I worked out, cooled off, and hit the showers. I turned on hot water faucet and stood there for what felt like 5 minutes.
“It sure is taking a long time for the water to heat up,” I thought to myself.
I put on my clothes and went outside to the utility room to check and see if everything was right with the gas water heater. I’ve heard somewhere that sometimes pilot lights or some other form of flame will go out and requires relighting.
I am not a very mechanical person. I’ve never had an interest in fixing or repairing anything. It just doesn’t interest me.
When I opened the utility room door, there was water all over the concrete flooring. Sure, I don’t know much about such things, but I knew that this wasn’t right.
My father (“Mr. Handy” for years 1948-the present) arrived and assessed the damage with great exasperation.
I had a remote with JJ McCain at the Dixie Classic Fair that night. I called my boss on that and he asked if I needed someone to do it. I told him that I’d find out and call him back.
“Dad, do you need any help with the water heater?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “Just go on and do what you gotta do. You’re more help to me if you’re gone.”
He’s right. I don’t know the different names of tools. I can’t look at a bolt and tell whether it’s a 3/16th or 5/8th like he can. Besides, whenever I’m helping him do something, my mind gets bored; starts to wander, or I start testing the tools in ways that they aren’t supposed to perform, thus breaking them. We would both be better off going our separate ways.
I called my boss and let him know that everything was still “go” for me. I took a cat bath with cold water and a washcloth before heading off to work. Still without proper cleansing of my hair, I felt very dirty.
On the other hand, I would fit in with most of the regular carnie-folk. From previous experiences with carnies, they aren’t the most pristine human beings traveling around the country.
Quick side note: As I walked by a display, my ears were assaulted by very bad country music. I made my way to the bathroom near the display. I walked inside and realized that only one other person was in there. He was seated in one of the stalls and singing along with the bad country music. He’d be singing along and while doing that, he’d grunt while singing, and then I heard a “Bronx cheer”. I found it very surreal and funny. I later shared my experience with Katie the Knock Out and Hot Young Billy Cook.
The next day, my nephew burst into my bedroom and yelled, “GET UP, UNKA GENE!” He left quickly, slamming the door behind him.
He came in for a second pass. After yelling the same command again, he stopped to ask if I were going to get up.
“C’mere Preston,” I said with a steady calm in my voice. “Come over to this side of the bed.”
He walked over carefully and I could read the uncertainty in his eyes as he neared me. Then, as quick as a bear trap snapping shut, I grabbed his shoulder and pulled him close to me. I didn’t hurt him; I only wanted to make an impression.
With a deep, quiet, and calm voice I said, “Preston, if you ever come into my room like that again, I will kill you. Do you understand?”
He nodded and for the moment, agreed to those terms.
“Now give me a hug,” I said. “It’s good to see you.” He hugged me as my niece Chloe came into the room. Then Preston left with a Power Ranger in his hand with Chloe not too far behind.
And for those of you are thinking “child abuse”, get real. Preston knows that I’m kidding. He threatens me all the time and hits me with his toy weapons. Man, those jokers can hurt sometimes. I can’t seem to get him to understand the concept of punching and hitting without hurting me. It’ll come; it will just have to take some work. And for the record, Preston is only allowed to hit me with those things. He only gets to hit me when we establish that we’re playing and if he hits anyone else with those toys, he loses them.
I threw on some clothes and got up. It was time to go to a big home improvement store to purchase a water heater.
I’ll continue tomorrow.