Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Really Wish He Had Gas

Hey! Did you know that Lowe's does not carry giant springs? And that they will tell you over the phone, "Sure, we have one of those. Come on in and we'll show you." Hick is so easy to fool. I never trust what a retailer tells me over the phone. Sure they want you to come in. Once you're there, and find out they never heard of a giant spring, you're likely to buy something else so your 20-mile trip was not in vain.

Of course, I may be a bigger fool that Hick. Maybe he didn't really rush off to Lowe's after supper last night. Maybe he went to a class in nonstick-skillet-scratching at the technical school.

Today, Hick sent me on a mission to procure his giant spring. Here it is, in all its glory, on the floor mat of T-Hoe.

Lest you think that doesn't look like such a very big spring, allow me to direct your attention to the severed sections placed end-to-end by the garage door store technician.

That rusted-out industrial-strength Slinky is fatter than my forearm, and at least 18 inches long. I'm sure you will be surprised to find out that the garage door business did not have one in stock, either. But I outsmarted them! I didn't bother to call first. Heh, heh. Just walked in with The Pony carrying those two parts of the whole. The workers looked a bit frightened. They might have suspected a pipe bomb. Or some drill cores to be used as noggin-thumpers. As you might imagine, their days are filled with folks wandering in to spend thousands of dollars on fancy garage doors. Not to scavenge Frankenstein appendages for antiquated car-house portals.

Hick had assured me that the girl running the place was sharp as a whip. I think he might have mixed a metaphor there. He knows her dad, and said she should know right away what we needed. Well. The only girl I saw was on the phone with a customer. A dude walked out to greet us.

My first stab of apprehension came when he asked if our garage door had one spring, or two. What? How am I supposed to know that? I'm inside the vehicle when the door is opening and closing. We carried in two pieces, but it should have been one spring. We have two doors. And this was off one of them. I could not answer his riddle. Dude was a bit flustered. "I don't have gas! If I don't have one of these, I'll have to get gas. It will take a while. Let me check."

Dude set about measuring our spring. He took a metal thingy and hooked it in a crack and counted the rings. Then he asked that girl if they had any of the plastic things. She replied that they had ordered boxes full of them. Maybe he should look in the kitchen. Huh. Dude came back with a plastic ruler. He measured again. He went to call somebody and ask if he was measuring correctly. Then he said he would check the storeroom. Then he said he did not have any of these springs. And that he was out of gas! He needed gas! He would not have a spring for us until tomorrow. Could we wait?

I'm sure Dude did not mean wait there overnight. They had a little solarium with a child's play table and patio chairs with footstools. But I'm certain he meant could we come back the next day, and would our garage be able to wait for its spring. Like, was there anybody trapped inside that needed to be extracted within the next 24 hours. I asked about what time we could pick up our new spring tomorrow. You know. In the ballpark, not a time such as 9:38 a.m. And do you know what Dude said?

"I'll have to get gas!"

He wanted our phone number. I told him we might not be home. Just give me a general time. Like, perhaps, "After noon?" Dude said yes. After noon. I told him we might even call before we left home. You know. In case he had trouble getting gas.

I am secretly hoping that "getting gas" is a euphemism for consulting somebody with a lot of experience in making garage door springs.


  1. I remember standing beside a garage door spring when it broke and nearly took off my arm.

  2. Wow, you folks in the country will do anything to avoid a stressful situation. I mean, here in BigCityLand, if an employee doesn't know something, they take a cigarette break and remove themselves in that way.

    You country folks take a methane break to avoid a tough situation...Golly gee.

  3. Stephen,
    I had no idea a garage door spring could be such a deadly implement. Then I saw it on the floor of my car, and tried to lift it before calling for The Pony. Those women mystery writers could really get a good murder weapon out of these things.

    We are uncouth, not brain dead. We have a plan to get out of a jam. It's a gas gas gas. Rather than polluting our lungs and the air with carcinogens, we return carbon and hydrogen to the atmosphere in a 1:4 ratio.

    I am not a chemistry teacher, nor do I play one on my blog. But I DO know my methane.