I’ve been resurrecting posts from my old blog. Tonight I found this sad tale from my second year of law school.
If I am crankier than normal, and I think I probably am, it’s not without reason. Case in point: my odyssey last night.
As I complained earlier, I have been in technology hell with all of my devices breaking. All forward progress has ground to a halt while I take care of fixing the basic technological infrastructure underpinning my life. To that end I am fortunate to have a helpful friend, one who previously loaned me a laptop and last night offered to loan me a new router. Great. The problem? He lives in another dimension: there is no direct way through time and space to get to Newton, Massachusetts. The street plan looks to have been designed by M.C. Esher. Roads that seem parallel intersect. Streets that look like they connect to major thoroughfares instead double-back on themselves at the last minute into one-way mobius strips. Forget having a sense of direction: it will be of no use to you in Newton.
But before I could even begin to attempt my extradimensional journey, I first had to dig my car out from two feet of snow. It required a lot of digging, not only so I could back it out of the space but also so I could get into the car. The passenger side didn’t have a lot of snow in front of it, and I was willing to get in there and climb over to the driver’s seat, but, alas, my car has only one functioning lock (and only barely, at that) and it’s on the other side – the side with all the snow. Eventually I gained access to the vehicle and began a routine of starting it up, trying to back out, failing, then getting out to shovel some more. This process was repeated quite a few times until the car was at last free.
I started driving and tried to put on a nice Huey Lewis and the News tape to keep me company on the trip. But the tape deck apparently is in cahoots with the broken laptop and router and refused to let me insert the tape into it. Perhaps it preferred to play the Moody Blues tape I had just taken out (although perhaps not – the last Moody Blues tape I had tried to play it ate). So add the tape deck, with the car lock (and did I mention the crack in my windshield?) to my ever-growing list of broken things.
Meanwhile, there I was, crawling along the dark, icy, unpainted yet multi-lane roads towards the mysterious Newton wormhole that could somehow whisk me to where I wanted to go. All the while it’s raining/sleeting/snowing/precipitating in some obnoxious manner and I can hardly see out of my windshield thanks to my inadequate wiper blades. Not that it mattered too much: what I could see didn’t look familiar.
Yet somehow, magically, I at last arrived at my friend’s house. I picked up the router and lingered to chat a bit. Big mistake. While I was there the precipitation had turned into a solid sheet of ice on the road. He lives on a hill. My car refused to climb it. I had no choice but to go in the opposite direction, downhill, and follow a set of mysterious directions I had never taken before (at least not purposefully). They were given to me by both my friend and later a “friendly” neighbor, thereby leading to the inescapable conclusion that the species who lives in this alternate dimension is involved in some sinister conspiracy to keep people who dare enter their Newtonian lair from ever being able to leave to tell the tale. They were both very patient telling me the directions, making sure I understood them, but nonetheless they bore no relation to the reality I actually encountered once I was underway.
Eventually I escaped the gravitational pull of Newton and managed to return home. I turned into my parking space, and promptly got stuck. The car would neither go all the way into the parking space nor back out so I could try again. It opted instead to stick out into the middle of the driveway, but I sensed the neighbors might find this situation objectionable. So I had to get out and shovel *again*, but here I was stymied because my door was now wedged closed by a snowdrift. Instead I had to crawl over to the passenger seat, and then be careful that the door didn’t lock behind me since that’s the side the key won’t open. After much digging I finally got the snow cleared enough that the car was able to fishtail back into its spot. It may be stuck there until spring, but that’s ok because currently I have no desire to ever leave the house again.
Originally posted 2/4/05. Not included was discovering that spring that only three of the four wheels were capable of rotating… And yet all these infirmities were resolved and I got another 12 years out of the car.