On Thursday I had taken my car in for some funny noises and ended up having the belt tightened and a new starter put in. However, the squeaky noises got dramatically worse over the weekend, so I went back out to the dealership this morning.
Instead of sounding like a passel of mice, however, the squeaking had almost disappeared. I counted just five squeaks on the drive out to Antioch and couldn't reproduce the sound at all on a drive with one of the managers.
So I left the dealership, and as I was pulling out onto the street my phone rang. I saw from the area code that I had to call back right away - it was one of the colleges that may participate in my dissertation. I pulled into the hotel parking lot across the street while the caller left a voice message. She said this was her second message and could I please call her back. Immediately I felt horribly guilty, because although I never got the first message, I'm sure that sounds like a very likely story.
I had to pull out my laptop to check my calendar and write down the time we scheduled for, and as I'm finishing up a man comes out of the hotel to ask if I need help. No thanks, I said, I just had to answer a phone call. Well, he tells me, you can't use our internet. I wasn't, I said; I just needed my calendar. I wanted to say, look, do you have a serious problem with internet scavengers hanging out in your parking lot? Unemployed yuppies who can't afford a latte at the coffee shop even to get online? Of course, in this economy there probably are quite a few of those, but they're not hanging out in Antioch.
So now, all over America people probably think I'm a liar with a vivid imagination.
P.S.: As I pulled back into my own neighborhood, the squeaking started again.