I think I'm ready for an Ashram.
But first, let's update yesterday's post. I woke yesterday morning with a sense of dread over the microwave and the exhaust fan in the bathroom. And I just felt bad. Had I gotten Covid? I swear, I'm still paranoid about spending time indoors with people. They all, at some point it seems, become close talkers. You can feel their breath. You can see their spittle. I am talking, of course, about a drinking crowd. And why else would you go indoors with a group of people. So. . . achey and listless, I moped. Moping wasn't fixing anything, though. Maybe the internet would. I Googled "how to repair a GE over the range microwave." Well, now, if you are interested, here's a link (link). After a lot of internet reading, I decided that it was not the easiest fix, the fuse, but was something worse. I thought this as the light in the microwave comes on, and when I push the buttons for time, there is an audible click in the control panel. Not a fuse. A Magnetron. How marvelous, really. I watched several videos on how to replace the Magnetron. I could do it, I felt. I could. But. . . I didn't really want to. I did, but I didn't. I know I could do it, eventually, but I am not a tool guy. I would be dropping screws and scraping things. But remember, I did fix my mother's drier. It just took me a long, long time.
And so I sat and thought. I saw myself as Buck Rogers (link). I sent the video around to friends to see what they thought. My friends are about as adept with tools as I. Most of them said hire a repairman or simply buy a new one. C.C. said I would probably irradiate myself. In full Buck Rogers mode, I thought, "Yea. . . I might become Magnetronic!"
Then I looked up the cost of a replacement microwave. $220. A repairman would probably be over half of that, plus parts. Now the question became whether or not I would be able to take the old one out and put in the new one myself. More videos. I still don't know. What I do know, though, is that all things are possible.
I decided to tackle the exhaust fan. I unscrewed the grating and saw a hideous mess. I guess no one had ever cleaned the fan. I hadn't, and I got the house in 1996. The fellow who lived here for many years before me was old and lame. He never cleaned it, I'm sure. It may never have been cleaned. Scary. I got a whisk broom and got to work. That should do it. I turned it on. Nope. It squealed like a pig (not the reference to the photo I had in mind, but o.k.). I thought "WD 40!" Surely that would work. I went in search.
Nope. Not there. Not here. Nope.
How could I NOT have WD 40? There was none in the house. I would have to go to the hardware store. But first, I would change out the a.c. filters in the apartment and the house. I wanted to make sure I had them. I did. I went to the garage. Hey. . . lookee there! WD 40. O.K. then.
Back to the house. Spray, spray. . . turn on the fan. It sounded better. Spray, spray.
That shit is a miracle. The fan, my friends, is running like a charm. . . silently. BBC, baby. Legs akimbo, hands on hips.
That, I thought, was a good day's work. I would deal with the microwave later. I thought to take a walk, got out my clothes. . . and it began to rain. O.K. I would digitize more old home movies. And there I was in my various incarnations at different ages, sometimes looking like a scarecrow, other times with a little pot belly. Sometimes my hair was longish and cute, other times I looked like a prisoner in a Nazi war camp. I played good music. The rain continued. The afternoon rolled by.
I had been invited out by one of the gymroids for a happy hour drink, so I showered and put on some going out clothes. For real. Seersucker shorts, a white polo. . . I looked like a 1990's preppy. First, though, I headed over to see my mother.
"Is that a new shirt? It sure is white!"
We chatted awhile. The sky cleared and the air cooled. It felt like fall. I told her I hade a couple Death Doulas, that I was set. She looked at me like I'd hit my head. I told her not to worry, that I had been Magnetized. We discussed the microwave. She proposed buying me a new one. Ha! She had little faith in my Magnatronic powers, I could see.
It was time to go.
My gymroid friend had chosen a big hipster bar in a transitioning part of town. It is on a highway and had inadequate parking. I circled for half an hour trying to find a spot. Finally, a woman walked to her car. It took her another half hour to get settled and back the fuck up. I walked through the muddy lot and into the rear entrance of the bar.
My buddy was sitting with a bunch of his friends. They did not look like the rest of the crowd. I didn't either. Why did I put this shit on, I wondered. Everyone had on t-shirts and ripped jeans. Everyone but my buddy and his friends. They hailed me to the Old Man's Corner. O.K. What the hell.
We were short a barstool. My buddy jumped up and introduced me to his friends. I thought I'd break the ice.
"You like my Cocksucker Shorts!"
