Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I just called to say . . .

I knew a lot about the German before I married him. I knew that he is funny, chatty, kind and considerate. I had no idea however, that I was marrying Gadget Guy.

Gadget Guy /ga-jet gI/ (noun): a man who has an unreasonable fascination for small mechanical devices that are usually expensive and have many small buttons

Since we got married in 2004, the German has tried to buy more gadgets and claim they are for me. These purchases are always meant to be "in my best interest" and they are always "a great investment" (i.e. expensive).

German: I think that you need a navigation system for your car. You drive so much for work. It would be a great investment.

Claire: Sweetie, I don't need a navigation system. I know where I am going.

German: But how?!?

Claire: It is called a map, dear.

Nevertheless, the German did give my only and most important gadget, my cell phone. That's right, until January 2004 I never owned a cell phone. Why did I need one? I had a land line, and if something was so important you could leave a message. I always call back. The German keeps trying to get me to upgrade my phone but I refuse. The one I have is small and compact. It gets the job done . . . most of the time. My phone works on a pre-paid calling card and therefore runs out of money at very unfortunate times. Such as last week . . .

Last Thursday I taught what is perhaps the worst class I have ever had in my 6 years of teaching experience. A local organization called up the New Yorker and I two weeks ago and asked if we could cover an English class for them. Now, the pay is not the best, but the people are nice and the organization is an important business partner of ours, so the New Yorker and I always try to help out when we can.

Sadly, the class was more like babysitting than teaching. Half the class was really interested in learning and are good kids. The other half spent the class reading the newspaper, sleeping, talking to their friends, folding paper airplanes. They are the kind of student who will not give you their correct name and will press start button on the CD player when they are walking out of the room . . . because it is "funny."

Needless to say, I was pretty beat after teaching for three hours, but my day was not over and I had to drive to a company for a lesson. By 6pm I was exhausted, hungry and nauseous (for those of you wondering, I have not had morning sickness, but I get very nauseous in the evenings). I got into the car and begged Smarty to take me home.

I was about 10 kilometers from home when my car started to make a very strange noise. For a minute I contemplated driving the rest but decided it was better to be safe than sorry. I pulled off the road and turned on my emergency blinkers. I got out of the car and walked around. My right side tire was completely blow out.

Lucky for me I have a cell phone. I dialled home.

Phone Voice: Your phone only has 39 cents available. Please add money to make a call.

Damn. I sent a text message to the German's cell phone. I crossed my fingers that the German was somewhere near his cell phone. We have a big house and chances are the he would not see it. I then looked at the 10 kilometers in front of me and wondered how long it would take to get home. I opened up the back of the car to realize that I (a) do not have any tools in my car and (b) do not have a spare tire. About this time I also realized that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom (oh the joys of pregnancy).

Then my cell phone rang. THANK YOU GOD. The German laughed when I explained the situation and said that he would be there in a minute. About 10 minutes later the German drove up. He immediately started changing the tire, when he realized that his tools did not fit. The German drives a big Audi, and I drive a small Smart. You need two different wrenches. Hmm . . .

The German called my father-in-law, the Patriarch in the Gadget Guy family tree. Lucky for us he showed up 10 minutes later. He, of course, was able to change the tire in like a minute.

I finally got home around 8:30pm. I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. And I am finally letting the German upgrade my cell phone.

PS I would like to note that during the flat tire episode, I was near a main road and lots of cars drove by. Not a single car stopped to help me. Not even the police officer.


Anonymous said...

If you are in that situation again, you can also send an SMS to the land line phone. It will cause the phone to ring once, which might get the German's attention. If your home phone isn't SMS compatible it will actually ring until somebody picks up and then a computer voice will read the SMS to him.

Carol said...

As hairy as that ordeal was, I was thinking that it could have been so much worse! Glad the German was home and thank goodness he's a Gadget Guy! (Oh wait, the tools didn't fit...?!)

When I was pregnant with Elisabeth and commuting an hour each way to Disney, I'd regularly have to pull over on the Ventura freeway and throw up. No one stopped then, either... which is probably a good thing!

The class sounds horrid! My mom was a German teacher at my high school. She had some stories...

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for not having the proper equipment in your car.

Is "gadjet guy" really a noun? or is it more of an editorial opinion???


Dixie said...

Poor thing. How frustrating.

Do you use your handy all that much? If you don't you might be better off putting the money you'd spend on a monthly fee into an ADAC membership. They're available to get your flat changed even when your husband isn't and calls to them are free.

I don't use my handy much at all so I use a pre-paid thing as well. You know you can call a number to see how much money is left on it - I call #101* to check mine.

hexe said...

Oh what a long day - especially with the whole evening sickness going on. Hope the evening sickness fades out soon and congrats on the pregnancy :)

Anonymous said...

If you have D1 (Xtra) you call *100# to have your balance sent to your display - call 2000 to have a computerized voice tell you your balance (both are free).

Carrie said...

You need a cell phone....a real cell phone. You don't know when you'll need it and you don't know what crazies are going to be around totally willing to help. And you already knows cops aren't in the right place at the right time.

Anonymous said...

As a card carrying "Gadget Gal" I gotta defend the hubby on this one. You definitely need a cell phone. I just got a T-Mobile Sidekick and it is bliss on a stick. Not as fabulous as an iPhone but great for people who have to drive significant distances...especially people who are preggers :-)

And the class sounds like it was atrocious. You must have the patience of Job!