both hands I reached down to the battery wiring and with the strength of a really {expletive deleted} off maniac, jerked the wires off of the battery terminal.

[Had ya going there, didn’t I. Haha. I knew that the terminal clamp was loose because I had installed it without a wrench the other day. But it made good reading, didn’t it.]

Victory! No more lights.

I staggered back to bed. The neighboring farmer’s rooster crowed. And again. And again.

Oh … don’t do this to me. That means that it’s a quarter to 5 and the freakin sun will be up in 45 minutes. Then the dogs will be up and jumping all over to be let out. Then I’ll give up and stay up.

And that’s what happened last night.

So if this episode sounds a little cranky, it’s because, well, I’m cranky today!

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