Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bruiser Blues

Got up this morning with a simple task--get some furniture.  I had it all picked out, with one exception--a sale at World Market might change a choice.  So I packed the kids up into the Bruiser and we crossed the river into the sales tax-free zone.  That turned out to be the only easy part.  

The Bruiser ran rough, and finally gave a final gasp as we pulled into the parking lot for our first stop.  We picked up the outdoor papasan chair (because they're sturdier than the regular kind) and set it in back.  Had to start the truck, give it gas, jog it over to drive, lurch out of the parking space, turn it toward the street, stop, and the engine died.  Rinse, repeat.  I thought someone might have siphoned off our gas for nefarious purposes, so I stopped at a gas station to top off.  Nope, we had plenty of gas.  Water in the line?  I thought about getting some heet, and then found out there's a mechanic literally across the street.

Across four lanes of street, plus a divider lane.  Yikes.  

Lurching, gasping, expiring and then coming alive with a key-turned resurrection, I got the truck pointed in the right direction.  Miraculously, the traffic all cleared seconds later and we charged across while the gettin' was good, bumped up into the tiny parking lot, slowed, and the engine gave up.  I started it up again to swing wildly into a parking spot.

There in the holy sanctuary of Meineke, the temporary cure came in the form of turning up the idle speed by one of God's children.  We picked up the rest of our pre-planned furniture, sans any sale-induced modification, and headed for home.  One last hiccup--a cop driving down the middle of the highway, lights flashing, at 30 miles an hour.  The Bruiser grumbled and growled and churned out an excess of smoke, thoroughly uncomfortable at that speed, but didn't choke to death.  We went through the business district instead of taking the highway home.  On the other side, I saw no sign of the cop or his parade of followers.  I doubt I'll ever learn what the purpose of that slowdown might have been.  

The furniture is all set up now, and I spent the rest of the evening watching a movie, mulling over my next writerly move.  Monday, I'll have to take the Bruiser to the pickup doctor to see if they can figure out why there's holes in the firing chain.  The Bruiser even threatening a full-blown backfire at one point.  I had to warn the kids that there might be a loud bang at some point, and to not be alarmed.  It's just the truck protesting its indigestion.  

Tomorrow, it'll be watercolor and sitting on freshly laid stone steps at a friend's house, far away from the craziness.  I have a meeting out west anyway.  I can head out early, interrupt painting with some business, and then finish out with some fine wine, music, and enjoyment of a garden that I don't have to weed.  Just a quiet interlude before I face the grindstone.

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