Paranoia just might set in

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel by Steve Estes

Okay so where do I start?

If I were a paranoid person, I would surely be convinced that the world as a whole is out to get me.

And if this is some kind of karma, at least I wish karma would tell me what the whole deal is about because I sure as heck don’t have a clue.

It started three weeks ago when our pool pump broke down. I found I couldn’t buy a similar replacement locally so I had to order it off the internet. I don’t like doing that. I prefer to keep my money locally whenever I can.

I managed to keep the old pump running for two days by whacking it with a hammer. That left two days before the pump was due in. I tossed in gallons of chlorine and hoped.

Two days passed. No pump.

So I checked the online tracking service and, lo and behold, it said that the pump had been delivered. That was truly news to me.

So I called FedEx. I told them my pump had actually not been delivered. They told me they would call me the following day. No I’m four days without a pump.

Three days later, I was told they would have another pump delivered because the driver said he dropped it, but couldn’t recall the address. It just wasn’t the right address.

So since we had plans to take the kids to Legoland for their summer trip, I hoped the pump would arrive before we departed.

Of course not. It arrived the day we departed.

The day we after got back, the FedEx driver stopped me in the parking lot at work to tell me the pump had arrived.’

Thanks for nothing. Due to work demands, I couldn’t put the pump in until four days later.

Ever seen a stagnant pond? I had one. But it’s back up to snuff now.

Two days after replacing the pump we had a small wind storm at our house. I had set up a guy to cut down the coconuts from our six trees, but he wasn’t due for two days. The wind storm knocked a few hundred pounds of coconuts out of the tree. About a half dozen of them fell on Holly’s new Jeep SUV, putting dings in the top, the hood and caving in the front of the hood in one small spot.

I still have to call the insurance company about that.

Then last Thursday on our weekly trek to Miami to pickup newspapers, with things going as smoothly as they can, we were one block…one block…from the plant when this 18-wheeler rig stoped at the last stop sign before we reached our destination.

I stopped behind him.

Problem was that he wasn’t stopped for the stop sign. He was stopped because he had missed his turn. And the best way he thought to reach it was to back…the…vehicle…up on a public road.

I was between his rear end and his destination. He didn’t get out to look. He didn’t check his mirrors because with my cargo trailer loaded I’m about 34 feet long and he couldn’t have missed me.

He just shifted into reverse and began backing to the turn.

He also had no back up lights. By the time I realized he was coming at me, I had time to do nothing but shift into neutral  and allow him to push me backwards until Holly could jump out of our slowly moving vehicle and run up to his window. I don’t think I want to know that conversation.

Luckily his level bar and my bumper were an exact height match so he only destroyed the plastic facade of the bumper, but that’s expensive enough.

About 40 minutes later, after the responding officer made the guy promise to pay for the damage through his insurance or lose his license and truck, we were back on the road and reached Big Pine without further incident.

I thought it was over, that Murphy was done with me.

Yeah right.

Tuesday morning I had to be in Key West. I avoid the place like the plague if I can, but this time I couldn’t get out of being there.

I was in a parking lot, had just finished the emergency business I was there to conduct and was walking back to my car.

An elderly gentleman started his small pick up truck, wracked it into reverse and proceeded to back out of the spot he was in. It would have been nice had he bothered to look in the rear view mirror. He would have seen my portly body directly behind him.

But rear view mirrors seem to be passe these days.

As I lifted my leg closest to him to take another step, he backed right into me.

The only lucky thing about that incident was that my leg he ran in to was in the air. If it had been planted, he probably would have snapped it off at the knee.

I smacked his tail gate (hard enough to leave a dent I believe) as I was one-footing my way in the other direction and pulling out all five languages in which I can curse and hurling every single one of them at him in rapid fire fashion.

I was uninjured other than a bruise. It could have been worse.

He left with his ears ringing. I got in the car and hightailed it back to Big Pine.

Surely by now Murphy was done.

Oh no. One last kick in the teeth.

The storm Tuesday afternoon had nearly run its course. And then a lightning bolt crashed somewhere close enough to us that Holly felt the charge with her hand on the front door and the hair on my arm stood up straight.

And it fried our cable modem.

Nothing else.

Out of all the sensitive equipment we have in this office, nothing else was damaged. Of course Murphy didn’t need to do anymore damage.

Without the cable modem, we had no Internet service. The intra-office network runs through that machine. Our phones are Comcast. Our television service is Comcast.

We were communication-less even though every other single piece of equipment was functioning properly.

Called Comcast.

They could get someone out Wednesday between 1 and 3 p.m.

I sit here waiting. Looking for Murphy.

If I find him, I do plan to end his life.

No qualms.

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