by Ben Small
Crisis in our family. Stress Week. Panic Central. The family has come to visit. Six adults, one three year old girl.
So, of course, everything has gone wrong. First, we suffered a natural gas outing for four days. No warning, little advice on when it would flow again. Cold showers, no heat, frigid temperatures...in Tucson.
Bundled up like an Eskimo, my wife laid out an agenda. Three pages, single-spaced, every visit day covered: activities, meals plus a birthday party for the three year old. So we went to Costco to stock up, and so my wife could hopefully do all the cooking in advance.
That's when we realized we had no room for all the frozen stuff.
So we bought a freezer, added it to the mess in the garage.
Then the refrigerator died. My wife swiped my beer refrigerator, emptied out all my coveted brews, and stacked it full with perishable stuff. Some of this food wouldn't fit, but the GE guy said he'd come over immediately and fix the fridge.
But the fridge needed a part, an expensive one. We weighed just buying a new fridge, and could have had it installed before the kids arrived, but GE said no sweat; they'd repair the problem well before deadline.
So we waited. Day after day, as the panic level rose and more unstashed food spoiled. We called GE. The technician was sick, they said. Had the flu. We asked for another technician, but were told the one assigned had the part, it was expensive, and GE wouldn't send another part and assign another technician.
So we waited again. Each day, we'd get a call, saying the technician was still sick but would be out "tomorrow."
Tomorrow took a week.
So the kids arrived just after the fridge got fixed. Luckily, we'd had time in the interval to buy out Costco and replace all the stuff we'd bought before. But I saved the beer. I donned my thinking cap, you know, the one with the light bulb on top, drove out and became a People from Wal-Mart by buying an oversized cooler and half an iceberg.
Great, but the three year old caught a cold on her flight and now we've all got it. And lunch in Tombstone cost me a credit card. Seems the waitress lost it. Just like I lost her tip. Now here I sit, attempting to call Bank of America, which in addition to gypping mortgage holders -- or so we've been told -- has all their systems down, and the family (without me) is sitting down to eat. Dial, dial, dial; internet, internet, internet. Nothing at BOA seems to be working, and tomorrow's a bank holiday.
Who said retirement is easy?
Heck, I'm so mad I may go back to Tombstone and shoot someone...or maybe just myself.
Just kidding...I think.