The plot device of my life seems to have announced that God has left the building.
In the past month, God appears to have specifically vacated machinery of any kind. Machines hate me right now. They blow up. They break down. They go on strike. They quit.
First, it was my kiln (Relay Race, June 8th, 2009).
Then my iMac G5, which I’ve had for over 5 years, gave up on me. They say God is in the details, so I guess my puny hard drive was so full of the details of my life. that it became overwhelmed and refused to save anything. 60 Gigabytes once seemed like a vast ocean of storage but now folks scoff at 500Gs. So I bought a new MacBook Pro and more problems: data migration issues, a new operating system, new software issues, and my learning curve.
My Canon Pixma IP 4500 printer, died shortly after my Mac–may it rest in everlasting peace. Maybe it was heartsick of the loss of their shared USB connection, and stopped printing the blues–literally. Naturally the thing was one month out of warranty.
It would have cost more to repair the old printer than to buy a new one. My old model was no longer available so I decided to upgrade to an MX860–an all-in-one copier, printer, fax machine and scanner. I got a discount as part of Canon’s “loyalty program,” and UPS delivered the new printer overnight.
By the time I cracked open the box on the new printer, I had psyched myself up for a good time installing the software on my computer. Aligning print heads and getting to know how to use all the features on the machine. I wish I could tell say it was a breeze. But I can’t. Actually, the software and set-up was a breeze. Removing 387,000 pieces of red tape outside and inside the machine was not. It took me an hour and a half just to remove the tape! When I opened up the printer to see if I could find any more tape, what I found instead was a broken part inside the printer! It was a prop to keep the lid open while installing new ink cartridges. Now I am no techno-whiz. But I think I can replace a l’il ole lid propper-upper. But Canon won’t send me the part. They will only send me a new printer, or I have to take my machine to a repair shop for warranty repair. The thought of having to remove all that tape made the decision easy. The repair shop ordered the part, and I’ll bring the machine in when it arrives.
I thought the plague of machines was winding down when light bulbs all over the house started burning out. Seriously, I have replaced a half dozen light bulbs in the past two weeks! Fortunately they are small, inexpensive, and easy to replace.
But apparently The Almighty wasn’t done with me.
Last week, a man driving ( I use the term loosely here) a Hyundai Sonata whizzed past me on a winding mountain road in my neighborhood, forcing me into the side of the mountain to avoid a head-on collision. He drove away without stopping. Nice try, Mister. I raced back around the horseshoe street, caught him at the T-intersection and followed him until he turned into a driveway. Then I pulled over and blocked him in.
“Oh, am I blocking you?” He asked, innocently.
“No, I’m blocking you,” I said. “You ran me off the road back there and you didn’t even stop!” I indicated the scraped wheel.
I ran you off the road? He had with a befuddled look on his face. This guy was clueless.
“Yes, you did–you you were in the middle of the road going way too fast around that turn. You’re lucky we didn’t have a head-on collision.”
“I wasn’t in the middle of the road,” he said.
“Oh yes you were.” I stated, matter-of-factly.
“Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree.”
“We don’t have to agree to anything, I said pointedly. “You WERE in the middle of the road, going too fast. Now give me your insurance information.”
Unfortunately my $500 deductible is greater than the cost to repair the wheel rim and hubcap. Also, the other driver had no damage to his car, so it makes no sense to report the damage to my insurance company. It’s infuriating.
If that weren’t enough, today, another idiot hit the rear bumper of my Prius in the Von’s parking lot in Pasadena, and didn’t leave a note. Lucas at Amazing Bumper, a mobile body repair service, says it’ll cost $325 to fix and take 3-4 hours. A quick financial triage determines that however reasonable the cost might be, it is out of my price range for cosmetic damage.
Is “God” is trying to tell me something? Is all this Deus ex Machina in reverse? Has God abandoned my machinery to create an unsolvable difficulty to help me? I have all the help I need. It’s a good thing I don’t own a chainsaw. I might have lost a foot in an omnipotent display of Godlessness.
I’m leaving town next week. But before I hit the open road, I’m taking my Prius to the dealer for a check-up and maintenance–just in case.