Pop Culture Gadabout
Sunday, June 26, 2011
      ( 6/26/2011 09:35:00 AM ) Bill S.  

CRUSING THE VISTA: We paid off the PT Cruiser (a.k.a. Silver Surfer a.k.a. Boogie) a few months back, so now it’s time for it to start acting up, right? The A-C died recently -- not a good thing when you’re living in an AZ heat wave. Turned out there was a leak in the crimp to the hose feeding coolant. Had it scheduled to be replaced on the weekend -- after days of driving round the desert with the windows rolled down. As if sympathy with my own sweatiness, on Friday as I’m driving home from work, the car’s engine starts overheating. Turning on the heater, a quick temp fix, doesn’t help, so I tell myself, “I’ll have them check into the coolant when I take it in tomorrow.”

I’m supposed to be on call-out for my job as a part-time crisis worker, so I make arrangements for somebody else to be on-call while I’m sitting at the shop. I get three-hundred pages into The Girl Who Played with Fire before I’m given the prognosis. My radiator has sprung a leak, and they have to order a replacement, which -- this being the weekend -- won’t be in until Tuesday. “Will I be able to drive around town?” I asked. Keep the radiator topped off, I’m told, and I should be okay.

I get a crisis call before I leave downtown, am able to take it and get back home (a five mile drive or so) without incident. Once there, I refill the radiator with water and get a gallon jug filled for the car. Two-and-a-half hours later, I get my second activation for the day, so I drive over to see a patient in ER. Most of the people I get called out to see at the emergency room are there because they appear to be a danger to themselves -- either through drug overdoses or suicide attempts -- and it’s my primary job to do a crisis evaluation, then facilitate either pysch or detox hospitalization if it’s deemed necessary. This call proves relatively low-key, so I’m ready to leave around 5:30. Put some more water in the radiator and head for home.

Only . . . once I pass the city limits and have about two more miles to go, the engine light goes on again -- in symphony, a whole bunch of other dash lights start flashing, and the car dies. Pull out my refilled jug of water and attempt to replenish the radiator, but as I fill it, I can see water dripping out of the car just as rapidly. Silver Boogie refuses to re-start, so I’m stuck on the desert highway and forced to call roadside assistance. I look at the temperature, see that it’s 106 and thank myself that I also have a full bottled water with me.

I wait and watch the cars go by, consider the largely uninspiring patch of desert view that is mine, call my crisis supervisor to explain that I’m out of commission then finally start writing the first two paragraphs of this piece. I ponder the pioneers who once traversed this punishing landscape without benefit without benefit of cell phones or roadside assistance. Though the automated system tells me that there’s an ETA of an hour, the truck from Nuttall Towing arrives within a half hour.

The Man from Nuttall is friendly and efficient -- he gets a lotta calls like mine in the hell days of summer, so he’s not surprised when I tell him about my radiator mishap. He takes both me and vehicle back home, a tow of about two miles, and I tell him I’ll be needing him later in the week when I have to get the vehicle into the shop. Now all I have to do is figure out how I’m gonna get into work until I can get the car fixed. Two hours later I get a call from the crisis worker who is now filling in for me, asking me if I know anything about a client she is currently seeing in ER. I’ve gotten a call on the woman in question before, so I tell her what I know, feeling guilty as I do that I’m not the one taking the call.

The rest of the night is quiet, but for my periodic mental fretting about the car, of course. I can’t do anything about it now, but that doesn’t stop me from indulging in Worst Case Scenarios. Arizona summers can be tough on cars -- and on car owners, too. I received that basic lesson on this fact of desert life this weekend . . .


# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:

A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page

Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine


Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery


Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett


Michael's Movie Palace

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag


News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

Peter David

Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Marc Bernardin

Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby


The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter

A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.

My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Roy Edroso


Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman


Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends

Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed

Powered by Blogger

    follow me on Twitter