Last night I watched the new Larry David film Clear History on HBO. Man, I can really relate to David’s character, a successful hippy ad exec who lucks into a start-up company that plans to produce a revolutionary electric car. The trouble begins when he objects to the CEO’s proposed name for the vehicle, the Howard. He is so annoyed by the moniker that he quits, relinquishing his 10% stake in the company.
Of course, the Howard becomes an instant success, and David’s character loses a billion dollars and becomes a national joke. Humiliated, he changes his name and moves to Martha’s Vineyard, where he earns a meager living being a caregiver for a fussy dowager. Without spoiling the rest of the story, I’ll just say that his bad luck streak is just beginning.
In my own life, it seems like I can’t catch a break anywhere. It all started when the Big Tree fell in my backyard, destroying the lattice fence I put up years ago. When I built it, I knew that my physical condition would probably prevent me from exerting such strenuous activity in future years. Three hernias later, I was proven correct. And now I have a gaping hole in my defensive perimeter.
But that was just the beginning. Now it seems that every day, something breaks down or malfunctions. After the tree, the hot water heater began to leak. We got that fixed, but then one day I was closing the car door and grabbed the latch instead of the door handle. As I pulled it shut I heard a snap. The latch had broken inside the door and I was forced to roll the window down and open it from the outside. This produced a bruise on my forearm which pained me greatly, so I ponied up $162 and had it fixed.
Then one of the bulbs in the turn indicator went out. No big deal, I thought. But when I looked for access to replace it, I discovered that the only way to get into the thing was to dismantle the entire trunk. Fortunately, the car was under warranty, but because there are no dealers in Grass Valley we were forced to drive to Auburn and sit in their funky waiting room for an hour while a two-dollar bulb was replaced.
Then the coffee maker died. My wife, who lives on coffee and insulin, had the foresight to have a new replacement in the garage, so we were spared from heating water on the stove and making our morning joe one cup at a time.
Last week, I drove the wife to Sacramento to a doctor’s appointment. We had it timed so that we could avoid the daily gridlock of urban employees rushing to escape the city after 4pm. After the visit, we had lunch in the car and she asked me what time it was. I turned the key to light up the dash clock. It was only 2:15. We were in good shape to beat the rush. The wife finished her lunch and did some exercises before we hit the road. So I went to start the car and…nothing! I forgot to turn the key to “off” and the battery had run down. An excruciating hour-and-a-half later, Triple “A” showed up and gave us a jump. Of course, by then we were stuck in traffic for another thirty minutes.
Yesterday, the microwave died. I can’t say I was surprised. Spent most of the morning juggling appliances in and out of the kitchen and trying to figure out how to set the clock.
Today I hope to have a little respite from having to fix something. I’ll leave it to the cable guy, who is scheduled to come and fix our TV sometime between noon and four. And someday, I promise to get to the leaky faucet in the bathroom, if the roof doesn’t fall in.