Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Utter Madness

From Wednesday, March 21: My brand new brother-in-law won $100 in the lottery, so my sister (Sabrina) suggests we focus our efforts on purchasing as many as possible in an effort to retire to an island somewhere. But today isn’t my day to buy lottery tickets. Here is how my luck has gone: the repairman is coming back tomorrow (4th trip) to fix my 6 month old Kitchen Aid (for the way it’s made) refrigerator. The compressor or condenser or combobulator or something isn’t combobulating. Until this morning, only the freezer was on the fritz (intermittently). Every so often I’d go down and clean up a puddle of water and empty the ice maker, and then it would start working again. This morning, the refrigerator quit, too.

So, I hauled everything down to the old refrigerator in the basement (thank God we kept it for overflow, parties and such). I only lost what was in the freezer. Twice.

Then Sandra (my neighbor, one of my dearest friends, hereinafter referred to as my next-door nut) called, to say that Mason (our scrambled-breed dog) was running through his electric fence. We just changed the battery in the collar, so I was sure it was a break in the wire, which would have to wait until Jim got home—this I was hoping for even though I know this is a huge problem since Mason has been known to do such socially unacceptable things as tinkle on the neighbor around the block’s BMW tire (freshly washed). But no. His collar was missing—Mason’s, not the BMW guy’s. Sandra and I searched 4 acres, and no collar.

I called Jim, the man who promised to love, honor, and solve all my problems, even if he was two time zones away. He said, no problem, we have a spare in the utility closet. Great. I ventured into the giant mound of such items critical to household maintenance as a zillion batteries of undetermined age, No-sew fabric glue, and an MRE (one of those freeze-dried meals soldiers eat—don’t ask). I found the collar, and put in a new battery. Experience has taught me that these collars must be tested or they may either a) not work at all, or b) give the dog a three foot circle in which he can roam without getting zapped. I walked out to where the wire is buried, close to the edge of our yard. No beep. The collar is supposed to beep a warning, then zap. I went to Lowe’s (where we bought the system) to get a new collar, and happened to notice the ten year warranty on the package. We have only had ours for 2 years. I decided to raise a ruckus, as a new collar is sixty bucks.

The young lady at Customer Service, aka We Couldn’t Care Less, told me to call Pet Safe. I asked her, “How do I keep the dog in the fence while I’m waiting for the new collar?” “I don’t know.” She shrugged and turned her back on me. Not to assist another waiting customer, mind you, but to signify that I was dismissed. My good deed for the day is that I refrained from jumping down her twenty-something throat and stomping on her liver. Neither did I report her to the Authorities. I was way too wrapped up in my own psychotic episode to mess with her. Probably a good thing.

I appealed to the cute, nice manager guy, who made a phone call and then said he’d swap it, no problem. But I had to come back home and get the old one. Yada, yada, yada… got the new collar home, and, of course, at first, it didn’t work. Fiddled with it. Slammed it against the kitchen counter. Stomped it twice. Then, it beeped. Unfortunately, it was now in three-foot mode. I had to fiddle with the dial thingy to adjust signal, then chase down the dog who is smart enough to know he doesn’t want that collar back on. Finally, the dog is once again contained, and BMW's everywhere are safe.

Did I mention I had another flat tire?

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for buying lottery tickets.

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