I don’t know about you, but I have one of “those days” a little too often. Take Friday.
It was the first of the month and I was just swimming in money, as usual. I no longer write checks, address envelopes or mail bills. Cobb Manor finance is conducted exclusively on the internet. Usually this goes off without a hitch.
Not on “those days.”
I won’t tell you the name of the insurance company with the damned website. But I can rarely connect without incident. When and if I do connect, I cannot pay the bill. They ask me for my password. I know. I should know it, but to my (limited) knowledge I have never established a password with this website.
I dutifully try to change the nonexistent password with a new one. I type in my mother’s maiden name and the city of my birth.
Again and again.
It refuses to accept the information and the new password because I have chosen the wrong “format.” No idea what that means. We did this dance for a good 40 minutes, maybe an hour. It was a beautiful July day but I was sweating, swearing. I had a headache. I believe, much like any good German shepherd, that websites can sense the fear in a user and refuse to cooperate. In the final move, they asked for the “three number security code” (there is none) on my debit card. I made one up and the payment finally went through. I had a headache for the rest of the day.
Once I dispensed with the rest of the bills in … oh … 45 seconds, I decided to make the day memorable by mowing the one-acre lawn. I do this hesitatingly because I once set fire to my father’s lawn mower (accidently) and I just find it boring.
The Cobb Manor barn houses a 15-year-old Craftsman mower. After never maintaining the machine since it was new, I decided this was the year for a tune-up. Some $60 later the beast came home for a trial mow. It lasted three minutes, then stalled. I timed it.
The repair guy came to the house once, twice, three times. It needed a new carburetor for an additional $100, he said. He took the beast away for surgery and returned it a week later. I had my doubts but it started and ran perfectly. Once. Ever since the premier effort it would start, run, and then die.
On Black Friday, I called the repair guy and he made still another Cobb Manor visit. Naturally, it ran perfectly well for him. “What did you do?” I asked, still smarting from the insurance bill experience.
“I loosened the gas cap.” He said. Honest to God. It worked perfectly. Why did I spend $160 when all I needed to do was loosen the gas cap?
Because. It was one of “those days.”
Once I finished the mowing, I decided to complete the effort with some rare weed whacking. Bad idea. The centuries-old Weed Eater (I think someone left it here) was working at half speed and would not whack the weakest weed, for which it was pretty much designed, I assumed.
I took the Weed Eater and threw it as far as I could. Naturally, Blue Eyes condemned the act as useless and childish. (Especially since a few pieces flew off).
Women just do not understand. Throwing things is just what you are supposed to do on one of “those days.”
Emmet Meara lives in Camden in blissful retirement after working as a reporter for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland for 30 years.