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Why I feel like I've been beaten with a lug wrench

Some part of me has always wanted to be responsible for a boiler. I wanted to be like that crotchety old geezer in the movies, in grease-stained overalls, who always coaxed a cantankerous, decrepit boiler back to life by clanging on it with a rusty old monkey wrench.

Well, I'm living the dream now, and it's not quite what I'd fantasized about. The brownstone we live in had been without heat for about a week, and when we came back from North Carolina to find it still not working, we got irate, and complained to the president of the utility company. They'd been promising to send someone out for days, but each time I'd stay up until midnight waiting for them they never showed. Last Tuesday (and this is good) they failed to show up because they "couldn't find a place to park." Of course they didn't bother to call us to let us know that either.

I think complaining to the head guy actually did the trick, because they promised to send someone out as soon as possible. We really wanted to get the heat fixed because my in-laws were arriving to stay with us, and we didn't want them to have to live in an icebox all week.

Well, my in-laws had just arrived, and hadn't even removed their coats yet (fortunately, as it turns out.) My wife and I were showing them around our place when we promptly managed to lock ourselves outside. Everything of ours -- keys, money, wallet, cell phones -- were locked inside. I wasn't even wearing any shoes. I'm just lucky I wasn't wearing shorts and barefoot, as is normally the case.

My wife had to leave for work, so I had to leave my in-laws standing on the sidewalk in front of our building while I schlepped a mile down Washington street in short sleeves and stocking feet to a real estate company who had a spare set of keys (fortunately I do not get cold easily.)

I got the keys and then schlepped back. Of the three keys they gave me, exactly zero of them worked. My next-door neighbor kindly offered to let me use her phone, and I called every locksmith in Hudson County to no avail. They were either all out on calls or booked solid for the day (how many other people had done this? I figured it was fairly unusual.)

It's at this moment, of course, that the utility guy showed up (timing is everything.) He was all in a dither because someone had complained to the president of the company, and he got all yelled at, and was told to get to our place ASAP, and not to leave until everything was fixed. That was fine and all, but we couldn't even let him inside the house, and he was understandably frustrated.

My neighbor was getting ready to leave, so I imposed on her one last time to let me into her backyard. She warned me that she was leaving, and that I wouldn't be able to get back into her place should I fail to get into mine. I saw no option, however, and committed myself.

I climbed over the fence into my yard, still only in my socks (ouch!) and climbed onto the roof the boiler room (ouch!). From there, I could reach the bedroom window with the air conditioner. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I couldn't lift the window because I had braced it shut with a stick, expressly to prevent this unorthodox manner of entry. Fortunately (unfortunately?) all it took was a few blows from my fist to dislodge the stick, and the window could be raised. Thank God I had bolted the AC unit securely in place when I installed it, because it had to support my entire weight as I wiggled through the window into our bedroom.

Bruised and bleeding, I was finally inside, so I rushed downstairs to let the utility dude in before he drove away in disgust. While he started working on the boiler, I went back upstairs to secure the window to prevent unsavory elements from gaining unauthorized access in the same way I had just done.

It turned out that there was a bad component on the boiler. It wasn't a necessary component. In fact, it was a completely superfluous "safety" feature that served no real function other than to break and prevent the whole boiler from functioning. (Lawyers!) It took some doing, but the dude was finally able to locate a spare part from a buddy's truck, and got the whole business working again.

That's why I woke up feeling bruised and battered today. I'm too old for this kind of foolishness.

Anyway, I know none of you care about any of this, but I just had to vent. As I've mentioned before, this blog takes the place of therapy for me.


All I have to say is...LOL!! Sorry Barry..really THAT is just SOME bad luck and a weird series of happenings.

You are a very positive person because you never gave up. There is always a way out..or in, in your case.

Although it wasn't funny for you at the time but this is the stuff that great commercials for mastercard are made of....or is that Visa?..Priceless!

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