Have you ever had your router die on you? I spent hours and hours on the Netgear user forum last month just trying to get some help on how to get it working again, because it was running perfectly for two months when suddenly – nada. After re-setting and reconfiguring and calling my own ISP and being told that no, they can’t help me because I don’t have the router that THEY sell – I just gave up on them and ordered up a new ISP.
That’s the prelude to the apple story.
Midst that hassle I at least had two weeks off work, time enough to drag some dusty power tools out of the basement for a thorough sweep through the apartment taking care of various odd jobs that I’d neglected and were long overdue – a laundry list of sanding, varnishing, hole-drilling, screwdriving,
stuccoing the ceiling, sawing, hammering, spackeling, painting – even rug shampooing.
Anyway, March 9 I took K. to the airport because she had a flight to Nice. Little holiday by herself with a retired friend who goes there every year around this time.
She loves France and French culture as do I, and it would have been nice to be there with her, but as I said I had all these jobs to do and quite frankly all I wanted to do was stay in Hamburg and do some stuff with the little red-haired girl. We ate at Mickey-D’s twice, made pizza, spareribs, popcorn and french fries, went to the zoo, the world’s largest model railway – yes, it’s right here in Hamburg - watched a few movies, listened to music and generally hung out.
After taking K. to the airport I went home, turned around and biked off to a clinic for an MRT scan – I don’t know if that’s a CAT scan in real English but you’ve probably seen photos or even had one yourself. They’re trying to find out why the smell of metal – more like copper – keeps wafting through my head since we got back from New York.
They put you on a narrow bed on a sliding tray, coo soothing words into your ear that it’s going to be a wee bit noisy, but not to worry dear, you get some ear protection and are shown a button to push should you find you just can’t stand one more second of its screaming, scraping, throbbing, grinding, pulsating bursts of pure aggravation. It goes on for 20 minutes and my head was ringing even more than usual afterward.
Biked home from the scan with printouts showing bizarre slices of my head for the Ear Nose and Throat guy to hum and haw over some time later, plopped them down on the desk long enough to go to the router forum and get some more info, try it out only to bang my head on the chair in frustration. Routers! Why are they such a hassle?
But by then it was near closing time at the hardware store where I’d reserved a rug shampooing machine, so I dashed off to the car and fought rush-hour traffic to pick it up.
Paid for the rug doctor, packed it in the car, drove back through the narrow streets into our building’s underground parking lot so I could unload the thing right close to the lift instead of hauling it from a parking spot several streets away. We don’t rent a space, you see.
Anyway, I took it upstairs, went online to the router help forum because something I thought of asking on my way home I didn’t want to just forget, had some dinner, kissed the little red-haired girl and headed out that evening to meet a friend from the writers’ group who’d invited me to join her weekly improv theater workshop. I had a lot of fun, even participated in a couple of sketches, then went out for beers.
During the improv the little red-haired girl phoned three times, a little annoying but she said she was afraid, being all alone in the house and having someone first ring the doorbell and then knock on the door 10 minutes later. I told her that because we weren’t expecting anyone, not to open the door.
Got home after midnight, hit the sack, and woke up around 5:30am for some strange reason asking myself how far I’d have to go to pick up the car again when I brought the rug shampooer back, because I could just carry it to the… OH FUCK!
Suddenly it dawned on me though a late lingering beer buzz that I had absolutely no memory of driving the car out of the underground parking garage after unloading that damn rug doctor. Pulling on some clothes I threw myself downstairs, flung open the door to the garage – and the car’s gone! At least it’s not in the spot it should have been. Oh man…
I head around a corner and to my enormous relief it’s only been pushed a few yards down the way a bit. Must have left it unlocked.
I get in, turn the key and it doesn’t turn over, because – cue Simpsons’ HA-HA - I’d left the hazard lights on. So I go upstairs and haul the little red-haired girl out of bed – it’s before 6 am – because she’s got to help me push it into an empty parking bay. We struggle to edge the car through the crowded garage without scraping any BMWs, I lift up the hood, disconnect the battery and pull it out. I’ve got a charger and want to get it hooked up right away, because who knows how long it’s going to take to get the thing juiced up again?
So I’m downstairs carrying this heavy car battery with my daughter beside me and we’re waiting for the elevator to take us back up to our plac when my downstairs neighbour – a big, beefy guy with 3 kids who’s kind of the unofficial Hausmeister – comes lumbering down the stairs followed closely by two Hamburg cops – a police man and woman – who all look down at me from the stairway above.
My neighbour stops and, looking straight into me while taking a deep breath to pause for effect, slowly says: Huge problems in this house yesterday evening, Herr InHamburg.
Uh, yeah, well, you know I was just, uh, well…. you see it’s…. God, I wanted to melt to a puddle and trickle through some crack in the floor, never to be found again. I apologised the best I could and he accepted it very well, adding that beyond the immediate problem of moving the car away so that neighbours could park theirs for the night, they were all worried about what it could all mean.
Was I somehow injured? Had I suffered a sudden heart attack or stroke and for that reason could not answer the door? You don’t just park a car in the middle of the garage and then leave it – it doesn’t make sense! It could have been really serious, so that’s why he called the cops. It also explains my daughter’s hearing the doorbell ring and the knocks late the night before.
I consider myself lucky nobody had the beast towed away, the router works perfectly with the new ISP, and that I’ve had a chance to take my own little holiday in the meantime.