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Friday, 01 August
A Day Which Will Live In Stupidity

Yesterday, I arrived home after work and ascended the staircase to my apartment. There at the landing was--YAY!--a box from Amazon! Always a welcome sight, especially since at least 50% of the time, I have forgotten what the hell I've ordered, so it's like amnesiac Christmas. I picked up the box.

TO: MARGARET [REDACTED]

I hurled the box to the ground. MARGARET FUCKING REDACTED! That's my neighbor! Stupid mailman with the stupid tease package. So I grabbed it again and stalked over to my neighbor's staircase and tossed it up onto her landing. Then I began re-ascending my stairs.

Then I did something very curious, where "curious" may be interpreted as "stupid." It's been a hot few days, and I was feeling it. So halfway up the staircase I decided to remove my shirt. Without stopping. You can see where this is going. [Editor's note: For some reason, I switch tenses here. It's best not to think about it.] I get the shirt half-off, and it's covering my eyes, and of course it's caught around my neck with my arms flailing helplessly inside the outturned body of the fabric, and for some reason my legs are still trying to navigate the stairs, and I'm thinking What the fuck am I doing? Stop walking! Oh, Christ, I'm just stupid. And, yeah, I miss a step up and I faceplant into the stairs and lie there a moment (still with my shirt half-off and all wound around my head and arms) and think about how this must somehow prove that I'm a complete Darwinian glitch in the cosmos. If I were plankton (and I just might be), I would probably eagerly launch myself at the nearest pod of whales.

CAR UPDATE: It's still fucked up, and the assumption is still that we overfilled it with oil. Possible sub-explanation is that the spark plugs may be fouled. I don't fucking know. Someone could tell me that the problem was related to angry pit demons and I'd probably earnestly reply, "You mean like in the belts or something?" Anyway, the wife and I unwisely attempted resuscitation last night, following some choice advice from a friend.

Said friend advised using a turkey baster to siphon off the excess oil from the engine. So, unbelievably, we tried this. Now there was a nice picture for everyone driving on 12th: me and my girl, two people who clearly should not own cars (or, for that matter, anything), gingerly probing the innards of our Honda with a turkey baster. I hope someone got pictures.

I probably don't need to tell you that this strategy proved wildly unsuccessful. The car remains on 12th. With a soiled turkey baster in the front seat.

I am the world's least successful adult.


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Comments

I don't know about the car, but I'm pretty sure angry (arm)pit demons are what caused your shirt to get all tangled up, resulting in said faceplant.

Poor baby. Pour yourself a pwim.

Comment number: 003408   Posted by: The Cosmos on August 1, 2003 02:45 PM from IP: 208.29.169.21

If you are the world's least successful adult, then there's finally proof that the rest of us are really infants after all!

Comment number: 003409   Posted by: Stacey on August 1, 2003 06:23 PM from IP: 24.238.153.119

OK.
As an avowed car nut, your car situation is causing me physical pain. Please, PLEASE take your car( assuming it runs enough to drive it somewhere ) to one of those 15 minute/20 dollar oil change places. Get your oil changed, by people who at least have an idea of what they are doing, if you don't want to fork over the $75-100 for an actual mechanic to give your car a tune-up.
Getting a tune-up by a mechanic will fix your horking problem entirely, but even just getting your oil changed will alleviate the ONGOING CAUSE of your problem.
If I didn't live on the East Coast, I would come over & do it myself, just to stop the horror.

Comment number: 003410   Posted by: OliverJ on August 2, 2003 06:04 AM from IP: 207.70.63.165

I am eager to see the horror continue.

*ties skot's shoelaces together*

Comment number: 003411   Posted by: p.t. daemon on August 2, 2003 01:37 PM from IP: 134.197.57.89

My car recently put out lots of smoke, that is when it ran. But in my case it had nothing to do with oil, it was the fuel injection. Basicly, it was spurting instead of spraying, so there were droplets of fuel getting past the engine and into the exhaust system. Where, when the car would heat up, would immediately begin to carbon-black and blow out the exhaust pipe. To find this out, we had to take the intake stuff off and watch it spray into the carbarator.

