The Snowball Effect

This morning was a living hell. Scratch that. Since yesterday, I’ve been experiencing a cluster-fuck of epic proportions.

What getting home last night was like

It all started last night. The cold weather combined with a dusting of snow resulted in multiple accidents across Chittenden County (I’d also like to add some people drive like complete assholes and deserve their fate. Yeah, silver Honda Pilot, I’m talking to you.). My usual 30 minute commute turned into an hour of bumper-to-bumper, everyone’s-pissed-and-no-one-is-directing-traffic MESS.  I thought, Ok, this is super annoying but it’s completely out of my control. WHATEVER.

Then Liam calls me.

His car over-heated because of the stop-and-go traffic. Of course, as fate would have it, I had just driven by him at the gas station he managed to get to. He says there are “bubbling” sounds coming from the hood–never a good adjective to use when describing a car.  He’s going to call the insurance and get a tow-truck.

I make it home, still talking to Liam on the phone, and start prepping dinner because, did I mention…? We’re hosting a “Dinner & Cruise Planning Party” tonight. Four of our friends will be walking through the door any minute.

And then the stove breaks. 

The handle comes off completely and the door is now unhinged, lying limp on the kitchen floor. I’m acrobatically holding the handle in one hand, trying to lift the oven door with the other, and was balancing the phone between my ear and neck so I could talk to Liam.

I thought my troubles were over when Dan walked through the door. “Oh, good, you’re here. Can you help me with the stove?” I explain the situation, and laughing, Dan attempts to help me piece the stove back together. But of course, it’s not that simple. The screws are stripped and won’t screw back into the handle. We try what seems like every single head in the tool kit. Nothing works.

And then on the other end of the line, Liam tells me he needs a ride home from the gas station. Road side assistance (another post on what a waste of $$ that is coming soon) can’t locate any available tow-trucks (damn all of you horrible drivers!!!). They tell him to leave his car there and call back in the morning.

Giving up on the stove for a few minutes, Dan calls Steph and Shane (two of the party guests), and praise Jesus, they offer to pick up stranded Liam.  Something finally goes right.

Back to fixing the stove…

We still can’t even get the screws to turn, let alone piece the POS back together. Frustrated, I give up and tell Dan I’m getting the duct tape. He’s reluctant but he helps me tapes it back together. Dan puts the finishing touches on just as everyone else arrives. Sweet.

Not his car, but might as well be

A frazzled Liam walks through the door, along with Steph, Shane, and Liz, and he begins to tell everyone about his crazy car adventure. Tubes bursting, liquids leaking out of the hood, and an out of control temperature gauge were some the details. We all eat dinner, have some much needed beer and decompress.

We talk for a few hours about vacation plans and different options to explore. Because of astronomical flight prices, we can’t nail down anything concrete. But that’s ok. It was a good start. The evening winds down, friends leave, and we go to bed.  

Then begins Hell Day 2.

At 8:00, Liam calls the road side assistance again and they say they are sending a tow truck in half an hour. He goes outside and starts my car, and we both get ready for the day. When we are about to leave, I ask for his keys to lock the house. He looks in all of his usual spots, but he cannot find the keys anywhere.

His keys are missing.

Liam is a very patient, mild-mannered person. But just like everyone, he has a breaking point. And that breaking point was 8:15 in the morning, scouring the house for a set of keys that were no where to be found. Did the cats knock them off the bookshelf? Are they buried on the counter behind last night’s beer bottles and dirty dishes? Maybe they’re in my coat? Did you check the mini-fridge? We say these and other ridiculous things to one another as we search for the fucking keys.

We still cannot find them. It’s been 20 minutes.

Worried we will miss the tow truck, we leave the house without them. I drive and Liam tries to get a hold of our friends to see if one of them took his keys by mistake.  He reaches everyone except for Steph. We wonder if maybe the keys are in the backseat of her car from when she picked him up. Or maybe he locked the keys inside of his car?

I take this opportunity to remind Liam he really should have a spare set. He doesn’t appreciate my advice.

Anyone wanna take a guess at what happened next? Ohhh, that’s right–we miss the tow truck. It had juuussst been there, according to the convenient store clerk. The jeep is also gone, so we assume/hope/pray it’s at the auto-body shop.

It’s now 9:10. I call work to tell them I won’t be there at 9. I call my coworker I am supposed to pick up at 8:45 and tell her the story. I stew as we drive to auto-body shop…

We  pull up to the auto-body shop holding our breath. Good news, the jeep is there. Bad news, the keys are not inside (not that locking the keys in the car is “good news” but at least the search for them would be over). We still cannot reach Steph and the auto-body shop won’t be able to work on the car until they can get into it. Things just keep getting better.

We remember Liam’s sister is home visiting, so we drive to his parent’s house to see her. We hope maybe she can give him a ride back to our house and I can finally go to work. But she has a plane to catch in a few hours, needs to pack, and has other errands to run. Outlook gloomy.

Now I can either drive him alllll the way back to our house and help him look for the keys, or stay with him at his parent’s house until we hear back from Steph. Since she’s supposed to be to work by 10, and must be waking up soon, we opt for the latter.

At 9:45, she finally calls Liam back. Turns out his keys were in her backseat. Thank-fucking-god.

We all breathe a breath of relief. Steph arrives shortly there after.  We thank her, apologize for the 15 phone calls and messages, and we drive back to the auto-body shop. I then go pick up my coworker and finally arrive to work at 10:45.

It’s now 3 o’clock. Although this “adventure” appears to be over, we haven’t heard back from the mechanic, yet. Based on our luck, I doubt it’s going to be cheap and painless. That’s just not our style. So, to be continued…Until then…

Here are some things I learned from this experience:

  1. Have many, many sets of spare keys made. Hide them in various locations.
  2. Cancel road side assistance immediately.
  3. And finally…Situations like this really test relationships and personalities. Crisis’s seem to bring out the absolute worst in people (myself included). But if newspaper throwing, screaming in frustration, and frantically calling all of our friends is the worst Liam’s got, then I think we’re gonna be just fine.

One thought on “The Snowball Effect

  1. mike haseck says:

    Lol, I feel you I live right in Burlington so many crashes lately, I wonder about Burlington’s poor urban planning and maybe that the city is swollen, this time of year.

    Thanks for the read.


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