Please. May I have a do-over, just for the last 6 days? Pretty please. Grr… dammit, give me a bloody do over now! Sorry, but Mr Murphy has been at it again. Just as we return from an idyllic holiday of very little stress and trouble, life decides to remind us that we are back in the real world. Arrghh!
Just as we get back home and switch everything on, the dishwasher plumbing goes wacky and floods the kitchen. Then, while driving to the local store to get something to cook for supper, I notice the engine warning and cruise control lights on my Subaru (no, it’s not that kind of Subaru! Come on give me some credit, I drive a Dads taxi Outback) dash light up and the book says “Take it to your nearest dealer as soon as possible”. I can change a broken headlamp bulb but that’s as far as my mechanic skills go so I groan and try and plan that into my first weekday back.
Before I can deal with that, the drain people are over to unblock the pipes: wet wipes, hair and some other indescribables are the cause. Then I twist my ankle as I am saying goodbye to them. You know, the twist that leaves you kissing the ground with your forehead while you are in the prayer-like foetal position for 5 minutes. Unable to move and cursing your bloody stupidity for missing the step you have used thousands of times before. Thankfully, Mr Twisted Ankle and I are old friends… I have not seen him in about 5 years so he really had a lot to say but some TransAct patches and a worn and dusty ankle brace shut him up pretty quickly. I managed the rest of the day without incident but the flashing light on the dash was beginning to worry me.
So Tuesday rolled on and after the school run I made it to the dealership. Apparently just. Before I had finished a chapter on my Kindle in the waiting room surrounded by shiny new models, the service manager waved me over with a laugh. “Look at this” he says, showing me to the front of the car, hood up. Bloody rats had made a nest in my engine compartment in the week we had been away! Besides chewing through about 10 separate wires in two different places on the wire harness surrounding the engine, they had moved in just under the manifold and made the lower part of the Boxer engine their latrine. After trying to ignore the managers attempt at making light of the situation, I opted for the cheaper quick fix of around $200 instead of the $1000 wire harness replacement that involved dismantling half the engine.
After leaving it overnight and disrupting my wifes schedule and playing musical cars with my father-in-law, I got my car back. Everything seems to be working well, touch wood. (Bug off Murphy) . Only one problem… Anyone ever smell what a rats nest of poop and piss smells like after an engine has heated up? All I can say is that I hope you never have to experience the gag reflex triggering stench. Apparently one of my wifes colleagues simply sold his car after he could not get the smell out. I’m on my second round of engine cleaner and water… and it seems to be improving but it’s still rank. Have to park my car at the end of the parking lot just to prevent odd questions on the school run. I f**king hate rats! Apparently our wonderful “first class African city” (cough cough) is teeming with them. Even if your property has nothing for them, there is nothing much you can do but keep a constant supply of difethialone available at carefully chosen points and make sure you have active traps all over your home – that’s just to stop any of the inquisitive wanderers from deciding to stay – and that’s advice from a vet around the corner!
What next? Next day the dog starts hacking up bright yellow phlegm – 2 hours in the vet waiting room and another $50 later – Kennel Cough. As if I needed anymore crap this week… now I have to stick my hand (and two tabs) down a slimy phlegmy mouth twice a day for the next 5 days. Oh joy is me.
One of the moms suggested today that it’s Karma… I did nothing on the holiday so now I have to make up for it by having a week from hell… Makes me think of that curse “May you live in interesting times” or maybe we are all just playthings for some god-like beings and they figured I needed a curve ball or three after leaving me in peace for a week.
Well, the week is almost over and I sincerely hope Murphy is taking his tricks somewhere else.