They roared. O.K. I explained the line from "Sophie's Choice," but they were no longer listening. They were all drinking Old Fashioneds. Me, too. Apparently, all the drinks were on one of the fellows I didn't know, some prominent lawyer I was told. These guys had known one another for forty years. My buddy is the one who just bought the three hundred thousand dollar McLaren. They were drinking and talking about golf tournaments, etc. While they did that, they were eyeballing the girls. None of you would have enjoyed the scene, I promise, but I was on, the outsider talking in, the loner in a crowd. I was taking stage. I was performing.
"Why?" asked my bruja friend the night before when I told her I was going out with this republican crowd. She couldn't understand it. I told her I got a kick out of them.
"I don't have to be careful about what I say around them."
She looked at me with a question mark on her face.
"If I say the wrong thing around you guys, I'll be off the island. I'll get cancelled. So, you know. . . I always tiptoe around a bit. You don't like anyone to disagree. They don't give a shit. They think they are smart. They think they are quick. They think they are tough. So I surprise them. I turn the table over. Their gyroscopes go awry and they can't keep up. And in the end, I think, I change their minds a little bit. And besides. . . they are funny."
A fellow in a ball cap was talking to the boys. I didn't like the look of him at all. He kind of looked like a wise guy. When he got up off his stool and came over toward my buddy, I fairly grimaced. I was preparing myself for battle. But when he came up, he looked me square in the eye and said, "You look like. . . " and he named someone I had never heard of before. My buddy said it was a professional golfer. It was difficult for me to imagine someone who looked like me playing professional golf, but maybe it was my seersucker shorts. Ball cap stayed. He was making friends. He kept looking at me and grinning. He said he was a gambler. He talked about gambling. I got another drink. He was looking over at a tableful of women. He was, he said, going in for the kill. I am not a gambling man, but I would have bet heavily on him striking out on this one.
"Weird guy," I said to my buddy.
"Yea, a little."
"I think he was rubbing his dick on me the whole time."
"Was it big?"
"I don't think so."
My buddy got up from his barstool to talk to someone. The bar was getting crowded now, and a pretty girl stepped in to order a drink. I could see her out of the corner of my eye, but I wasn't going to look at her. Nope. But she stood there waiting for a long time, so I said without looking, "You're not doing so well."
"What do you mean?"
"The bartender must not like you."
"He's just busy."
I pointed to a woman across the bar. "She got her drink. You're doing something wrong."
"I could see her look at me and laugh.
"What do you do?" I asked her.
"I put people to sleep."
"Do you mean you bore them or are you a professional wrestler?"
"I'm an anesthesiology nurse."
"Ah. Where'd you go to school?"
She named one of those for profit rip off colleges.
"So. . . have you paid off your loans yet?"
"Nope. What do you do?"
"I used to be a school marm."
"Hey, now, what the heck," I laughed.
"I just mean you said 'used to.'" She grinned.
I could see my buddy eyeing her from behind, so I said, "Listen, don't talk to these guys. They are just a bunch of old creeps. If they say anything to you, just ignore them."
Soon, she got her drink and went back to her table.
"She was hot."
"She's with her fiancé. I asked her what he did, and she said, 'Oh, he has about eight jobs.' I told her he was a loser. Don't marry him, I said. You are certain to become some doctor's second wife."
At another table, the douche struck out, and in shame, he went to the back of the long bar. I'd had a few drinks and was getting hungry. I told my buddy I was going to get something to eat. He said, "Wait a minute. We're going across the street to eat at the barbecue place."
And so I did. Wait a minute. The barbecue place is one of my favorites. I tried to settle up my tab, but it was already done. It turns out the lawyer wasn't buying, my buddy was. He is a very generous guy. He gives money to a lot of charities and sits on a lot of boards. I guess I'm one of the charities he gives to. I am going to have to buy him some expensive bottle of something. I'm getting in too deep. As we got up to leave, one of the fellows said, "I can't believe it. That guy took my drink."
He was talking about ball cap. Ha. I knew that guy was dirty. I reached back to make sure my wallet was still there.
As we were finishing up our meal, the boys were making plans for the rest of the night. They were going off to one of the fellows offices to do some blow.
"Come with us," my buddy said.
"You guys going to do blow, strip down to your shorts, and wrestle with each other? No, man. . . I'm out."
"Oh, come on. You don't have to do the coke. Just come hang."
But I would have a hard time thinking of something I would rather not do than that. I'd rather replace the magnetron in the microwave.
"No. . . I'm going to go home and get on the couch and watch old Buck Rogers movies."
And that, my friends, is the story of The Pig. I guess. You'll have to figure it out.
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Update!!!! The microwave started working again. Unbelievable. I did it on my own!!!!