Monday, I had the day off. I was road weary from the travel over the 4th of July weekend, so I slept on and off all morning. In the afternoon I got up to run errands for Tarzan. After two or three errands, I stopped at the dry cleaners and when I got back in my car the air conditioner would NOT BLOW AT ALL. Not even hot air. I rolled down my window and thought I would simply go home and let Tarzan fix it.

As I drove toward the house I thought about how selfish that was, after all I had the day off, so I drove to a place I pass all the time with a sign that says ACFree. Winding around, down, up and through the yard, I came to a small Winnebago with an awning on the east side. There was a young man there with baggy pants who jumped right up to check my car. There was an old man, with only one tooth, sitting in a lawn chair in front of the evaporative cooler they had set up outside. He waxed poetic about what a good mechanic this young man was and that he would get me going. There was a woman inside the trailer cooking – today’s special--Hamburger $2.50, soda $1.00. She told me she comes at 10:00 in the morning and cooks all day fixing lunch and dinner for whoever stops by. She had 3 electric skillets to cook on.

I stood in the heat for about 30 minutes and then was told that all the fuses were good and everything was working except the air conditioning switch (you know the thing that makes it blow cold air—sheez, I already knew it wasn’t doing that). The solution was to send me to the JUNK YARD to buy a used one and then they would put it in the car for me. I panicked and asked if I would have to pull the part, it’s 113° and I am in no mood to go walking around a junk yard looking for a car that looks like mine and then try to get the part out. He assured me that I would not have to do that and gave me an address for a junk yard THAT DID NOT EXIST. I was determined, however, and after four tries, and once almost crying, I was told that I could get the part from a junk yard in MARICOPA, a 40 MINUTE DRIVE WITH NO AIR CONDITIONER. They said they would UPS it to me and I gave them my work address so I could have it on Tuesday. Cost $60

Tuesday, the part came. Tarzan and I went back to the ACFree place and they installed the switch. While I was waiting for them to get it installed I sat with a group of men in front of the evaporative cooler who were shooting craps. I didn’t understand the game, so they explained as they went along. 7 or 11 on your first roll you win and the shoot starts over, any other number on your first roll and you have to roll that same number again before you roll a 7 or 11 or you lose. There was something about the number 3 too, but I didn’t get it. One of them looked up at me and said, “Man, I’m glad you came along, these guys have cleaned up their language.” I watched as they won and lost $1.00 at a time. There was a little girl sitting next to me who kept saying “Daddy, you are losing all our money.” That took some of the fun out of watching these guys as they each had their own style, arguing over someone touching the dice when it wasn’t their turn and how it changed the dynamics of the game, making funny noises to encourage the dice, rolling with their eyes shut, rolling with their eyes open.

The part was installed and guess what--IT DIDN’T WORK. We were then told that “well, you know, this is a used part from a car the same age as yours so it’s probably worn out too.” DUH! I said, “If anyone had suggested I get a new part yesterday, I could have had this fixed by now.”

So, now I am hot and I am hungry and I am angry-not a good combination. Realizing they were not going to fix it, I stood real close to Tarzan and said, “You settle up with them, if I do, I am just going to piss everyone off.” (Sorry about the swear word.) He settled for $50 – hey I thought this was going to be a Free. Whatever.

Our next instruction was to find a dealership. I got on my cell phone and called 411 and got a dealer 30 miles away who told me (1) they didn’t sell Oldsmobiles at that dealership anymore and (2) they don’t make Oldsmobiles anymore and (3) I could go to any GM dealer for parts.

“Hey, look, I drive a gray car. I just happen to know it’s an Oldsmobile because I am looking for a part. Who would be a GM dealer?” They guy laughed and said any Chevy dealer. So, I started calling around and all the parts departments were closed. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!

By now, a miscellaneous person who had been watching the crap game came over and started fiddling with the old switch which had now been placed back in the car. He jiggled it around and got the darn thing working. They all decided it was just one part of the switch and showed us on the one we got from the junk yard what part it was.

We went to AutoZone and they told us we would have to drive about 20 miles to another location to get the part we needed. We did so, and were grateful that we had a limping air conditioner. Cost $20. We drove back to the ACFree place and they had all gone home. We’ll see if the part works.


you have the greatest adventures. please come hang out with me next time you have no A/C. denten and tarzan are great at taking extra long times fixing simple things!