Monday, May 23, 2022

Hick, the Badwill Generator

With no electricity, our house has no water, no flushes, no FRIG II, no oven, no microwave, no internet, no phone charging, no air conditioning, no breather. It's a big deal. That's why we have a generator. That's why I wish it was a WORKING generator!

Friday morning, with power still out, Hick tried the generator. It's on wheels, parked in the garage, about the size of half a steamer trunk. When Genius still lived at home, it was a manner of minutes from when the power went off until he and Hick had that generator humming. It's not big enough to power the whole house, but Hick could give me electricity for my lair, for the basement TV, for FRIG II, for the well pump, and lights. By adjusting which breakers he turned on or off, I could cook. We could have heat if needed, from the fake fireplaces.

Friday morning, Hick pulled out the generator, on its two flat tires. He had to go to the BARn for pliers to turn on a part of it. Then he remembered that the generator needed the carburetor rebuilt. We haven't used it in about six years. I'm SHOCKED that Hick hasn't had time to get to that carburetor!

Hick went to town. I assumed to his Storage Unit Store, as he does every Friday morning to open at 8:00. But he was back home within the hour, with two cans of ether to spray into the carburetor of the generator. I stood on the back porch by Juno's dog house, listening to Hick on the sidewalk to the garage with the generator. It ran in fits and starts.

"I can keep it running with the ether. I'm coming in to turn on just the breakers for the kitchen outlet so you can charge your phone, and the pump, and the refrigerator to let it chill again. You need to go flush both toilets to fill the tanks. You can save yourself some cups of water, too."

Hick set the breakers, found in the electric box in the bathroom closet, then went back outside. I heard Gennie start. I did my duties. But Gennie was CHOKING! Sputtering. On. Off. On. Off. After about five minutes, Gennie stayed quiet. I checked my phone. It had charged 1 percent! Hick came back in the kitchen.

"I had to stop. I kind of started a little fire. Good thing I had the fire extinguisher in the garage. Well. Now I know all I have to do is rebuild the carburetor."


"Maybe next week."

"That won't help us NOW!"

"No it won't. I'll get you the car charger and put it in your car. It's that fuzzy thing you always ask what it is in the compartment under the backup camera. It's attached to a car charger. Take your phone cord. It should plug into a little hole in that charger. Stick it in the cigarette lighter. I got the garage door open for you. So you can get out."

Around 11:00, happy as The Pony with a USPS-supplied blue towel, I virtually skipped out to the garage. Sure, I was unshowered, my hair a haystack. But I was going to town to get some scratchers! To pass the time until either darkness fell once again, or our electricity was restored.

What I saw when I descended the porch steps made my blood run cold.


Further investigation showed that there was no charger inside. I searched A-Cad for the "fuzzy thing." Nothing was in that little cubby where it usually resides. 
I called Hick, but only got his voicemail. "There is no charger in T-Hoe, and I can't find it in the Acadia. AND you left T-Hoe's hood up! Now you won't even answer the phone!!!"
Seriously. I think a few tears leaked out. But whatcha gonna do? I was left to my own devices to find and fix my devices.
I went back to A-Cad. Looked in the console. In the trays between the seats. In the back seat area. Felt along the cords. NO CHARGER. I moved some junk around on the floor between the back seats. A cord! Wait. It was attached to the Garmin. Not a charger. More rooting around. I FOUND A CHARGER! On the floor under some of Hick's Goodwill swag.

That charger didn't fit my phone! And I couldn't figure out how to lower T-Hoe's hood. I looked at both ends of that stick propping it up. Couldn't see where it should come loose and fold down. I leaned over the engine compartment, feeling the top and bottom of the stick. Nothing. No clue. WAIT! That looked like a hydraulic kind of setup. Like a little part of the stick would slide into the bigger part. Just like on the sticks that lift T-Hoe's hatch.

I pulled down on the hood. Nothing happened. Tried it from the side. Nothing. Went back to the front, and pulled harder. Aha! The hood closed. I heard it click. I was barely up the driveway when I knew I had to find some way to charge my phone. It was at 15 percent. I looped through the yard-field, and went back inside for the other end of my phone charger. To see if I could fit any part of that other charger into it. Nope. I rummaged through T-Hoe's glove compartment. Another charger! Which didn't fit, either.

The only other alternative was to buy a charger. No way was I going in Walmart. I had no idea what kind of charger I needed. No Sprint store in Backroads. No T-Mobile. But wait! There's an AT&T store! And that's what we have for our landline. So I wouldn't feel guilty about going there and asking a bunch of questions, like I might at the Cricket store.

Two guys were standing in front of the AT&T store smoking. I had to walk RIGHT AT them, to go up the sidewalk ramp instead of stepping up the curb.

"Can I help you with something?"

"I'm looking for a car charger for my Samsung Galaxy A51. I've tried several, but the plug won't fit."

"I think I know just what you need. Do you want the gizmo or the gadget?" [That's what I heard. I know he said the technical names of two different versions of the charger, but it didn't register in my simple mind.]

"I'm sorry. I have no idea what that means."

"Okay. Let's try this one. You can plug it into the cigarette lighter, and also plug a wire into it."

"Yes. That's what I want."

"It will be $35 plus tax."

"That's fine. Can we open it here when I pay, and try it? And if it doesn't fit, I'll return it immediately!"

"I'm so confident it will work that I'll open it right now, before you pay. See? It fits just right."

"Yes! Thank you so much! This is probably the easiest thing I'll do all day. You've been very helpful."

I took my charger out to T-Hoe, turned my phone on, and it started charging immediately. You know what happened next, right? I got an email from the electric company that our power had been restored.

You also know what happened after that, right? The next day, I broke my cell phone.


  1. Get to a casino right away, even Steven must be waiting!

    1. As a matter of fact, we went to a casino on Saturday... Even Steven has been quite equitable. But it will take two posts to tell the complete story.

  2. In six years (SIX!) Hick hasn't repaired the generator? it's the ONE thing that you don't leave until the last minute. what's the point in having a non-working generator? as for your phone, I think you should buy a little portable 'powerbank'. Charge it up and whenever you need to charge your phone when there's no power available, you plug it into the powerbank. I have one that gets chucked into my bag whenever I'm going out for a long walk, incase the phone goes flat, so I can recharge in case I have trouble and need to call someone. of course after you've used it, you should recharge it as soon as you can to be ready for the next time.

    1. Yeah, so long that Hick FORGOT what was wrong with the generator! He knew it had the flat tires, and that the battery was dead. He rolled it out on flat tires, and had T-Hoe's hood up to use jumper cables on the generator's battery.

      I asked if we needed a new generator, but Hick said no, he "just" needed to rebuild that carburetor.

      Genius used to have a couple of those power banks that he carried in his pockets. I usually don't have a problem with my phone, EXCEPT WHEN THE POWER IS OFF FOR 21 HOURS! Which doesn't happen very often.

      Just now I thought of how I might have been able to plug it into my laptop! Which had a full charge when the power went off.

  3. You made me laugh so hard I had to visit the bathroom before commenting! Sounds just like my life!! I know less than nothing about my car, I just drive the damn thing, the rest is up to him, and I am equally ignorant about my phone!

    1. Sorry about sending you to the bathroom! Hick never has found that fuzzy thing that he says is a universal charger.