Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rites of Passage

The Willow and I are on our own tonight,  the Firebird is away at prom.

I had several week's notice, but apparently I was in denial, because last week I enquired when the big night was and was aghast to discover we had less than a week.

Fortunately the Firebird is not prone to anxiety.

We agreed to go on the weekend to check out tux rentals.  I tried to get out of this but the status quo is the boys wear tux's.  The Firebird had saved up his own money and was prepared to pay for the rental.  All it needed was the aging subbie to get us to the city and back three times.

The Firebird came up with some coupons provided by schoolmates for two different rental establishments.  Those boys had the foresight to make early arrangements, and if so many classmates turned in coupons they were entitled to discounts and perks such as free prom tickets and even a free limo.

We knew the general location of the rental places, but driving in the city is no easy task.  The subbie started chuggin at every stop light. We passed the first place and went on to the second, and then he decided the first place was the one he wanted. 

I took the back route and of course came out below the shop, meaning I had to go by and turn around and get it on the way back.

Just as I was pulling out onto the main drag the subbie died.  Then didn't want to start.  I finally got it to start by cranking on it, and didn't dare pull out in traffic, so I floored it in reverse and parked it.

Well, I thought we were screwed.  I let it sit a few minutes and did my usual wiggling of various things and checking oil and planned my exit.  I think the Firebird started to suffer some anxiety at that point.

I started it up and headed out a different exit figuring if it stalled there we would be on a side road, but we made it onto the main drag and down to the tux place chuggin along.  Phew.

A young man from the Firebird's school was ahead of us and the two young men that worked the shop had things well in hand.  I was as new to tux rental as the Firebird, and I had imagined a sort of set up similiar to Madame Pomphrey's  on Harry Potter with a couple of young lad dashing about with measuring tapes and that was pretty much the scenario.

The Firebird laid down his deposit and we left with instructions to pick up/fitting two days before the big event.

That left things up to the subbie.

In the meantime I have spent hours and hours online trying to trouble shoot the subbie's problems.  Everytime I type the symptoms into a search engine I get a different answer. So I have been saving a bunch of money on fuel because I don't dare drive it anywhere.

Well the pick up day arrived, and away we went, the subbie coughing and sputtering the whole way.  It stalled coming off the interstate.  It started right up and I left it in park until the light changed,  Then I pulled into Wally world to pick up an air filter and some SeaFoam, and it died in the parking spot.

We went into Wally world and I bought the filter and the Seafoam, and had the hood up putting the air filter in when a good samaritan stopped and asked if we were all set.   I started up a convo with him and he had a cel reader, and although I had no cel light on I thought it couldn't hurt, and it came back EGR valve.  I suspected the subbie was having vaccuum issues, so that fit, and I thanked him and asked him to pray for us and away we went to the tux shop.

I was lucky in that we hit all the lights green, and we sputtered along to the shop to find it filled with young men picking up their tux's.

The Firebird put his name on a list, and some of his schoolmates arrived, so I took advantage to leave him with his chums and went out and had a smoke and eyeballed my plan of attack for exiting, to the point where I counted how many seconds the light on the main route remained green.

Finally it was his turn to try on his tux, which he did behind a curtain and of course didn't come out to model.  He said everything fit so away we went.  He put it all on when we got home, and I took some great pix of him on the lawn.

Well, the only catch was he still needed a corsage for his girl, and I had bailed out of the city because by the time he remembered to remind me the florist was well back five or six traffic lights and I was too chicken to turn around.

So yesterday morning I decided I would take out the EGR and clean it and hopefully get the subbie going to get to a florist for the corsage.

I couldn't find my sockets but luckily had a regular wrench that fit .  I am not very  mechanical so I was definitely suffering some anxiety.  I got the top bolt loose without too much issue.  But the bottom bolt would not free up.

"lefty loosey, right tighty" I chanted, and checked the first bolt to make sure I was turning in the proper direction.  I tapped the wrench with a hammer.  Nothing.  I thought I might have been bending the wrench.  So I switched the wrench so I could pull up on it, and put some good pressure on it, and the nut came free!Yay!

Then I saw some blood on my hand.

"oh, must have nicked myself," I thought.

Then my hand was covered in blood. 

Geez, what have I done?

Apparently my thumb hit the cable and sliced a good one.  But now I had the EGR valve nearly free, so I put some pressure on it to stop the bleeding and tossed a couple of bandaids on and finished the job. 

The car actually started afterwards, but didn't run much better.  Still I went off to another town and went to the transfer station (praying the subbie didn't die with a load of trash in the back), the bank, and yes, the florist to pick up a corsage.

Then I learned one does not simply drop into a florist at the height of prom and wedding season and ask for a corsage.  These things should be arranged in advance. But the nice ladies took pity on my situation and quickly whipped up a lovely corsage to order on the spot.

I filled the subbie up with a fresh tank of gas and some STP stuff and sputtered my my home.

Now the Firebird has gone off to the big event, in his tux, with his corsage, with a lift from a classmate.  The lad had some trouble backing the truck around in our drive, missing the drive altogether and pulling out with a bang! Which happened to be my reflector-on-a-stick I have marking the culvert, which somehow got hung up on the bumper of his truck.

At least he didn't get stuck in the ditch...

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