Good evening everybody. I hope all is well. It’s March 14, and a good thaw to you all. My thaw so far has been one of frustrations, particularly where my car is concerned. The other day, I hit a pothole that was hidden by a speed-bump, and was filled with water. My car stalled out on me the next day. After around half an hour, the car started again without a problem.
On a totally unrelated note, a swimming pool near my apartment in St. Henri, had just re-opened after being renovated, around three years after the “official” date of re-opening. I was planning to use it on Thursday night. It seemed like a nice and healthy way to spend an evening.
A few days later, on Thursday night, I was driving back home when I hit another major puddle and again my car crapped out, around five o’clock. Rush hour, in the middle of a busy intersection. After a lot of people honking their horns and shaking their fists and fingers at me, I managed to get out of the car and push it out of the middle of the street and into a bus stop. Needless to say, my evening was ruined, and I never got to try out the pool. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my evening turned out to be very unhealthy, with all the stress and whatnot.
Around four hours into the interminable wait for a tow-truck, a policeman came, due to a complaint from the public transit authority. Luckily, he understood that there was nothing I could do about it until the tow truck arrived so I was able to talk my way out of a fine. By the time I got towed to my garage, it was almost midnight, and the garage was closed until 7:30 the next morning.
As it turned out, my alternator was flooded and had to be replaced, to the tune of around $400.00. At least my car seems to be okay now, but I don’t think I can afford to replace any more parts this month.
That day there was a lot of slush everywhere. maybe that’s what the slush fund the mayor’s office keeps investing our money in is for.
It’s also pothole season, when watching the traffic slalom around trying to avoid hitting the craters, cracks, and old buried streetcar tracks that pop up back through the pavement becomes a spectator sport. This is the season of broken axles, pierced gas tanks, lost hubcaps and badly abraised skid plates. Your tax dollars at work.
The next day, after having my car fixed, I came home and turned on the television. Nothing but blandishments and banalities and commercials, as normal, until the news came on.
My previous ordeal paled in comparison when I learned about the 8.9 Richter scale earthquake that hit coastal Japan, causing a tsunami which washed away houses and cars, and killed at least 10,000 people. the tsunami sent tidal waves as far away as Hawaii and now threatens meltdowns at two Japanese Nuclear facilities.
Sort of puts my day in perspective.
* Photos by Laurence Tenenbaum