Monday, June 16, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere...

...and I'm not even in Iowa!

On Saturday, Helen and I were hanging out in Hamilton Park, enjoying the annual festival along with a couple of smoothies. I went back down later after she left, had a gyro, and chatted with Jon R, who lives around the corner and often brings his kid to the park. (And if I have the story straight, he was comic artist Jim Lee's roommate at Princeton. I remember running into Jim in a Japanese restaurant near Marvel—1990 or so, I think—and he said "Hey, I heard you know Jon R!" Back then, Jon would come to JC to see Andy, who lived around the corner and later provided the historical record of the Giant Cat. Jon later married Andy's then-roommate. Sometimes she's in the park too.)

I went over to my garage and got Henry the Ford Taurus, so that I could run a few errands. He sat patiently on the street, parked and waiting for my return when I went into the apartment.

And the skies opened up. First there was torrential rain, then thunder and lightning, then more rain.

"Oh no," I thought. "Henry hates rain. He won't even start in the rain."

Then I remembered the alligator clip that Mike the Mechanic had given me. He'd marked two solenoids with Wite-Out and told me to test the starter using the alligator clip and the solenoids the next time the rain knocked out Henry's ability to turn on.

"Maybe I'll have the chance to do that tomorrow," I thought. "No way am I going out in this to put Henry back in the garage. It's dangerous out there with all that lightning."

BOOM CRACK. The lighting was right on top of me. Scary.

Then I heard a different kind of crack. I looked out of the bathroom window to see a large piece of a tree had been lightninged right off and was hanging perilously by a few strips of bark. Yikes.

And that wasn't it for the water. In the morning, Henry surprised me by starting, but he surprised me further by sloshing.

Eh? Sloshing?

When I opened the driver's side door, Henry sloshed.

There's water in the door. Only in that one door. Somehow—the angle of the rain, maybe?—Henry's driver's side door was flooded.

We drove to the supermarket, then the laundromat. While my clothes were spinning, I sat in the parking lot and swung Henry's door open and shut as water dripped out with each swoosh.

The laundry didn't work out. Water was my enemy there too. The machine I chose didn't take my money, but then a stranger convinced the finicky machine to take it anyway. All this machine did is fill up with soap and spin my clothes. I assume someone had put in soap before, tried the machine, and given up, so there was way too much soap in the machine now. I had to hand-rinse my clothes in the sink (before switching laundromats to finish the job.)

At home, while I was putting away groceries, the skies opened up again. No! No more water in the door! I grabbed an umbrella, ran outside, and took Henry home to his house.

There's still water in his door. I hope it drips out instead of rusting.

I'm not in much better shape than my loyal car. Every morning, in the shower, giant clumps of hair are coming out. What's that about? Maybe it's my seasonal shedding.


Marie said...

In Sarah MacDonald's book "Holy Cow," she had the hair problem too, when she lived in Delhi. All her hair practically fell out before renewing itself.

I'm kind of hoping to avoid that.

Hat Boy said...

The drain holes in Henry's driver side door are likely plugged. Just fashion a paperclip into a shape that you think might be useful to unplug a drain and check for plugged drain holes on the bottom of the door. Unfortunately, they put cardboard-like sound deadening material inside doors and it is likely sopping wet by now. Unless you remove the door panel so it can dry out completely, it will likely stay wet and cause corrosion on down the road.

No help on the hair. Mine started falling out ten years ago and I'm still waiting for it to "renew"....

Marie said...

Hat Boy? THE Hat Boy? You've been quiet!

I am not looking forward to the trek over to the garage with a paperclip, but I am game!

Sounds like my door is going to rot though. That water has already been in there for 24 hours.

I don't really know what else to do with my car and I have this bizarre loyalty to it, but I really should just get rid of it and switch to zipcar.

I have a hard time lettering go...even of my car.

Marie said...

I meant letting go. Lettering is just my comic book job seeping through.

Hat Boy said...

Hat Boy? THE Hat Boy? You've been quiet!

Yeah, it's me. Been pretty busy with work and travel. Living in China off and on..

Good luck with the door. If you get rid of Henry, what would you do with the garage? It would be like having a chicken coupe with no chickens...

Marie said...

More like what would I do WITHOUT the garage...that's where I keep my comics, my records, my camping gear, my power tools. Someone needs a good trash day.

Anonymous said...

Keep the garage. It means you are on the property ladder!

Marc Siry said...

Ditch the car! I haven't owed a car in nearly twenty years and I do just fine.

That is, of course, an absurdly misleading statement- I've lived nearly continuously in that time with people who own one or more cars. In fact, there are four cars parked in my driveway right now.

Additionally, I have owned one or more motorcycles that entire time- and with the extra hard bags I recently added, I can do a respectable shopping trip. Picking up the drycleaning, not so much.

On the upside, I don't need to worry about water getting in my door. On the downside, I do need to worry about it getting into my socks and underwear.

I would only keep the car if it has sentimental value to you. The fact that you use the words 'starter' and 'alligator clips' in the same sentence indicates that you're on the wrong side of the convenience curve with this particular vehicle.

Marie said...

Hat Boy,

Using a paper clip, I dug rotting leaves and helicopters out of Henry's drain holes.

The water gushed out.


Thanks for the mechanics-by-blog.


Hat Boy said...

Oh good, I'm glad that worked. Now you and Henry can cruise around "slosh free".

Years ago I had a car with the same problem, only worse. The whole car collected water! Eventually it ruined the carpet, so I tossed that out and drilled a bunch of holes in the floor. Driving it after a good rain was a lot like driving a colander....