Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Odds and Ends, Mostly Odds

You know, I could begin this issue of oddities with the following couple a thoughts:

1. With Rome in flames and the stock market in meltdown, CNN reported our Great Speechifier speechifying yesterday: "Calling the situation a 'legitimate source of concern,' Obama said the 'good news' was that 'our problems are imminently solvable, and we know what we have to do to solve them.' "

I wish I knew his definition for the word "imminent" because we could all use some imminent good news. I wouldn't hold your breath, though. In 2½ years, he and the Congress have fininshed bailing out the poor banks and made the health insurance companies more rich. Period.

2. The cost of our "wars" in Iraqistan are not included in the budget deficit, never have been, and are not part of the debt ceiling. So where have those billions and billions of dollars come from???

I was so happy when Prince William, on his tour of Canada, congratulated the Canadians for pulling out of Afganistan.

As the U.S. nears its tenth anniversary in that hellhole, however, we lost 30 troops on Saturday fucking around doing fucking WHAT? The Pentagon won't release their names as their garbage-bagged bodies arrived at Dover airbase today. Peace to their souls and condolences to their families and loved ones.

I could begin this issue of oddities with the previous couple a thoughts, but I've decided not to.

* * *

I'm not much of watcher of biopics (although I liked The Last King of Scotland), but I'm looking forward to The Iron Lady due at Christmas (oops, the Holidays). It will be great to see Meryl Streep again and, as a nominee for sixteen academy awards, I think she'll make a helluva Margaret Thatcher.

And if a few Americans watch this film for Streep's performance, maybe they'll learn a little about British politics to boot.


Since the movie is a British production, I'm reminded of a question I've been meaning to ask. Is Pinewood Studios still in use?

*  *  *

Overheard from Sarah Palin:

"If the British had won the Revolutionary War we would all be speaking English now."

Grazie, Sarah.

*  *  *

Last Saturday, Martha had her oil changed. The oil in her Toyota, that is. Since auto batteries last only two or so years here in the desert, she had it tested. The battery, that is. Sho' 'nuff, it was down to its last few zaps. She grumbled her way over to AutoZone to buy a new one, presented the auto guy with the receipt for the dying battery, and was told a new one would be FREE—she had a seven-year warranty on a battery that lasted two. She was so happy when she got home she could almost have kissed me—she'd saved 80 bucks plus tax.

"See, honey, it pays to save those warranty things," I said.

"Bite me," she replied, too proud of herself to let my tiresome logic get under her skin.

There is a cult of Toyotans similar to owners of Volvos and Saabs: TALL tales abound about the reliability and durability of their vehicles. Why, here comes one now:

"I drove this here Toyota around the desert for 600,000 miles afore I hadta put in a gallon a gas and empty the ashtray. I drove it for another 600,000 miles, but I sold it 'cause the maintenance was too high: gas was up two bucks and the ashtray was full a'gin."

Deer pellets.

While the fixit guys were checking out Martha's car, they found two other problems: the water pump was leaking and something was wrong with the timing belt. That stuff is too complicated for me, but I understood the estimate to make repairs to the complications— $ 1,000. The leaking water pump dumped cold water on Martha's giddiness caused by her battery coup.

UNTIL Monday morning, when Martha Sherlock Callahan remembered we had an extended warranty. She rooted around in the glovebox until she found it and looked at the expiration date. On August 8, 2011, she was holding a warranty that expired on August 10, 2011. After a quick run to the women's restroom she called the dealer and today, August 9, 2011, all repairs are being made under warranty.

And who knows, when Martha gets home tonight she might almost want to kiss me again—especially if I keep my BIG mouth shut.

*  *  *

Lastly but not leastly, the news you've all been waiting for: the prep for my colonoscopy last week.

I can't BEGIN to tell you how bad the stuff I had to drink tasted, but I'll try. It was like everything I've ever stepped in or had stuck to the bottom of my shoes, liquified and blended with old motor oil. It was pure evil in a plastic bottle. And I truly think Martha was having fun watching me suffer—you know, just one of those harmless ways a girl gets revenge without doing anything overt with knives or ropes.

After drinking 64 oz. of The Stuff That Wouldn't Die, I would rather die than drink that shit ever again. What I might do is substitute hemlock when Martha isn't looking . . .

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hope said...


I couldn't even keep that stuff down my gullet!  Someone who hates people must come up with the flavor...if that's what you want to call it!

Ah Martha, I feel your pain.  My back window wouldn't roll up: then my lovely dog child put his chin on it and it disappeared into the door!  I swear I heard him say, "I didn't do it!"   The repair wasn't too expensive but it took 2 trips: seems auto glass repair places just do glass and don't carry parts.  First time I've ever been told they'd fix it..if I would bring in the part.

And life goes on.   :)

Sydlaughs said...

I agree with all. I think that the best medical advancement would be to come up with something better than that terrible tasting stuff that we have to drink for a colonoscopy. It sucks.

Ponita said...

That president of yours needed to buy an 'e'. And Sarah Palin needs to disappear into oblivion. Oh lordy...

Can't wait for Streep's movie! She's the best!

I don't know what they feed you as prep down there, but I didn't find the stuff I had to take all that offensive. Maybe we get different gut draino up here. But at least it's over and done with. Do you know what they found? Hopefully nothing serious. *crosses fingers and toes*

Macy Mckay said...

Prince William congratulated the Canadians on pulling out of Afghanistan??
How come we never heard of this? Despite nightly bulletins on the Canadian trip?