Additional symptom was it was 'guttering out', a really rough idle, as it was being flooded. It died suddenly, and was hard to restart if it did stall (all the gas has to evaporate out). We got burned by the mechanics, who thought it was the fuel pressure (gasoline is forced into injector by a pump), as the symptom was subtle at times. If I had known enough to look inside the carbarator (actually a throttle-body-fuel-injector) while starting I could have spotted it.

You have to figure out what is burning by the odor. If its gas, it will smell like gas. If there is ALOT of smoke, maybe it isn't oil.

To check the spark plugs, you can probably get a spark plug ratchet/socket from a friend (they're pretty common in socket sets), unplug one of the wires, unscrew the plug, and look at it. It should look dry and moderately clean. Wiping the plugs off with a gasoline soaked rag can help clear them (let it dry before putting back in). Careful about messing up the gap.

One of the auto repair for dummy books can help you sometimes too.

The thing is, smoke is usually pretty easy to figure out. If you can get it to a mechanic. After all, its burning something, and you can eliminate possible causes pretty easy if you know what you are doing.

Comment number: 003412   Posted by: Verin on August 2, 2003 07:11 PM from IP: 68.224.95.160

"I am the world's least successful adult."

Not while I'm alive, pal.

Comment number: 003413   Posted by: Rex on August 4, 2003 09:38 AM from IP: 204.144.1.103

I ate a bunch of lunch, and now I do not want to work. When I think of all the work I still have to do today, i wanna curl up under my desk. I don't want to die, i just do not want to do this for 6 more hours (I work late on deadline). Skot, what would you do if you were me?

Comment number: 003414   Posted by: Johnny13 on August 4, 2003 11:57 AM from IP: 163.192.21.3

Skot, what would you do if you were me?

This is really simple. If I were you, I'd immediately ditch work and head out to Seattle to help my boneheaded friend Skot fix his goddamned car. I already have a turkey baster, so don't worry about that part.

Comment number: 003415   Posted by: Skot on August 4, 2003 11:59 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

This has happened to me, just a minute or five ago.

John to female coworkers: You ladies might have noticed that I am incredibly sexy today.

Alpha female: You look nice everyday.

John: You are charming, but a complete liar. My beauty is an illustion. It comes from this new shirt I purchased from Old Navy. See the stripes on my shoulders? The make my already impressive width look even moreso.

The women have no idea what to do now.

John: Take your men to Old Navy for handsome fashion such as you are seeing here now.

Comment number: 003416   Posted by: Johnny13 on August 4, 2003 04:08 PM from IP: 163.192.21.3

I hate that Margaret Redacted.

Comment number: 003417   Posted by: stennie on August 4, 2003 06:23 PM from IP: 64.239.147.218

I'm going to find this "Marget" woman throw her some root.

Comment number: 003418   Posted by: ben on August 4, 2003 08:05 PM from IP: 68.7.127.94

Why on Earth would you give her root access to your machine? She will almost certainly delete needed system files.

Comment number: 003419   Posted by: Johnny13 on August 5, 2003 10:42 AM from IP: 163.192.21.2

I've done the same thing, with the sweatshirt trick....

But I was driving. In San Francisco. It seemed like a good idea to remove my sweatshirt, over my head.

Somewhere in there, I realized that I was controlling a motor vehicle with my knee, that I was blind, and that any second now I was going to kill some grandmother who had just pawned her wedding ring for her daughter's operation.

The guy behind me honked and cursed when I stopped the car to struggle with my (now stuck) black sweatshirt. I understood, some idiot stops in the middle of the street, right in front of you?

I wanted to tell him "Believe me, it's better this way."

It was weeks before I got in the car without thinking "You should not be allowed to do this."

Comment number: 003420   Posted by: gribble on August 5, 2003 10:44 AM from IP: 208.244.233.99

I might feel bad for you if I weren't laughing so hard.

And your neighborhood is way too "transitional".

Comment number: 003421   Posted by: Ali on August 20, 2003 07:31 PM from IP: 68.49.235.149

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