"Soon I'll be doing appeals on my silly husband" caption provided by Adriana Acosta who won the BHO caption contest by Ginny Vannare.
What follows is complete fabrication, having no basis whatsoever in reality, any resemblance to persons living or working in Commerce City is your private little hallucination and you should get you head examined (but not by this writer, I don’t take hopeless cases). There. Now, maybe we have a prayer if we ever need another repair.
Deep in the heart of Denver, behind mass transit lines, toils a maniacal mechanic destined to go down in infamy. For, the esteem in which his skills at pressing metal and greasing pit are held are matched only by the fear of the fierce invective that flies from his mouth. He is… the Diesel Nazi.
After our meltdown cruise, we sojourned for a spell in scenic Commerce City, Colorado, home to our Vanture converters, for some much needed bus tweaking. Perhaps nothing required that tweaking more than our infamous door lock. To whom could we turn? Why, none other than the Diesel Nazi, of course.
We had never had run-ins with the DN; he had always been courteous to us. However, we had heard from many, many other people that he ran his shop with an iron fist, that he labored on his schedule, no one else’s, that he picked and chose what to work on and when to work on it, that everyone, EVERYONE he’d ever met, with the possible exception of his immediate family, were nothing but a bunch of boobs.
During the meltdown cruise, we had let Vanture know that we needed a replacement door lock. It was understood that the DN would do the work – who else could? But, the Vanture guys preferred dealing with him themselves, “we know how to handle DN,” they explained. Weeks went by and the part still hadn’t arrived from Prevost. Finally, our house rented, we had no choice but to live on the bus -- in the Vanture lot. I told Tim “we” needed to call the DN. He replied, “Why don’t you do it? He’s not as likely to be mean to a girl.” Even my husband who, in his line of work, has faced his share of homicidal psychotics, balked at this particular confrontation. So, I called the DN and found out that the part was only recently ordered. I wanted to complain, “You knew about this weeks ago… ” But, truth be told, I was a bit afraid of him, myself. So, instead, I meekly sniffed, “Uh… we’ve got places to go.” And, “We’re also now officially homeless.”
“I understand, I understand,” he said. “I’ll get Prevost to expedite this. Those boobs.”
“Tell them I’m the new travel writer for Bus Conversions Magazine. Maybe that’ll help,” I offered. Was that a snort on the end of the line or the click of a jack boot? In any event, the part came in, but the DN needed a few days to install it. So, we pulled up stakes and traded one scenic setting – Vanture’s lot, for another - DN’s lot, although the latter offered certain accoutrements the Vanture guys could never have dreamed of such as a barbed-wire fence and rats scurrying around garbage cans.
As he locked us in for the night, I could almost hear the DN sneer, “Where’s your kingdom, now, Princess?” Then, astonishingly, he gave us the combination to the gate, so we could come and go in our Jeep at night. He even let me use his fax machine for work. After three days, the deed was done, and we headed back to Vanture on a Friday evening, planning to stay through Tuesday for the last few adjustments. That night, in their lot, Tim noticed that while our bus door now locked fine from the outside and was unlikely to fly open on the highway, resulting in tortuous pain from wifely whining, there was just no way to lock it from the inside. Since, regrettably, we would rarely, if ever again be camped in a place that offered barbed-wire security, this was a problem. We left a message on the DN’s voice mail, asking if perhaps he might be kind enough to offer some suggestions? On Saturday, when Chris, John and Manny arrived for work, we asked their opinion. As they discussed options with Tim, I tried to get back into the bus. No go.
“Ah, honey,” I enquired, already knowing and dreading the answer, “Did you lock the door?”
“No,” he replied, already knowing and dreading my next line.
“Well, I can’t get in.” It was true. The door had jammed, again. And, again, our pets were inside. I flashed back to Reno and wondered if those locksmiths would still be willing to buy the thing for $85. I would go down quite a bit in price at this point. Fortunately, we had left a bedroom window open. After several tries at prying the door, Tim, with the slimmest hips of us all (I was never even in the running) got a ladder and managed to squeeze through. As he emerged from the front door, my phone rang. It was the DN, returning our message from the night before.
“Funny you should call right at this moment,” I began and handed the phone over to Tim. He explained to the DN that when he dismantled the door lock to come out just then, he noticed a part had broken. Rather than tell Tim what a boob he was, the DN apologized profusely and told us to bring the bus right over (on a Saturday morning!) and he would fix it immediately. Chris and John were wide-eyed in amazement.
“He apologized???” They cried, in unison.
“And, he let me use his fax,” I informed them, smug.
“HE LET YOU USE HIS FAX???”
“Well, boys. You know what it is I’ve got that you don’t,” I queried and to their questioning stares, provided the monosyllabic, two part answer.