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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Word to the Wise

If they say it's going to be delivered in 2-3 days, don't believe them.

They really mean 5 days. Or more.

I won't go into detail about the events of the past four weeks. Not the personal ones, anyway. I'll spare you any sadness on this cold, windy, snowy northeast morning. Instead I'll give a brief glimpse into the mechanical details of what's been going on here.

Really, it's all true. Every last word of it. And remember, this isn't a plot for a Stephen King wannabe novel. It's real life.

Let's start at the beginning...

Imagine, if you will, a New Year's kiss. Two hearts, two souls, in love. The touch of lips, an exchange of smiles, murmured words. A pair toasting the passing of another year spent together and the hope of a new one looming before them.

But before the last of the bubbly is drained there is a sound. It isn't the popping of another cork or the strains of Auld Lang Syne. No, it's something sinister. Ominous. A sound that makes the blood in our romantic duo's collective veins run cold.

The furnace. It rumbles. Belches smoke. It fills the house with a foul, burning smell. The champagne flutes slam down on the coffee table as the woman runs to open windows and the man flies down basement stairs to hit the emergency shut-off button.

Several service calls and eight days later, the furnace rumbles, snorts, spews smoke and stench one last time. Then, it is silent. Forever.

But by now our couple has suffereed a personal tragedy. They hardly notice the furnace's demise. It seems inconsequential compared to their personal grief. The furnace is, after all, just a thing.

Too, they have a pellet stove, as well as a woodstove. Those, they figure, will get them through the cold weeks ahead. They take their time choosing a new heating system. An upgrade is planned, researched and calculated. Things begin to look up for our couple.

Then the unthinkable happens. The second week into the new year, on Sunday morning no less, the pellet stove groans. Grinds. Sends a noxious odor into the cooler-than-usual house. Again, hearts seize as the couple investigates. Doesn't this little pellet stove realize it's Sunday? A day when all is holy?

Apparently the pellet stove is not a devout soul.

It gives up the ghost and the couple is left huddled around the woodstove. They stare anxiously at the dwindling firewood supply. The wind howls and snow flies. The house cools still further.

Motors--the cause of the current crisis, it seems. The pellet stove has motors. And motors wear. Die. But motors can be replaced. Ah! A bright spot in the couple's otherwise-dim January!

Monday morning, new motors are ordered. They are scheduled to arrive within 2-3 days. The couple believes it will happen. After all, they've had such a run of terrible luck in the new year it seems only right something should go their way. Wouldn't you think?

Day four arrives. This morning, the woman who feels by now as if Cujo is hiding behind her withered rose bush and Christine has replaced the trusty Toyota in the garage, dials the number of the people who supposedly sent the replacement motors--the ones that should have arrived yesterday. Or the day before, even.

The voice on the other end of the line says the motors may arrive tomorrow. Maybe. Or the day after. Probably. But no, they won't arrive today. Day four. Even though they were only supposed to take 2-3 days to get here to freezing cold upstate New York--where the couple is no longer drinking champagne, no longer toasting the New Year!

Just a word to the wise. When they say whatever you need will take 2-3 days to arrive, don't believe them.

They aren't telling the truth. It will take longer than 2-3 days, no matter what they say. How friendly they sound. No matter how much you want to believe them.

Don't believe them. And be on the lookout for whatever headed your way next. A clown, maybe, with a big red nose. Big clown feet. Me? I'm keeping my eyes open.

4 comments:

maria said...

OMG. This could be Stephen King. Wow.

Huge hugs your way!!!

Maria

jenn said...

What a lousy month! Hey it should get better right?

Jenn

Dru said...

that is a not a good way to start the new year. I hope things get better.

Marianne Arkins said...

Oh. UGH.

I'm sorry... that stinks!