Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hope You Enjoyed Your Day

Yesterday was a good day for some people. Mr. Sun spent quality dad time with his boys, took a nap, and made some cute graphics about living in Greensboro. Ed Cone went shopping for consumer goods with his son, and got to make fun of Circuit City afterwards. On Facebook, one of my colleagues updated his status to "having the best day ever!"

Me, I spent the morning alternately feeling like I was going to throw up and shouting obscenities at myself, because we let my daughter run out of gas in our Prius, a block from home.

Did you know that if your Prius runs out of gas, and the big battery gets depleted from driving only on electric power, you have to get a new battery? And the battery costs $4000? And I don't have $4,000? And Sam is going to college next year, and Madeline the year after that?

So I spent the morning getting the car towed to the dealer, hoping against hope that all was well, and shouting the f-word (sometimes vivace, sometimes lento, always fortissimo) at myself all the way home from Rice Toyota.

The afternoon I spent in the 18" spidery crawlspace underneath my kitchen, feeling a lot like Charles Bronson's character in the Great Escape -- you know, the tunneler with claustrophobia.

I had discovered some serious decay caused by our house's previous owner building a deck attached to the rear of the house, which allowed moisture to penetrate and rot the support beams. All this had to be fixed by building a new concrete-block support pier and replacing the rotted beams, in a space accessible only by wiggling 25 feet over and under a century's worth of plumbing, electrical wires, and steel ducts. Lots of those white spider egg sacs this time of year. Thousands of them. They feel kind of tickly on your head and down the back of your neck and under your shirt.

Anyhow, I got the pier built, and took a call (while under the house) from the Toyota technician. All's well with the car (which I still like a lot, so please keep your schadenfreude to yourself, hybridophobes).

And I'm going to enjoy this afternoon by constructing and replacing beams with my new friends the spiders.

Enjoy your nap.

Update (Sunday, 7 pm): I emerge victorious over spiders and rot.


Anonymous said...

A harrowing tale, to be sure. I was gonna be a hybridophobe until I did the research and found how environmentally friendly they were.

Glad it turned out OK.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, I had no idea that would happen to a Prius. Wow! If I ever get one, I'll be sure to NEVER let it run out of gas!

I hate spiders. Watch out for black widows. We get black widows in our son's sandbox all the time. I fight them off with chemical warfare. NOT environmentally friendly, but I'd rather them not kill us.

Jim Rosenberg said...

Yikes! Just back from another glorious day of nonstop delight to find this. I'm assuming "All's well with the car" means you don't have a $4,000 bill, because I would literally soil myself upon hearing about an unexpected bill of that magnitude with college approaching. I pretty much soil myself at any mildly bad news, but this would be automatic. I would feel really bad about the relative difference in our days, if it weren't for the fact that I am so totally self-absorbed and into myself that no one else even registers. What were you saying, again?

David Wharton said...

The car was fine -- it shut itself off to protect the battery, so no $4,000 bill.

And now the structural problems with the house are fixed, too.

Sun, if you want I can help you with those words on your refrigerator -- you know, to make poems that actually scan.

Call me.

Leatherwing said...

Are there any other battery surprises for a potential hybrid buyer to worry about? Do the batteries have the same life expectancy as the car itself? I seem to remember someone saying it would be $7k to replace the battery on Honda's hybrid.