Pat said...

I like your oddities.  Like sitting down with a pal for a gossip and you do it so well. Was happy for Martha and laughed at Sarah.  I'd better not repeat your description of the stuff you had to drink and shall watch MTL like a hawk making sure there are no plant pots nearby where he could jettison it.
There is mayhem in the streets of some of our cities just now.  At least with Maggie there wa a fim hand on the tiller.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Charlie, that is the most accurate description of that crap we gotta drink I've ever heard - spot-on, as the British would say.

YA Martha! So glad someone got their vehicle in before the warranty expiration, (if only barely). I missed mine by two weeks and had to shell out nearly $1K for repairs - it's a Pontiac, what more could I expect? My first "real" car was a Celica and I drove it into the ground, literally, before I finally let go after 13 years. What a sad day that was! I cried even while choosing a new car.

Great post Charlie!

Kid-at-heart said...

I love Toyotas.  I hate colonoscopy prep.  I'm disgusted with our dysfunctional government.   Do you suppose we were separated at birth, Charlie? 

Kim Ayres said...

30 years ago the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher had been in power a little over a year and the country was ablaze with riots.

I think our current Conservative Prime Minister must have been taking lessons...

savannah said...

i have  a toyota like that: 1000 miles to the gallon, but dammital, the door handle on the drivers side broke this morning and the mechanic said $300 to fix it! i'm thinking i'm just gonna drive ghetto fabulous for a little longer! i do love your odds and ends sugarpie! ;) xoxoxo

Charlie Callahan said...

SIS! I noticed our resemblance the minute I first saw a photo of you.

I am not, however, a part-time goddess.

Charlie Callahan said...

A 1,000 miles to the gallon is pretty darn good, Sav. But $300 for a door handle? That's BMW prices.

LOL at the ghetto fabulous; you're something else, you know that?

Charlie Callahan said...

Yep, he really said it—I saw it on American CNN feed from Canada, which is near here.

Kid-at-heart said...

That Tui...she blew my cover, didn't she?

Charlie Callahan said...

"Like sitting down with a pal for a gossip ..." What a nice thing to say, Pat, and I wish it could happen.

Ponita the nurse from Canada says the stuff they get to drink isn't toxic like ours. But just in case, DO watch YTL—I'd hate to see your potted plants throw up and die.

Charlie Callahan said...

Here's a snippet I found on Wikipedia, Kim.

Thatcher's premiership was also marked by high unemployment and social unrest, and many critics fault her economic policies for the unemployment level; many of the areas affected by high unemployment as a result of her monetarist economic policies have still not fully recovered and are also blighted by social problems including drug abuse and family breakdown. Speaking in Scotland in April 2009, before the 30th anniversary of her election as Prime Minister, Thatcher insisted she had no regrets, and was right to introduce the poll tax and to remove subsidies from "outdated industries, whose markets were in terminal decline" which had created "the culture of dependency, which had done such damage to Britain".

Charlie Callahan said...

The same thing happens to us, Hope. Every time I hang my head out the window it disappears down inside the door (the window, not my head).

I'm such a kidder.

Charlie Callahan said...

Even better, Syd, would be to come up with something better than a colonoscopy. Lettuce put that on our things to do list.

Charlie Callahan said...

What we need, Pon, is someone who can run this country—its been runnerless since the turn of the century, and it sure as hell shows. The problem is, where are we gonna get him or her?

As far as gut drano, the generic name is polyethylene glycol 3350. I will NEVER drink it again! The procedure itself took about 2 hours and Dr. Poo found some stuff, but I won't say until I see him on the 23rd.

Charlie Callahan said...

I think we would have cried if we'd missed the warranty by two weeks. And why are all repairs $1,000 and up?

I know what you mean by getting rid of a car that's been an old friend. I wrote a blog piece about My 95 Explorer, named "Thing," that some dumb woman totalled while talking on her cell phone. I was devastated.

M Witzl said...

There is nothing more richly satisfying than finding out that your warranty still has a couple of days left on it when you really need it. Good for Martha.

Charlie Callahan said...

Hi Mary! You're right—that was a close one. Nowadays, thousand-dollar bills don't grow on trees with the expense of everything else.

Pfaycampbell said...

Oh, my dear warped one! I would almost want to kiss you if I were there (and Martha was out driving her Toyota)

Charlie Callahan said...

Well I'll be hornswoggled! Fay, I thought ye left me for good. But now you're talkin' about mashin' our lips together.

It's great to hear from you, a blogger burn-out I believe.

Kara Neary said...

are the british pised that an american is playing thatcher? or does everyone hate her enough that they just don't care.

good to see your post bits. i need to come visit more often.

lisleman said...

Let me know if they come out with a solution tasting like a good beer.

Charlie Callahan said...

It's like old home week around here, although I'm not implying that we live in old homes. Actually, I don't really know what that saying means.

Hi ya, Kara! I think the British like Streep as much as we do, and in the trailer she is a dead ringer for Thatcher. In the U.S., though, I think the reaction will mostly be, "Thatcher who?"

Charlie Callahan said...

Roger that, l-man. Even a bad beer would beat that evil draino [sic], believe me.

bbruederlin said...

Now I feel the urge to rummage around in all the junk drawers just to make sure that there isn't a warranty kicking around that's about to expire. And then break something and get it fixed for free.

Charlie Callahan said...

What a great idea!

Then again, 98% of your broken crap is warrenteed in China, where you'll have to send your stuff and never get it back. Make sure you don't bust anything good!