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In Hot Water (29 April 2006 - 8:38 a.m.)

It’s been a while since I've had the time (or inclination) to post anything here. Life has a way of getting in the way, you know? For example, last Friday, when I got home from work, I discovered that we didn’t have hot water. I called a plumbing company at 4:00 PM, and was told someone would be here between 5:00 and 7:00. It was almost 10 PM by the time the guy showed up.

A few minutes after his arrival, Mr. Plumber informed us that our hot water heater was shot and would have to be replaced the next day, since it was now too late to do the work. He came back on Saturday, and what should have been a three hour job tops took him TWELVE HOURS. And cost us nearly $2,500.00. A couple of valves had to be replaced as well as the hot water heater, but that still seems like an exorbitant sum.

Unfortunately, in an emergency situation, especially one that occurs at a late hour, you don't have the luxury of calling around for estimates. I cried myself to sleep Friday night after hearing the amount of money we’d have to pay. Oh well. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve done that, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.


On a more comical note, the recent birth of the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reminded me of the time my sister and I were abducted by Scientologists. It happened during a trip to San Francisco in the 1970s. She and I were walking down the street when we were approached by two young men dressed in suits, who asked if we wanted to take a free personality test.

I, of course, gave an immediate and emphatic NO! My gullible sister, on the other hand, said yes. I tried to argue with her, but she informed me that she was bored, this sounded interesting to her, and I could go back to the hotel if I wanted to and she would meet me there later. I could not believe my ears. Of course, I couldn’t let her go off alone with these guys, and had no choice but to follow.

The "personality test" involved getting hooked up to an Electropsychometer, or E-Meter, which supposedly measures your mental state. (!) After that, my sister and I were ushered into separate offices for our personal “audit” sessions. Alarm bells went off in my head when the guy LOCKED THE DOOR to the room. I asked him why he was doing that, and he said it was to ensure that we would not be interrupted. Swell.

My “auditor” (Certified Psychological Accountant?) was visibly frustrated by my disinterest in his speech about the desired state of “clear,” which all Scientologists aspire to achieve. I repeatedly told him I wanted to leave, and wanted to see my sister. He told me she was having a very good session, and I would see her soon. That really scared me.

Mr. Scientologist had received a phone call during my captivity, and after hearing his remark about my sister having a very good session, I began to wonder if that’s what the phone call had been about. All I could think was, “My sister is going to be brainwashed into joining this cult, and my mother is going to KILL me when I go home without her!”

After that, I became hostile and insisted that I be released NOW. Mr. Scientologist gave up and let me go. Much to my relief, I saw my sister sitting in the waiting room. I glared at her as hard as I could. She got up, and we walked out of that place in silence. When we got back out on the street, we looked at each other and burst out laughing. We howled all the way back to the hotel. Sometimes you just have to laugh to release tension.

Song of the Day: I Love to Laugh From the Mary Poppins Soundtrack

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