So here I am …

… sitting at home, with plumbers (plural) working on the drain mechanisms of my two tubs, and my car in the shop because it broke down on my commute home yesterday.

The tubs need repair because the lever that shifts the drain mechanism is made of two dissimilar metals – a bad idea in moist environments – and I was unaware that I had to open and close the drains regularly in order to prevent corrosion from building up and locking the mechanisms. Bleah.

Replacing the drain mechanism is a two-plumber job, involving one plumber working in the tub and the other beneath the tub. It’s taken three hours or so to do the upstairs tub (the easy one). For the downstairs tub, the plumber will have to chip away some of the cement floor beneath the tub in order to have room for the new drain mechanism. Again, bleah.

The car is in the shop because, apparently, Saturns with standard transmissions are notorious for having problems with the mechanisms connecting the shift lever to the transmission. When you’re on the road, and all of a sudden the shift lever starts flopping around, it’s not a happy occasion. This is the second time I’ve had it happen. The first time was almost exactly a year ago – Marion and I were returning home from a play, and when I shifted into neutral at a stop light, all of the normal “feel” of the shifter went away, and it flopped around loosely. I flipped the lever around a couple of times and joked to Marion that she shouldn’t feel bad, this sort of thing happened to every guy now and then, but there wasn’t much humor involved in waiting for a tow truck at midnight, miles from home. My mechanic replaced the cables that were part of the linkage mechanism, and I was good to go.

This time, I was on my way home and it happened while I was shifting gears coming away from a stop light. It wasn’t the cables this time. It was a couple of plastic parts that the cables go to. Same effect, though. I’m just lucky that both times, the car ended up in neutral. If it had been in gear, it would have been tougher getting it onto the tow truck.

Joe tells me the repair parts may be in tomorrow, so I may get the car back tomorrow afternoon. Not the way I wanted to spend today, but what can you do? Once more, and third time’s the charm … bleah.

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