Saturday, April 24, 2010

Omelet on my face

Today I won gold in the men's "Look like a complete idiot over and over again freestyle" in my own personal Trailer Park Olympics.

Lauren and I are selling the trailer. She posts the ads, makes most of the appointments, and then I meet the folks and try not to set myself on fire in front of them. Today I met Nick at 9:30 out where have our Airstream stored in East Austin. Nick showed up with his wife and kid in their brand new Chevy Silverado. I was standing next to my '99 Chevy Suburban with the hood up. The battery had died. Was I shocked? No, because last year, when I noticed the vanity light wouldn't go out, I "fixed" the problem with some rubber bands, bubble wrap, and a ball of tin foil. Since then I've never gone anywhere in the suburban without carrying an emergency jump starter like a junkyard baby bjorn.

So Nick and family meet me and I explain that the trailer is here instead of over there, fully hooked up, because my truck is dead and I'm so sorry for being an idiot. They accept my apology and tour the trailer. All goes well and Nick makes me an offer contingent on seeing if the lights will turn on. I tell him no problem and run to check on little battery bjorn which I've left to suckle on AC/DC by the power posts--still no good.

I return to an expectant Nick & Family like a sheep who tried to shear himself and asked if they would give me a jump or maybe we could hook their truck up to the trailer. They accept the latter and we swap towing hitches and he backs the 2010 Silverado up to the Airstream. I plug her in and flip the switch to the electric jack. Nothing. I knew the trailer batter was dead, but too dead to charge back up again? I was nonplussed. So I went for broke. "Maybe it's your truck." Nick either had a good sense of humor or just wanted to see how deep I'd dig myself and so he got out his owner's manual. I made some moronic suggestions as he was reading. Still nothing. So he gives OnStar a call. Of course he has OnStar. Theirt suggestion is to not buy a trailer from the author of "The Idiot's Guide to Being an Idiot."

At this point my hat has its hat in its hands. I tell him I'll go get a new battery and show him everything all hooked up and running at another time that's good for him. He agreed and made a call to his bank to confirm he could take out the amount we'd agreed to. Miraculously, the deal was still on track.

So I called Lauren and we went and got a new battery for the truck and trailer each. I swapped out the trailer battery and all the lights shone. Now for the truck. Turns out I'd bought the wrong battery for the truck. So I went back a second time to Battery Inc. and tried to exchange the wrong truck battery. I also tried to turn in my two old batteries to recoup the disposal fee. So when I pulled my cart to the counter I had four batteries inside and, apparently, a complete inability to explain what I wanted. It took two supervisors on the scene to decipher my sudden onset of twin language.

Back at the trailer, a phrase I've grown uncomfortably comfortable with, I got the truck running again and hooked up to the trailer. With Lauren guiding I actually managed not to knock over every other trailer on the lot like some tragic Rube Goldberg machine and back the trailer up to the city water and 30 amp power supplies. We got everything plugged in and connected and working and pumping and flowing and flushing.

Except for the refrigerator...

(To be continued)