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Thirty days of crazy

My 44th year of existence ended three days after the LSU-Missouri football game in Columbia.

Now that I’ve seen LSU and Mizzou play since, the result—a 45-41 victory for the Tigers in Black—was not surprising in the least. The Bayou Bengals’ defense has struggled mightily, and Mizzou has shown enough on both sides of the ball to stay competitive in its first season under Eli Drinkwitz.

LSU was beyond dreadful in losing 48-11 at Auburn two weeks ago. It was Auburn’s largest margin against LSU since the series began over a century ago. The Bayou Bengals were supposed to host Alabama Saturday, but an outbreak of COVID-19 at LSU forced the game to be postponed.

Alabama was favored by 28 points just before the game went off the board at the sports books. This means the “sharps” think Alabama would have won by 31, since the home team gets three points for home field.

How the mighty have fallen. But that’s college football.

Mizzou is also idle this week. The Tigers were slated to host Georgia, but Columbia has been hit hard again by COVID. CoMo and Boone County have been hot spots in the Show-Me State, and it’s not hard to see why: large population, small geographical footprint, flagship university.

Texas A&M-Tennessee and Auburn-Mississippi State were also victims of COVID in the SEC, while Ohio State at Maryland was cancelled and will not be made up. Nothing surprises me anymore.

The first month of my 45th year has been quite crazy. An incident in the last 24 hours demonstrates why.

Last night at 23:15, I went to the garage, hoping to load some things into my car so I could leave early for Kansas City.

Much to my shock, the Buick was locked.

I never lock my car when I’m parked in the garage, but my mother locked it for some reason when she came home from the American Legion post last night.

I have two sets of keys, but I carry both sets. This is for hot weather, so I can dart inside somewhere and leave the A/C running. It also comes in handy when it’s bitterly cold, although I haven’t had to start the Buick on a day when the temperature was below minus-15 Celsius (10 Fahrenheit).

There was nothing I could do late last night (or in the first hour of this morning), so I tried to sleep as best I could—not well—before getting AAA on the horn to unlock the car.

I put in the service call through the app at 8:45.

Ten minutes later, my car was unlocked, but not because AAA arrived in record time.

My dad found a gray key to a GM vehicle in a desk drawer in the kitchen. I thought it was to my old Impala, but I figured it would not hurt to try.

Turn the key…OPEN! Phew.

The trouble with my Buick has been a recurring theme of the last month.

The “Service Engine Light” had been on constantly since mid-September, even though I thought I had it fixed then. Three other notices kept coming on “gas cap loose”, “engine oil low” and “low tire pressure”.

Before I could get any of that taken care of, I had another emergency with my grandfather’s old ride.

The latch to the trunk broke in the parking lot of the Schnucks in Lake St. Louis. What was stunning about this is I went to Dierberg’s in Wentzville less than an hour before that, and the trunk closed just fine.

Since it’s me, the latch would have to break while the trunk was stuffed. I somehow got everything inside the car then had to drive 30 minutes through St. Charles County with the trunk flapping before reaching Lou Fusz Buick on Page Avenue in Maryland Heights.

The latch was not available from GM, so I had to leave the Buick in St. Louis that weekend and drive a rental back to Russell. The rental was a Toyota Corolla, a fine car, but too small for yours truly. I hit my head every time I entered and exited, and could not use my seat cushion, since my scalp was butting up against the roof.

I made an intemperate remark while driving around St. Louis about how I felt people who drive small cars are clueless. I should have said people who can afford large cars yet drive small ones are clueless. Sometimes, a person can only afford a small one. Also, most Americans are not grossly overweight like me.

The good thing about the second trip to St. Louis was discovering Imo’s Pizza.

Imo’s Pizza has been a St. Louis institution since Lou Brock and Bob Gibson were starring for the baseball Cardinals. I can see why.

The pizza is served on a crispy cracker-style crust. Topping go all the way to the edge. And the slices are small enough to where intake is easily managed.

I devoured three Imo’s pizzas in the space of a week during my travels to St. Louis—two after the trunk latch broke, and a third to return the rental after the Buick was fixed.

I also had a lot of White Castle. Good stuff, but I may need a break. Lot of indigestion.

The next to last day of October was mostly spent at Cable Dahmer Buick. I waited seven and a half hours to see if the engine light and other warnings could be fixed.

After less than 500 km of driving, the service engine and loose gas cap warnings were back in full force. I made another trip to Kansas City last week. So far, the lights are staying off.

I also have discovered Springfield. More on that in another post.

I love you Caitlyn!