April 6, 2006

Ever have one of those months or periods in your life where everything you try to do – no matter how well intentioned it may be – to stay ahead of “the man” ends up bleeding you more money? You know, those periods where you’re afraid to even order off the McDonald’s Value Menu for fear it’ll end up costing you something akin to a year’s worth of Ivy League school tuition? Well, that’s what’s happening here at Great White Shank Headquarters here in Gilbert. In the last three weeks, we’ve experienced the following:

* an oil change on our 1999 Saturn that turned onto a $750 coolant system overhaul;
* an oil change on our 2002 Saturn that turned into $300 worth of new tires and such;
* a “minor coolant leak” on same 2002 Saturn that turned into an $850 oil pan replacement effort;
* an innocent Direct TV request that turned into a bizarre Dish Network install.

The latest fiscal disaster is unfolding around me as I speak (or, as I smell, as I am enveloped by a pleasant cherry scent – more on that below). Recently, we saw an ad in a local coupon thingy for air conditioing vent cleaning. Now, here in Phoenix with all the dust and three rabbits shedding fur like there’s no tomorrow, this seemed a no-brainer to us – our A/C had recently been sucking wind like Michael Moore attempting a 3.5K charity run. It was $79, we figured, and what can go wrong with someone simply sticking a hose up through your vents and sucking all the crap out like some sort of enviro-tech enema? In, out, bingo bango bongo, right?

Wrong. I could tell by the look on Rani’s face that things were not as clear-cut as we both expected. Especially since he walked towards me looking like some ServiceMaster “red alert” tech exiting from Three Mile Island.

“You’ve got a mold problem”, he tells me, upon which I get the Encyclopaedia Brittanica low-down on the rainbow of mold spore types in existence (running all the way from green to black, by the way), that could threaten our respiratory systems, if not our very way of life and everything we hold dear.

“You have brown mold”, he grimly announces. “Fortunately, it hasn’t gone black yet – that’s the worst”.

“How do you know, I innocently ask.

“Hah”, he chuckles, “because if you did, I’d be 30 miles away from Ground Zero, and not even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would step foot in this place without first setting up a speed dialer to James Sokolove“.

I was convinced. The problem, you see, is this house is 8 years old, and between our air conditioning system (obviously purchased at Dollar General by the builder, says Rani), the incessant Arizona desert dust, the fact that here you end up running your central air 42 hours a day between May and October, and that the people before us had big shaggy dogs and we the rabbits, well, it’s amazing this place hasn’t been turned into a temporary neighborhood triage center by the EPA. At any rate, it was obvious the house’s internals needed a good scouring.

Unfortunately, as a result of that scouring, that original $79 turned into a whopping $1000 worth of services and chemical treatments, which we now know is working by that previously-mentioned pleasant cherry smell permeating every room of the house. “That’s how you know how bad it was”, says Rani, “if the mold was everywhere, you smell the cherry everywhere.”

It’s now time for payment. I look at the invoice, and I sigh. “Don’t worry”, Rani reassures me, “at least you’re not sleeping in a FEMA trailer park like those guys in New Orleans.”

When it rains, it pours…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 14:54 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. Generic ambien….

    Generic ambien….

    Trackback by Generic ambien. — September 22, 2007 @ 2:23 am

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